How to Better Qualify Sales Prospects to Increase Win Rates

qualify sales prospects for solution selling

Sales reps who ruthlessly qualify sales prospects consistently outperform their peers in terms of revenue, profits, and consistent retention.

Why?  because they focus on prospecting and selling their best solutions to their best clients.

Best Clients = Target Clients
Let’s start with a definition of target clients.  Your target clients don’t just buy from you.  Target clients passionately buy and use what you have to offer.  They do not just need what you offer; they must have what you offer.  They are not merely satisfied with what you offer; they are thrilled with what you offer.   These attributes create repeat business, referrals, and testimonials to help build your business. And, in turn, sales reps have shorter sales cycles, less headaches and better results with target clients.

Target client profiles for B2B companies should include your ideal target industry, geography, size in terms of revenue and number of employees, title(s), role(s), and function(s), and buying triggers – i.e. the biggest challenges they face that you solve.  For B2C organizations, also consider attributes such as their profession, where they live, income level, marital status, number of children, age, gender, employment status, ethnicity, education level, religious beliefs, health, decision-making style, sense of humor, etc.

Best Solutions = Differentiated Solutions
In addition to knowing who their best target clients are, the best sales reps help their clients to succeed by focusing on what their company does best.  Some call this a unique selling proposition (USP) or unique value proposition (UVP).  Regardless of what you call it, it is worth the time and effort to determine what specifically makes you better than your competition in the eyes of your target buyers.

You will know you have a unique value proposition that matters when your target clients find what you have to offer is relevant to what matters most to them, different than what others can offer and is supported by believable client experiences or research.  The clearer you can be about what specifically sets you apart while substantiating your ability to follow through on your promise, the better.

Qualifying Prospects
Once you know the definition of your ideal target client and what sets you apart from the competition, it is time to effectively and consistently qualify sales prospects.

Do you find yourself frequently reaching out to prospects without making much progress? Or is your sales cycle too long?  Consultative selling training best practices would say that you are not using your time to advantage.  To succeed, you need to be more exacting in choosing target prospects.  In addition to having a strong sales qualification process, one smart approach is to use your web site to help you qualify prospects by being clear about who you want to work with, what you stand for, and what makes you different.

  1. Be Clear.  Do not shy away from what makes you unique.  Offering compelling articles and research, client case studies and customer testimonials that highlight your unique value proposition for your ideal target client.  You are not trying to be all things to all people.  You are trying to be the best option for those who should care the most.
  2. Let Prospects Identify Where They Stand.  Set up online health checks for target prospects to learn about their most pressing problems and benchmark where they stand to help determine if your solutions fit.  This provides a great way for clients to experience how you think, behave and work.
  3. Share Insights.  Design a “keep-in-touch” system that shares frequent and value-added insights so you maintain contact with interested prospects who may come back to you later when their need fits with your solution, products and services.

Your goal is to maximize your time and to qualify sales prospects by weeding out those who do not fit as well with what you have to offer compared to the competition.

To learn more about improving the solution selling skills of your sales team, please download The 6 Top Reasons Sales Training Initiatives Fail

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