One of the most critical and challenging jobs of an inside sales rep is to ask the right qualifying questions.
Every business and sales executive has a different objective and process, but these three basic qualifying questions apply to any B2B sales situation.
Question 1: What is the unmet Critical Business Initiative (CBI)?
- How is this measured? In dollars, numbers, percentages?
- What would be the impact if you could do more at the same level?
- How fast can you make a difference?
- What was your past performance?
- How much do you want to improve?
Pro Tip: This is a great point to add a sense of urgency. "If you can increase revenue by xx% in just xx days, how will that help your organization grow?
Question 2: What is the buying process?
How can you avoid delays and best prepare for successful on boarding or installation? Your goal with this question is to know who needs to be involved in the buying process and if there are any barriers to closing the sale.
Are there IT, legal, finance or other risks?
Pro Tip: Moving the deal along. There are often competing priorities within an organization. You need to get your project on the fast track and treated as a top priority. Be careful not to expect this priority. Act as if you're second in line.
Question 3: Who are the key buying personas involved in the buying process?
In my experience, there are at least two people involved in any sale. For a technology sale that usually means the business driver (sales, marketing, HR) and technical/administrative (IT/Legal/Finance).
Who else will benefit from the solution your product or service provides?
Often buyers have both personal and business motives for making decisions. Understanding those motives will help move the deal along.
Pro Tip: Typical Buying Motives by Function:
- Sales Team = Better quota attainment
- Sales Management = Increase revenue
- Finance = Higher margin, better return
- Marketing = Better campaign lift
Asking the right questions when qualifying will help smooth the way to a faster and more profitable sales process.