When new leads are generated and added to your sales pipeline, not all of them convert. The challenge for sales is then to only focus on intent-rich leads, which is where you need to know them better. Sales qualifying questions help you gather information from your prospects, which later helps you filter out high intent leads.
Nurturing these high intent leads then helps you focus on those leads that are likely to convert. Hence sales qualifying questions make for an important part of the sales process, enabling you to find and nurture high intent leads.
Throughout this article, we’ll extensively cover sales qualification questions you should ask your leads along with why and how you need to ask those questions.
Why Qualify Sales Leads?
Sales Lead Qualification is part of the sales process and enables you to filter and segment leads in your sales pipeline. These segments can be based on what product features leads are interested in, how soon they’re looking to buy, etc., which is what you want to base your sales qualifying questions on.
As your qualification criteria get more granular, your lead qualification accuracy goes up. The accurate and quick lead qualification enables you to better prioritize and nurture leads in your pipeline. This helps you nurture more qualified leads per cycle, convert more leads and generate more revenue as a result.
What are Qualifying questions in sales? They are sales questions to ask customers who’re evaluating your product, so you can gather more information on them, later to segment and prioritize them for your team to nurture.
So next, let’s explore some qualifying questions examples you could use in your introductory calls and meetings to ask your prospects and qualify them.
20 Sales Qualifying Questions To Filter Leads
1. What Problems are you facing?
If a prospect is buying your product or service, there’s likely a problem they’re looking to solve with it. You could assume what these problems are based on the utility your product serves, but it’s important to assess how your product might impact the prospect’s business. Knowing this could help you judge the prospect’s intent and urgency to buy the product better.
2. Which solutions have you tried?
Asking this question will help you ascertain if the prospect has used existing products to solve the problem earlier. This might include competing products and companies, and knowing about it beforehand will help you better position your product while nurturing them.
3. Why are you switching?
In continuation to the last question, knowing why your prospect is switching from a solution they previously used is also essential. It will help you understand what your prospects DON’T want and rule out the possibility of them facing the same problems with your product.
4. Are you evaluating other solutions?
Knowing whether or not your prospects are evaluating other products or services signals if they’re a serious buyer. By asking them regarding other solutions they’ve evaluated, you can understand their priorities and requirements, that they haven’t mentioned yet. Some buyers only evaluate new products to be able to negotiate better with other companies they’ve evaluated. Hence it’s also important to know if their interest in your product is genuine while asking this question.
5. Potential threats for not solving the problem?
Ask what the consequences of not finding a solution to the problem might be. This will help you know how quickly and urgently the prospect is looking to buy. If they don’t have threats from not solving the problem, you can nurture them with lower priority due to their lack of the need to hedge against such threats.
6. How badly do you need the problem solved?
As a follow-up to the last question, you can ask your prospects regarding their plans on finding and implementing solutions. Prospects who’re more desperate and motivated to buy a solution can be prioritized and closed earlier, and vice versa.
7. How did you deal with such problems previously?
Getting to know how your prospects dealt with the problem until now can help you understand why they’re switching, and why they didn’t earlier. If there were gaps in their systems that your product now solves, it can help you build a compelling case for your solution.
8. How much did pay to solve the same problem previously?
Asking how much their organization spent on solving a need before they approached you will give you an idea of the floor level of their budget or spending power. This question can be used to evaluate the prospect’s spending capacity to procure your solution on the lower end.
9. Which of our product’s features are you interested in?
When the prospect is evaluating your product, there might be a core feature (or a few non-core ones) that they might find fit for them. Knowing what these features are will help you judge their long-term value. For example, if they want your solution for a feature that can be replicated by a competitor or isn’t as sticky, they’re likely to churn early. If that’s the case, you can de-prioritize them in the pipeline.
10. What is your budget for this project?
For products that have non-standard or custom pricing plans, knowing what your prospect is willing to pay is crucial to help you price your product better. You can also use this question to prioritize prospects with bigger budgets, so you can close them earlier and book revenue in that cycle.
11. Who makes the final decisions?
Inquiring about the decision making process in the deal can help you find and reach out to these decision-makers later on into the process. Apart from that, if your prospect happens to be the decision maker, you can then prioritize that deal to nurture the prospect and move them to further stages of the cycle.
