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Qualify Your Way to Success in Sales

I ran into this clever graphic recently (credit below). It reminded me of the most common problem we see in client's sales programs: lack of QUALIFYING. All of the circled bullets are related to qualifying.



1. If you're not calling the right people, it's probably because you haven't defined the "right people". Who is your ideal client? Why? How do you tell the right ones from the wrong, in your intial research and throughout your qualifying process? 2. Personalized value is about whether you bring high value to your client. If you're not asking questions that illuminate that value - to you and to them - you're not qualifying whether you can help. And without value in the relationship, you won't close the sale. 3. Prospecting is about moving the qualified relationships toward making customers, and eliminating those that aren't qualified. Meaningful prospecting metrics are measuring your sales team's qualifying behavior. Qualifying begins with marketing that preferentially attracts ideal clients, and ends with an agreement on an acceptable proposal and price. A lot of people aren't comfortable with qualifying because it means rejecting opportunities or inquiries if they don't fit. Scientific salespeople are especially afraid to qualify. The sales cycle in our world is long, so we hate to reject any opportunity and limit our pipeline. We present our capabilities and results, because as scientists we're more comfortable presenting than asking questions. And - I hate to say it! - scientific companies often prioritize their tech instead of their sales programs, resulting in poorly set expectations, off-target metrics, and lack of training for the team. Remember, you can't say "Business is great, we just need sales." Your business's function is to get and keep customers interested in what you do. Sales is the function of a business, and qualified prospects are your path to sales. Graphic from Brian Bresee, via Jack Derby's blog. Highlighting is my own for emphasis.



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