Qualification Intel

A couple of my customers recently have shown me a one-page doc they use to assess deal Qualification.  In the main, most sales training materials will have some kind of qualification checklist element. 

Probably the most widely known is “scotsman”.  It suggests you should conjure up questions/scenarios that come under the headings: Solution, Competition, Only us, Timeframes, Size, Money, Authority, Need.  The checklist part is that you have a scale of responses to each question, ranging from the one where you feel if applicable you are bound to be in a strong position, right through to one you don’t like the sound of. 

So, as an example under ‘time’, you may have a question that says “when is delivery required”.  Possible responses could be ‘yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, whenever’. And depending on which one of these applies, the trick is in finding or influencing an account so that your preferred response is theirs also.

The problem with such checklists, are that they’re a stand-alone word doc, and sales guys – whilst all acknowledging their usefulness – rarely fill one in.  Consequently, such an imprtant part of the process is rarely embedded as part of the sales persons campaign routine.

People have different names for them as well.  The two I just came across are called “Key Security Indicators” & “Opportunity Assessment Worksheet”.  Just these names alone should provide insight into why they are useful.  The former relates more to questions on scale and relationship, helping to identify areas where we are weak and need addresssing.  The latter sees more whether a deal is in a sweet-spot range, and if not how it could be moulded so.

Not only great for salesreps, I believe that if you as a sales manager say that nothing can go on the forecast without your Qualification Checklist, then you will make more sales.  So, to help, I’ll dig out some of my old ones to illustrate further….

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