There are only so many hours in the day and in the week. There is nothing you can do to get or buy more, and this makes time one of your most valuable resources. You can protect this resource by minimizing the amount of time that you spend with prospects who have a low probability of purchasing from you. The best way to do that is to use a process for qualifying prospects to separate the good from the bad, and we will explain how to do that in the SMART Sales System – SELL SMARTER, NOT HARDER.

In order to qualify a prospect, you have to be able to measure or assess how good or bad the lead is. To get a more accurate assessment, you can measure prospects in four different areas:

  • Need to purchase
  • Ability to purchase
  • Authority to purchase
  • Intent to purchase

For prospects to be completely qualified, they should be strong in all four of these areas. That does not mean that they have to be strong in every area to end up buying from you. More so, we are saying that if a prospect is strong in each of these areas, you can consider that person to be a high-quality prospect, and that can give you more confidence in these areas:

  • The prospect has a decent to high probability of purchasing from you.
  • This is a prospect that is worth you spending your valuable time with.
  • It is fairly safe to forecast revenue for this prospect in your pipeline.
  • The prospect should be easy to close at the end of the sales process.

But if you identify that the prospect is weak in any of these four areas, this means that the lead is a lower quality prospect, and you might move forward with these assumptions:

  • There is a decent to high probability that something will prevent this prospect from purchasing.
  • It might not be wise to spend a lot of your valuable time with this prospect.
  • You should be cautious about forecasting this business in your pipeline.
  • The prospect could be difficult to close.

Not only will finding out that the prospect is weak in one of the four key areas help you to be more cautious, but identifying which of the four areas that the prospect is weak can provide clues for what you need to do with the prospect, and we will explain that next.