Sales Qualification is an inevitable process and an important one for all sales teams.
If you go to the market, you pick vegetables based on your need, likes and it’s quality. The same goes for your leads. You can’t pursue all leads that come your way from the marketing team. You pick the ones that have a high potential to buy your product.
How do you know if the lead will buy or just vanish? That’s when discovery calls come in.
In this article, we will discuss what is Sales Qualification, how to do it better using Salesforce.
What is Sales Qualification?
Sales Qualification is a set of steps taken by the sales professional to understand if the lead has the potential to buy their product or service. Also in the process, they will understand if the lead has really the need for this product.
It will help the sales team focus and spend time on worthwhile leads, meet their targets. Let’s have a quick look at the sales funnel and see where the sales qualification comes in.
- The first and foremost step is to create an awareness that the product exists. This is handled by the marketing team, they run campaigns on the web, social media, etc, and attract visitors to the website.
- The marketing team then analyzes the visitors and finds the prospects who have the potential to purchase the product or service. Prospects are usually the ones who have shown some sort of interest in your product or looking for something similar – they may have signed up for a trial, attended a webinar, etc.
- These marketing qualified leads are then passed to sales who do the proper discovery of customer needs. They tend to understand if the product fits the customers’ needs, do they have the budget, will they buy sooner or later, etc.
- After the sales team finds out that the lead has definitely the potential to buy, then with these leads (sales qualified leads) they discuss pricing, negotiate the terms
- If negotiation goes well, then the customer purchases product and sales close the deal. Post this they might repeat the purchase, upgrade, downgrade, etc.
Don't forget to check out: How Do Artificial Intelligence Systems Compare Salesforce Records?
Sales Qualification Frameworks
The marketing and sales team work together and disqualify leads. Sometimes they play a blame game for not closing the deal as well. The sales team complaint about the quality of the leads that are passed by the marketing team and the marketing team says that the sales team don’t spend much time on qualifying, negotiating, and closing the deals. Both are true!
Sales Qualification Frameworks can come in handy. The oldest framework, that we are all tired of hearing about is the BANT framework.
Salesforce came up with a modified version of BANT called BANTA. They added Attitude to BANT. Attitude here means evaluating if the prospect has an interest in buying your product or not. If the conversation is deeper, then the salesperson understands the need better and helps with product evaluation.
Pro-tip: If you are using Salesforce already and just using notes to note down what was discussed in the Discovery call, check this app in AppExchange.
After SaaS came into the picture, many other frameworks arose. The factors for evaluation differ in the frameworks, here are a few that’s worth checking out.
MEDDIC is short for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion.
CHAMP stands for Challenges, Authority, Money, and Prioritization.
ANUM stands for Authority, Need, Urgency, and Money.
GPCTBA/C&I stands for Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority, Negative Consequences, and Positive Implications.
FAINT The qualification factors are Funds, Authority, Interest, Need, Timing
Sales Qualification Tips
The tricky part with sales qualification is asking questions in a way to customers that is not “salesy” but rather exhibits empathy.
Hubspot surveyed buyers and it revealed that they don’t like pushy Sales Reps and they like the Rep who really listens. Questions play a major role in understanding the customer, they might not have all the information ready to be served in a platter for you, It’s your duty to probe and understand the customer better and guide them.
Now that we understand what customer expects out of you. Here are few tips to succeed in Sales
- Be prepared with questions for your customer and rehearse before getting on calls.
- Google about the customer, understand what industry they are in, who their customers, competitors are, etc
- Automate repetitive tasks as much as you could. Create email templates, reuse them and respond to your customer in a timely manner. Also, email is one of the preferred channels to speak with customers, use it wisely
- Setup a sales cadence or sequence to follow up regularly with customers. At the same time don’t spam them with emails and calls.
- Don’t be pushy at all, you will be put in a situation at times where you need to give up on the prospect. Don’t hesitate to give up
- Implement Lead-scoring and use reporting to understand the rep’s performance.
- Gather feedback, brainstorm, and implement better steps in the overall process. The sales and marketing team needs to work together as a unit to serve customers better.
The core of the sales process is the same for all companies, the only difference comes in the phases and the criteria set for qualification. With Salesforce, you could easily manage leads, convert them to contacts.
Some of the features make a sales agent’s life easy. Please feel free to skim the video or continue reading
- Sales paths can be customized based on your company’s needs. You can have as many steps as needed.
- Activities can be recorded and follow-up activities can be created as tasks by reps. Obviously, you will have notes, reminders, notifications, etc.
- You could create a new event and send emails from within Salesforce Lead Screen.
- You could chat with your team members or manager from within the lead screen using Chatter.
- You could find basic information within the lead details screen. This will help during discovery calls, emails.
- Above all this, you could access all of this via Salesforce mobile app.
Check out another amazing blog by Cloudideas here: Customer Empathy Within Salesforce | Can Artificial Intelligence Help?
Einstein Lead Scoring
With Einstein Sales Cloud, you could put a score to leads. This score will reveal if the leads are worth following up or not.
You could ask me how this works?
The answer is simple. With the power of Artificial Intelligence, you could check the conversation history with your prospects and find a pattern. (For eg: Leads who have signed up for a trial, actively ask questions in the chat are converting more to customers). Once Einstein gives a score, you could find whether the lead is hot or not. Higher the score = Hotter the lead.
The best part is Einstein lists the Why’s as well along with the score. The Sales reps can tweak their daily schedule, prioritize which leads to engaging first with Einstein Lead Scoring.
You might ask me what if I trust this score and then engage with leads, but they don’t convert as much?
That’s where Einstein Lead Scoring dashboards help. It’s a continuous process, you could check your conversion scores and tweak your sales strategy on the fly.
Qualifying leads and closing deals can be daunting. With the help of tools, information and Einstein AI it can be made easy.
The best part is there would be no cold war between sales and marketing once the tool is set up. You could quickly pull reports and check where you could possibly improve.
Leave a comment or write to Cloudideas experts if you have any questions/ if you want to start using Salesforce to qualify leads.