One of the most important steps in achieving sales excellence is identifying how to qualify a prospect.  We need to know what to look for to improve our ability to qualify prospects. There are three qualities that we can easily check for when speaking with prospects.


1. Need to Purchase

First, find out if the prospect has a true need to purchase the products and services that you’re selling.  Is it more of a “want” than a true “need” that the prospect has?

By doing so, you could be able to have active discussions with a prospect and secure meetings to demonstrate your products.  Keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean that the prospect is qualified due to it could be a scenario where they really like what you have to offer but do not truly have a need for it.

We could find ourselves in situations where our deals hit a dead-end near the close of the sales cycle when it is time for the prospect to pull the trigger on the purchase if there is not a need for the prospect to buy.  In order to avoid this and how to qualify a prospect, try looking for pain and challenges in the area where our products and services have an impact.


2. Ability to Purchase

Next thing to ask yourself, with how to qualify a prospect, does the prospect have the ability to purchase from us in terms of funding and budget?  Your prospect is not qualified if they have an enormous need for what you’re selling but cannot afford it.

It can feel like a sensitive subject to discuss when finding out if the prospect has the budget to spend.  There are some very direct questions that can be asked to identify if the prospect has the ability to purchase.

“Is there a budget that has been approved for this purchase?”
“What is the budget range that you are trying to stay within for this purchase?”


3. Authority to Purchase

The prospects are still not fully qualified yet if they have a true need, but no budget for it. Also, you need to identify if they even have the authority to purchase in terms of being the ultimate decision-maker.

For example, if you’re an auto salesperson who has been talking to a prospect for two hours and has checked all the boxes in terms of building interest and finding needs, but the ultimate decision maker is the spouse who isn’t there, the prospect isn’t qualified.

By simply asking the prospect what the decision-making process is, you easily determine if the prospect has the authority to purchase and how to qualify a prospect by getting the prospect to explain that to you step-by-step; the explanation typically uncovers the ultimate decision-maker and whether or not the prospect is that person.

SalesScripter provides a sales script tool that helps sales pros with how to qualify a prospect.