12. How does product procurement work at your side?
This question helps you understand the procurement process on the prospects’ side. It’ll help you draw a timeline around the deal. if it’s supposed to happen rather smoothly or take longer than usual. This will enable you to reach out and follow-up with the prospect as the deal progresses as per their processes.
13. How quickly are you looking to complete the deal?
If the prospect is looking to wait it out before they make a decision, this question will help you ascertain that and move them up or down in priority. You’ll also get to know from their preliminary evaluation of the product if they’re looking to buy soon.
14. What problems could possibly stop you from buying?
A small minority of deals tend to fall through the cracks – and asking for reasons that might lead the prospect to make such decisions will help you qualify them better. You can also structure the deal so as to fit your prospect’s needs and requirements, and avoid pipeline drop-offs.
15. Are you considering building your own solution?
Based on the kind of problem being solved and your prospect’s priorities, it’s important to know if at some point they might consider building their own solution. If you find such prospects, you can de-prioritize them as they’re likely to have lower LTV and churn earlier.
16. Does our product fit well with your needs?
While it might sound like a trivial and obvious question – there’s more to it than that. The reasons behind how and why your product fits your prospect’s needs will help you qualify their intent to buy, and prioritize nurturing them in the pipeline
17. Would it be difficult for you to adopt our product?
If your prospect has already tried your product, knowing if they found it difficult to adopt it can help you involve success and support teams. This question would also help you push your prospect in trying the product if they haven’t yet.
18. How many people are planning to use our product?
Knowing how many people might use your product will give you a better idea of the deal size. Based on how quickly your prospect is looking to close and the number of seats they’re looking to purchase, you can prioritize their deal, offer them discounts, priority support, etc.
19. What kind of results do you expect out of our product?
Apart from solving the problem, they came with — it’s also important to know if your prospects are expecting more out of your product. Ask them what kind of end result they expect out of your product, and what success looks like to them. This will help you manage expectations better and enable your prospects to get to their goals.
20. What are the next steps for you to move forward?
When on introductory calls, asking for the next steps can give you signs of your prospect’s eagerness to buy. You will also end up drawing out actionable out of meetings with prospects, which will help move the deal qualify and close quicker.
Once you have answers to all these qualifying questions for sales, it gets easier for you to know which prospects to prioritize and move forward with. But if you have a large funnel of leads, qualifying each and every prospect by taking on introductory calls can get messy and tedious.
So here’s how you should approach lead qualification at scale, to speed up your sales lead qualification process
How To Qualify Leads At Scale
Having a massive pipeline of leads to filter through, and reaching out to each and every one of them isn’t practical. Especially so when you don’t know much about these leads.
Here, you can use lead enrichment tools like Clearbit that will help you find firmographic data on each of your leads. This data can help you apply basic filtering techniques to weed out the lowest intent leads, so you can then move ahead with the filtered leads that are more likely to buy.
Now that you have a list of filtered, quality leads, thanks to enriched lead data – you can start reaching out to them to set up meetings, or directly send them sales qualifying questions.
Automated Email Outreach
As mentioned in the last step, you’ll now need to reach out to your filtered list of leads in order to ask them pre-qualifying questions for sales. You can do this by automating your sales qualification email outreach using tools like SalesHandy.
Using Campaigns on Sales Handy, you can send personalized, multi-stage campaigns to your prospects without having to do it manually for each of them.
Here’s a video that shows you how to send automated email campaigns.
Once you send out your sales qualification outreach campaign, you can also track engagement on your emails. This includes push notifications on email opens, clicks, and responses, so you can respond and follow up with them while they’re still online on their mail client.
Look for genuity, urgency, and intent
The majority of how to qualify a customer in sales has to do with eliminating irrelevant leads from your pipeline. Asking the best sales qualifying questions like the ones in the article give you signs on either their intent, urgency, or genuity when it comes to buying from you.
Throughout the process, your objective should be to find the leads you can provide the most value to — which is what will help you find and prioritize closing quality leads. With added help from tools and services that enable you to enrich lead data and automate outreach, you can scale your qualification process and close high intent leads before your competitors can.
What are your thoughts? Do you use questions apart from the ones listed above for your qualification? Let us know in comments.