Everyone in sales can tell you a story about losing, it is part of the business. That feeling you get when your client calls and their mood is so melancholy, and they inform you that you and your team did not make the cut. Sometimes you were so sure you were going to win you told Sales Management that the deal had a 90%-win probability in CRM. It is a terrible feeling after all the long nights and extraordinary efforts you and your team invested. Those who had been burned by the loss reflect on what went wrong realize that sales qualification should have been much more complete throughout the sales process.
Top performers excel in the understanding that sales qualification is executed during the entire sales process. It is much more than asking questions from a list; it is the ability to discern the answers and then know what follow on questions and activities need to develop to advance your position. Sales qualification is a critical success factor to Win; it avoids wasting time and money. Good Sales Qualification is especially needed with opportunities with complex sales processes that require extensive financial investments to compete. It is paramount the art of qualification be mastered when the deal environments require a round-about or change-the-rules sales strategy vs. the most overused and unsuccessful strategy of Head-On or Feature/Function selling. (Check out our other posts on Sales Strategies Defined).
When it comes to sales qualification, there is a simple approach to ask if there is room for improvement for your sales organizations ability to execute proper sales qualification. Be truthful and ask yourself two simple questions:
1. Are you outperforming continuously (feature/function assessment) your top three competitors?
2. Is your win-rate on new logo pursuits above 60%?
If you answered No to either of those two questions, there are excellent odds your sales teams are overlooking the critical success factor Sales Qualification.
Expertise in sales qualification includes many skills, tactics, and techniques and becomes robust over time from experience in competing. This expertise has been especially more useful with the changes in the sales function since the great recession where the requirement to get Sales Strategy right is more pronounced. As most sales professionals are dealing with an increase in numbers of decision makers with a reduced sales-cycle time when sales get involved, sales teams must master the art of qualification to counter both the growing discontent clients have against being sold to and the pronounced decision criteria given to the “Theme of Consensus.”
Sales qualification has dimensions that are both art and science and can be difficult. However, you do not have to wait until you have 15-20 years of sales experience to master the skills required for today’s sales qualification. FHS Associates has developed over the last 25 years tools and techniques to ensure your sales organization can learn the art of qualification. With proper implementation of coaching, tools, and techniques, sales professionals with your organization will be able to execute sales qualification successfully.
FHS Associates is a respected and discerning Enterprise Sales Execution Company. If you are having issues and challenges with your revenue engine, we would love to consider being with you to accelerate business improvements in your sales function. Contact us at FHS Associates to begin your business improvement! At FHS Associates we stand ready to address your concerns. Reach out to www.FHS.Associates and schedule a conversation.