Climbing Mount Audacity

20: Sales Qualification

Do we do? - Genuine opportunity? - Can we win it? - Can we deliver it? - Is it worth winning? - To know when to say “no”

You will remember from my sales overview diagram below (see blog) that if you are fortunate enough to generate an opportunity from a meeting (or, indeed, any other source), you need first to qualify it via your sales qualification process.

sales qualification image 01

Figure: An overview of the key elements of selling

That is, you need to determine whether it is worth your while, based on reasoned probability, to invest your future time, monies and opportunity cost in pursuing this potential sale over and above alternatives.

Sales qualification

As your firm grows – and the option set grows in this regard – this becomes a really key sales management skill. Far better to focus on winning a few pieces of profitable work that you are well matched to than competing mediocrely for everything you come across.

With respect to developing your consistent, firm-wide sales disciplines, I recommend you introduce some light-touch formality here – albeit this just to facilitate the right internal discussion and to make an inherently judgement-based decision.

To illustrate, the figure below shows a simple tool (available to download) that can be used for this purpose (at Moorhouse, we called it our Do we Do? sheet). As can be seen, it is an easy checklist to ensure a rounded examination of the multiple aspects of such a decision:

  • Is there a genuine opportunity?
  • Can we win it (in terms of our service proposition and our relationship with the prospect)?
  • Are we confident we can deliver the work (and delight the client in so doing)?
  • Finally, is it worth winning from a financial and/or strategic investment perspective?

sales qualification image 02

Figure: An illustrative qualification checklist

A key point to make here – which often comes with experience – is that executing a business strategy often comes down to knowing when to say “no”. At the very least, incorporating a simple qualification step into your forming set of processes, will ensure you always give this (important time-triage) aspect attention early in the sales dialogue.

Please send me
My free sales qualification tool
Free sales opportunity qualification checklist

So, what’s next?

Next week, I will continue my focus on selling and how to build a sales capability with a look at how to win and develop (carefully targeted) new accounts.

Hopefully, you’ll join us on this journey. It’s totally free, and you don’t have to be a Method Grid customer (though you’re more than welcome to sign up for a free trial here).

We’ll be releasing a new post each week. To get each post emailed to you as soon as it’s published, sign up for the Climbing Mount Audacity mailing list below.

The first post in this current thread (all focused on how leading firms develop a systematic selling capability) can be found here.

Climbing Mount Audacity…
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We're sharing everything we know about how to build an awesome professional service firm (and enjoy the journey en route!) PLUS travel updates, reflections on our stumbles and general musings on our Method Grid journey.

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