What do the best managers do to get their salespeople to pick the right prospects? They become the gatekeeper. No prospect should ever get on a salesperson’s Target list until it has been fully qualified against a set of objective criteria, a target business profile.
When helping a salesperson determine a high priority prospect, ask them the following questions using the following criteria: Dollar Potential, Access, and Fit.
- Could this client eventually spend at our Key Account level, if motivated?
- Are there signs that this is a high-margin or high-volume product or service?
- Can this prospect afford to invest in our solution at a level to be successful?
- Could this account become one of the largest accounts our company works with?
- Do they know the decision-making process at this company?
- Have they identified the decision-maker and key decision-influencers?
- What will they need to do to gain access to the decision-maker? How committed are they to doing that?
Evaluate the Fit factors that will have the most influence on your situation.
- Product or Service – Can they benefit from the solutions we offer?
- Local Focus – Do they have a strong focus on the areas our solutions reach?
- Change in Their Business or Category – Is there change in their situation that may create an opportunity for me to help?
- Openness to Solutions – Do they see evidence that they will be open to developing a solution together?
- Growth or Trouble Mode – Are there signs the business is growing or in trouble? Are they in too much trouble to be able to help?
- Seasonality – Which time of year would they benefit most from our solutions?
- Factors Unique to Your Business – Are there factors unique to our solutions that could benefit this prospect?
The best managers know it’s better to do some qualifying work upfront to weed out the time-wasting weak prospects from the best few that are well-worth your salesperson’s time and effort. Making sure to continually help your sellers qualify their prospects will increase efficiency and ensure that your team is on the right track to improve sales performance.