The Importance of Good Qualification

It is a pet hate of ours and others that when a customer is talking and providing good insights into their or their company’s thinking a colleague interrupts. We are sure you can remember when this has happened to you. As Richard Branson said “Listen more than you talk. Nobody learnt anything by hearing themselves speak”.

Understanding your customer is a fundamental tenet of good sales practice. Sales people need to consider it a privilege when a customer explains what their problems are and how they think they can solve them. This information is the stuff of good selling. Without this knowledge you cannot reasonably qualify an opportunity. And without good qualification there is every chance you will either quote the wrong thing or worse still walk away from a great opportunity.

Of course, understanding the customer is not just about knowing one person’s perspective. A customer is an ecosystem. Good sales technique requires supporters, detractors and processes to be identified and understood. Then most importantly, all that customer understanding needs to be placed in the context of the market, the customer’s position in the market and last but not least, your company’s position in the market. All these facts together enable a good qualification process to be carried out – and increased sales to be achieved.

During the sales cycle many initial qualification statements will be tested and positions modified as new information is obtained. The competition is out there. They are different from you. Their solutions are not identical to yours so they will be influencing the customer to think their way. You must do the same and just as importantly, you must revisit the original qualification exercise.

A good qualification process enables the sales team to understand early on in the sales process what information they have and critically what information is missing. By rating the quality of data against a range of factors a plan can be determined to generate a more complete picture of the opportunity and your company’s probability of winning. Periodic qualification reviews in the light of new data will keep the sales team and sales management focussed on the key understandings necessary to close the deal.

Cloud 9 Solutions Disruptive Selling program is built on three pillars. The first of these is Understanding. Our sales training pays particular attention to the qualification process. We focus not just on the course work but on how you take the learnings back into the workplace. We have developed a qualification tool that we encourage you to use following our classroom training.

Qualification is never complete. You can always learn more and improve your chances of winning. Having a strong qualification process is an important part of increasing your sales success.