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Are you making these mistakes when qualifying prospects?

Qualification is an essential process of the inside sales cycle. Organisations invest millions in funding SDR (Sales Development Representative) teams that make sure only genuine leads get passed on to account executives. Despite the best training out there, SDRs are human and there are some mistakes that can make the task of an account executive difficult. If you don’t have an SDR structure and qualify your own prospects, it is equally important to get your qualification right.

We have already spoken about building a business case in our earlier blog post and we recommend going through that to understand how to take a good qualification call.

Getting dragged down to a feature level

Your prospect knows what he wants from your product! The prospect has a list of features he wants to talk about, what else do you need? Right? Wrong!

Features are the worst possible way to ‘qualify’ a prospect. Why you ask?

Imagine a prospect with a checklist of features he is looking to check off when evaluating your product, now he takes the same checklist to your competition and the same set of features get checked off there too. So what does the prospect do? You guessed it, the prospect goes for the cheapest solution!

What can you do to make sure the conversation does not end up as feature talk?

Simple, ask the prospect the reason for requesting those features. For example, if your prospect wants a solution that has minimal memory imprint. The correct response will be, so why are you looking for a minimal memory imprint? This question will probably lead to a larger conversation about his current systems and reveal the true value of the feature as opposed to just having the solution.

Failing to sell the value of the follow up call

Are your prospects failing to turn up for meetings you are lining up for them? Probably because they don’t see the value in turning up for the call. Think about it. The prospect was engaging you when you were talking to him but when it came time to talk to your account executive he did not turn up. A common symptom if you are failing to pitch the value of your account executive.

The best way to do this is to first have a value driven conversation as explained earlier and then wrap up the call by selling the value of the account executive.

For example, you could say:

Thank you for the information. I would like to setup a call with our account executive who has helped similar companies like <name dropping> get the best results from this product. The idea is to make sure you make the most of the product/solution.

What time works for you for a follow up call?

Doing zero pre-call research

In the previous point, we mentioned 'name dropping'. This is important because it adds instant impact to what you have to say as a SDR. The only way you will be able to do name dropping will be to do pre-call research. Apart from understanding the industry type your prospect belongs to, you should also research the designation your prospect currently holds and any important information about the organisation.

Did your prospect’s organisation just get fresh funding?

Great! You can add that to your conversation and get an instant connect with your prospect. Did you prospect recently get promoted? Awesome! Make sure you congratulate him. The idea is to establish a human connect and not come off as robotic during the conversation.

Making assumptions and growing complacent

You may have done what you have been doing for 15 years but the day you stop asking your prospects what they want to achieve from the solution is the day you have taken a step back.

Sure, there are only a set number of scenarios that your product/service will fit into. However, the day you start assuming you have heard it all, is the day you start taking your first steps towards complacency.

Complacency is the death knell for any sales individual. Don’t assume anything, approach each call as a fresh slate and you will make the most of each sales call.

Don’t shy away from sharing best practices or past experiences with your prospects, this is the fundamental of consultative selling. However, don’t let your past experiences stop you from probing correctly.

We hope the blog post was useful and look forward to any feedback you might have for us.

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