How the Best Sales Appointments are Never Qualified
In B2B sales one of the biggest overheads for the business can be the outside sales reps. Salaries, Benefits, Cars, Travel, Accommodation and expenses can rack up very quickly, especially if we are not getting the results we are looking for. It makes sense therefore, to maximize our resources as we simply cannot afford to have our sales people calling on unqualified sales prospects. We have all been taught various methods to qualify our prospects, the most well know being BANT (Budget, Authority, Needs and Timing). I am not advocating we stop qualifying those prospects however the best sales appointments will never pass any form of qualification and here’s why.
The traditional methods of qualifying sales prospects works with companies who follow what is called Demand Fulfillment sales process. This quite simply means the sales process is geared towards fulfilling the demands of our prospects. They come to us already armed with a Budget, the Authority to buy, a Need and a Timescale in place. This will work to some degree, however, this means the buyer is at the end of their Buying process and are most likely organizing a beauty parade of suppliers, from which they can choose their favorite.
The reason the best sales appointments are never qualified is when we move away from Demand Fulfillment, to a sales process of Demand Generation. This means we are approaching buyers before they even know they have a problem, pain or business need. Once we establish the need we can help the buyer create a business case complete with ROI, so they can apply for budget. We can approach the other stakeholders in the business, who have Authority in the Decision making process, identify the Timescales they are working to and most importantly, help shape the end solution to give us the edge over the competition.
BANT and the many other Qualification processes may work for some, but I personally will take an unqualified meeting any day, and am more than happy to work with any prospect on BANT and help them justify the Budget, build Authority, develop their Needs and establish the appropriate Timescales – surely this is what Professional Sales People do?