Thirteen of the best qualifying questions for sales prospects

Masters the art of qualifying questions is a crucial skill in speeding up your sales pipeline and processes.

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Of all the questions sales professionals use in their line of work qualifying questions are perhaps this most important. This is because they allow the salesperson to discern which of their leads and prospects can be turned into customers, and the speed at which this process may occur. Not every prospect holds true prospects after all, and you don’t want to waste your time.

This is what makes qualifying questions for sales prospects so important, they allow you to cut to the quick and engage with the maximum number of prospects as possible. Everyone working in the sales industry should possess a strong repertoire of qualification questions that they can use during any sales process. These needs to be insightful, concise, and able to extrapolate information about issues beyond leads and prospects, including marketing.

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Thirteen tips on how to qualify sales leads and prospects

The following qualification and discovery questions can be utilised in a variety of businesses and scenarios. You should memorize and practice them to the point that using said questions becomes second nature. You should also note which questions work particular well.

Therefore we recommend that every time you use one of these qualifying questions for sales prospects you should enter it into your CRM system and note its effectiveness. Naturally, given that a lot of your work will be over email your CRM should be integrated with your inbox. Remember, complete data makes your pipeline make revenue.

1 – How did you hear about us?

This should be the first question you ask your lead or prospect. Knowing where your potential customer came from can help you to secure a deal. Understanding their origin also helps you prepare for other meetings and interactions too.

2 – What attracted you to our brand?

Your marketing team will thank you for asking this question as it lets them know how they’re performing. Understanding your prospect’s attraction will enable you to better understand their expectations too. This qualifying question for sales prospects always gives you deep insight into your potential customer.

3 – Are you the main decision maker?

You don’t want to waste your time with a prospect that won’t actually be able to commit to a deal. Always ask if your interlocutor is the decision maker, this question can save you a lot of time and effort. It’ll also help you identify your priority prospect if there are several decision makers down the deal pipeline.

4 – What problems are you currently facing at work?

Every good sales person worth their salt knows you need to identify a customer’s pain. Therefore this qualifying question for sales prospects is an absolute must in any scenario. Establishing pain is the main trigger for sales deals so ensure that you understand your prospect’s pain asap.

5 – How can we help you solve this issue?

You know your product can cure their pain, the question is how do you make sure your prospect knows that too. Always ask them how you can solve the problems they have, the lead will always appreciate directness. It’s also an easy way to extrapolate free information from the customer too.

6 – What are your company’s main strengths and weaknesses?

This is a great way to kick off your meetings as it gives you fantastic insight into your prospect and their company. It’s also a good way to establish empathy which is a consistently effective approach to establish deals. This question is particularly effective with businesses like startups.

7 – Why are you choosing to solve this problem now?

If the prospect’s issue has been ongoing for some time you should always ask them why they’re choosing to resolve it now. There may well be an urgent problem that you can exploit to your advantage. You’ll also quickly work out if this prospect has the qualifications to make the key decisions, if the issue is now, they’re likely to buy now too.

8 – What happens if you choose to do nothing?

This qualifying question has two key uses; Firstly it can reinforce the point that the prospect really needs your product, making a deal much more likely. Secondly it could make the prospect realise they don’t need a cure at this time. This doesn’t have to be a negative for your business, in fact the lead can easily still become a customer, just a little further down the road.

9 – What are your top priorities?

You should never make the mistake of thinking that all sales companies share the same priorities. Every company has its own targets, particularities, and restrictions on how it can operate. Therefore asking what a company’s priorities are shouldn’t be a preserve of one’s cold emails, make it part of your discovery calls too.

10 – How big is your budget?

Your prospect’s budget is going to have a massive influence on whether or not you can turn them into a customer, so ask this question early on. If their budget is smaller than you expected you can alter your deal to compensate. For this to be effective however you need to ask as soon as possible.

11 – If you choose our product how quickly does it need to be implemented?

Not only is this discovery question good at instilling confidence it also allows you to plan ahead. Understanding the prospect’s time constraints allows you to prepare your operations for a swift implementation. You can also add incentives, such as ridiculed installment costs, to entice your prospective customer.

12 – Is there anything that could stop you wanting to work this us?

You’ll often find that honesty really is the best policy and directness can yield some great results. If you ask your prospect this question you may discover information you can use to your advantage. You could then alter your deal, cut the price, offer incentives etc to get them over their reluctance.

13 – What metrics do you use to measure success?

In the sales industry metrics matter, a lot, and you need to understand which your prospect uses to measure success. Therefore always make sure that one of your qualifying questions for sales prospects related to their success metrics. Understanding how the customer measures success will allow you to keep them happy in the long run.

Keeping track of your success with qualifying questions for sales prospects

Every time you deploy qualifying questions for sales prospects you should ensure that you enter the questions you use and the responses they generate into your CRM system. There are plenty out there to choose from but your absolute best bet is Revenue Grid’s tool, Revenue Inbox. Offering seamless CRM and email integration, Revenue Inbox guarantees 100% data capture allowing you to auto-create, save leads and prospects, and capture email threads and multi-match historical data.

Revenue Inbox also includes opportunity insight dashboards which you can customize to keep a full record of all the qualifying questions you use when speaking with sales prospects. No other CRM tool offers such a premium quality combination of data driven analysis and intuitive design, meaning it can be used by any company working in any industry. If you want to learn more make sure you stop by the Revenue Grid website to learn more about one of the most dynamic tools in sales today.