When I was first starting in sales, I used to dread getting disqualified. It felt like a personal failure and it would often leave me feeling deflated for the rest of the day. But over time, I realized that being disqualified isn’t always a bad thing. This article teaches you more about disqualified sales including the causes.

Understanding why a sale is disqualified can help you improve your sales process and close more deals in the future. For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell a new product to a customer who has been using your competitor’s product for years. They might be hesitant to switch because they’re comfortable with what they know – even if your product is better in many ways.

In this case, getting disqualified sales can actually be helpful because it allows you to learn more about the prospects’ needs and concerns. You can then use this information to tailor your pitch more effectively next time around and increase the chances of making a sale.

What is Sales Qualification?

Sales qualification is the process by which you determine if a prospect or lead is a good fit to your product or service. It is done during sales calls and is crucial when determining whether customers will stay with you long-term.

You could talk to hundreds of leads per day without sales qualifications. But you would only end up with one or two closed deals. It’s an essential part of any sales process. But why is it so important? Let’s take a closer look.

Importance of Sales Qualification

Sales qualification is essential for sales organizations as it greatly improves close ratios. You run the risk of pursuing leads that aren’t right for your product because of budgetary constraints, organizational challenges or other factors.

Sales qualification is a better way of doing business. This allows you to target leads most likely to buy the product, thereby saving you time and effort.

Here are more reasons why sales qualification is so important.

  • If the lead isn’t qualified, you can move on and spend more time with prospects who are more likely buy.
  • You can target a smaller group of buyers to help you offer a more personal selling experience.
  • You can learn about the buyer’s problems and provide a better solution.
  • You can be sure that most of your activities will have a positive effect on revenue.
  • You can create different sales qualification processes for different verticals, and keep a list that feels personal.

Let’s suppose you try to sell your product on a lead that you don’t qualify. If the product is not a good fit, the customer may return it for a refund or engage in a social media tirade.

You can provide a highly customized solution to improve post-purchase satisfaction by deliberately qualifying prospects through a discovery phone call.

How to Qualify Leads at the Organizational Level

Does the person you’re talking to match your demographic target? This is the simplest form of lead qualification, and will tell you whether or not you should spend more time researching the prospect. If you have buyer personas, use them to qualify your prospect and see if they fit your criteria.

Asking questions at this point in the process includes:

  • What type of company are you in?
  • What industry is it in?
  • What size is it?
  • Is this in your sales region?
  • Is this a good fit for your sales team?
  • What is the budget for the purchase?
  • What is the process for purchasing?
  • Who are the decision-makers?

How to Qualify Leads at the Opportunity Level 

This probably is what you thought about when you saw the title for this post.

Understanding whether an opportunity is a good fit for your business involves determining if a prospective customer has a need for your offering and if it is realistic for them to purchase and implement your solutions.

The other side of the coin is whether or not your prospect could benefit from your offering.

To determine if your lead is qualified for sales, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the person you’re talking to familiar with your industry?
  • Do they have any challenges that you can help them overcome?
  • Do they have a team that could use this product?
  • Are they the one who has final say on purchasing?

By considering each of these questions, you can determine whether or not your lead is a good fit for your sales team.

How to Qualify Prospects at the Stakeholder-Level 

You’ve researched your prospect and determined that your offer is a good fit. Now, it’s time for you to ask some tough questions.

  • Can your prospective customer decide to buy?
  • Will this be coming out of their budget for the purchase?
  • Who will be involved in making the decision? What is their role?
  • Do they have criteria that must be met?
  • What is the timeframe for their decision?

Qualifying Your Leads: Good and Bad Signs

“It isn’t what you say but how you say it.”.

This is a valuable tip to keep in mind when qualifying a prospect. By paying attention to their tone of voice and delivery, you can glean just as much information as you can from the words they speak. This can help you determine whether or not to advance the sales process.

Here are some signs that tell you whether you should advance the sales process or quickly end the call.

1. Excuses 

Excuses can actually be good.

Excuses help us to understand and resolve our actions with who we want to be. If you’re in a sales conversation and your prospect tries to explain away previous inaction, it’s important to listen carefully. By understanding their excuses, you can help them see how your product or service can address their needs.

This shows your prospect is legitimately busy, or that they wish they had contacted you sooner. In either case, it confirms that their problem is indeed real.

2. Using Specifics 

When you’re able to ask specific questions about your prospects’ goals and timelines, you’re more likely to have a productive conversation.

Listen to their thought process and take note of any stats or numbers they use.

The more specifics your lead has, the more legitimate their problem seems. After all, people who aren’t experiencing any pain or problems wouldn’t bother spending time thinking about it.

While specificity is important, it’s equally important that you aren’t too vague. A client who tells you they want to “quadruple” their sales in “two weeks” is demonstrating a lack of business savvy.

3. Knowledge

If you want to qualify at the stakeholder level, a knowledge check is your best bet. Specificity goes hand-in-hand with knowledge, so make sure you have a good understanding of the topic before proceeding.

A decision-maker who is knowledgeable of their goals, challenges and their needs is more valuable in the sales cycle than a non-decision maker.

4. Inconsistency

A prospect who gives contradicting answers to your questions likely doesn’t know the answer, but is trying to sound knowledgeable.

However, this isn’t a dealbreaker. You can still qualify the opportunity by asking them who does know the answers and continuing to probe.

5. Short Answers 

A contact who gives you one word responses isn’t someone who wants to engage in conversation. Perhaps the problem isn’t as severe as you think, or the prospect isn’t as informed as you’d like.

If you think the problem lies with a specific individual, try reaching out to another member of the organization for help.

If you believe the issue is more widespread, consider disqualifying the entire organization.

Reasons For Disqualified Sales

If you’re having a hard time finding qualified customers, try to filter out the unqualified ones. That way, you can focus on the ones who are most likely to buy from you.

The funnel shape follows the logic of the sales process.

The sales qualifying process is often thought of as the be-all-end-all, but in actuality, we should be talking about the process of eliminating those who aren’t a good fit. By doing so, we can focus on those who are most likely to convert.

By trying to match customers with absolute certainty, reps are opening themselves up to hearing only what they want to hear. This makes them vulnerable to the “happy ear” syndrome, where they only hear positive remarks.

Rather than trying to stuff an item into a container that does not fit, you should remove the item that does not meet the requirements to be in the box.

Why Disqualifying Prospects Isn’t Bad 

Some salespeople are reluctant to eliminate prospects for fear of shrinking their sales pipeline.

If you’re trying to work a lot of leads, you might not be focusing on quality. It’s important to remember that the quality of your leads matters more than the quantity.

As a salesperson, you want to be efficient with your time and only spend it on the best prospects. There is no point in spreading yourself thin across dozens of leads when you could be using that time more productively.

If you try to close every deal that comes along, you’ll only end up with poor fit prospects, while neglecting those who are more likely to buy.

Conclusion

Overall, getting a disqualified sale isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can often be helpful in understanding the customer’s needs and concerns. By using this information to tailor your pitch more effectively, you can increase the chances of making a sale in the future.


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
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  • With the role of HR Manager
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Just to give you an idea. 😀[/sc

Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.