1. You don’t get derailed by unknown decision-makers.
Part of qualifying is finding out each of participants involved in the purchase decision. Fully qualifying means, you know who the influencers, gatekeepers, internal coaches, users and decision-makers are. Smart salespeople take the time to ask about the buying process, as well as all the participants in the buying decision. That way, you don’t get caught off guard when you attempt to close a sale with a hot prospect and hear, “I’ll have to get my bosses approval for this.”
2. You don’t waste time attempting to sell to people who can’t or won’t buy.
Just because someone agrees to an appointment does not mean they’re a good prospect. It also does not mean you should attempt to sell to them. It simply means they satisfied one criteria from a list of qualifiers. Before attempting to sell anything, qualify the buyer first to determine if it’s a legitimate opportunity.
3. You never have to manage a bloated pipeline full of junk.
Following up with unqualified buyers takes too much time and energy; phone calls, voice mails, emails, cancelled appointments, etc. As a result, you constantly have to explain to your boss why you feel these buyers are going to buy (you just need more time and a lower price, right?). When they don’t buy, it has an adverse impact on your psyche as well. Getting strung along by a prospect who doesn’t buy or hearing endless excuses why they can’t buy wears your confidence down.
4. You spend less time doing data entry.
Managing a bloated pipeline means more data entry. Therefore, you spend more time logging in contact info and follow-up data to track your activity that don’t lead to more sales. That kills your productivity. Who wants to manage the data for a bunch of people that won’t buy from you? Sure, you’ll be busy, but you’ll also be unproductive and unsuccessful.
5. You’re free to spend more time pursuing high probability prospects.
No more overburdening pipeline, excessive data entry and managing follow-ups that go nowhere. Consequently, you’re free to invest in gathering marketplace intelligence, building an ideal customer profile, developing a territory strategy, and pursuing more qualified buyers. Qualifying buyers is one of the best time management tools available to sales professionals.
6. You get more referrals.
Referrals come from satisfied customers who want to help your success because of the value you provide to them. You typically earn more trust and value with your customers than with buyers who make decisions only on price. They are indifferent to the value of a salesperson and see them as commodities. And you don’t get very many referrals.
7. Your closing ratios are higher.
Submitting proposals or contracts to unqualified buyers means a low closing ratio. Lots of proposals, but very few closes. Quoting everyone is not an effective strategy. Instead, when you submit a proposal to a qualified buyer, the chances of landing the sale goes way up. You enjoy the benefits of setting appointments, making presentations and making more sales with high probability buyers.
8. You get more respect.
You’re not begging unqualified buyers to buy from you. You refocus your attention on only those buyers who fit your ideal customer profile. When you do this, your sales conversations change to that of value, instead of begging, product features or simply price. Buyers respect you because you take the time to understand them, their business, and their objectives. You build value. From that you get more respect. Respected salespeople make more sales.