Demonstrating the Importance of Sales Qualification and Discovery
Account Mangers/Sales Reps: Are you finding it difficult to conduct sales qualification and discovery calls with your prospects? Here are some ways you can “sell” the importance of discovery:
“Help me help you” – in order to not waste the prospect’s time (or ours), it’s critical that we know what they’re doing and where we potentially fit.
Use the request for discovery to determine how serious the prospect is. If they won’t let us talk in advance, that may be a sign that they’re not ready to buy, we’re “column fodder,” or we’re engaged with the wrong stakeholder(s) or the wrong level in an organization.
Sales qualification and discovery must precede the demo!
Quid pro quo. Commit to invest resources and or show a demo commensurate with the amount of information they give. If they’re not willing to give us the information, politely invite the prospect to avail themselves of information on your website. They can show how serious they are by putting some skin in the game.
Consider “pulling back” or “walking away” when the customer is not willing to engage in discovery to determine how serious they are, and to show that we value their time as much as we do ours. If they’re serious, they may actually insist on talking with you.
If a prospect asks you to “give me a demo” but won’t engage in discovery, make light of it by saying something like, “Do you have 3 days so I can show you everything we’ve got?” Obviously, we wouldn’t do that, but it makes the point that without guidance we won’t know what to show them.
In summary, spending more time up front in qualification and discovery allows you to get the information you need and focus on opportunities where you have a higher probability of winning.