Learn how incorporating strategic B2B partnerships in your sales strategy can make your business experience revenue growth like never before.
Qualifying Your B2B Sales Opportunity with Clarity
Knowing how to qualify your B2B sales opportunities is a big issue in sales. Let's take a breath, get some clarity and learn how you can support your team.
We dream of lots of clients…but what happens when you’ve got too many prospects?
I just got off the phone with Ned*, a regional Sales V.P., who I’ve known for years. He was bemoaning the fact that he didn’t know exactly how to qualify the quantity of sales opportunities from his team. “Our team is seeing so many different B2B leads and we’re scrambling to figure out where to focus our time.”
I get it.
Knowing how to qualify your B2B sales opportunities is a huge issue in sales. It is second only to the other big issue in sales: knowing how to close.
Here’s what we talked about.
Ned said it helped him take a breath, get some clarity, and know-how to support his team. I hope it helps you do the same.
Clarity Spells Productivity
Evaluating leads and identifying opportunities is a big deal. In the old days, this is the moment after a major trade show. You know, the time when you got 800 leads and you’re doing a happy jig. But, then reality sets in. You realize, now the real work starts.
The ultimate question is: where should you spend your time?
The answer is: spend your time where it matters most.
But, if you’re like Ned, you’re scratching your head and wondering…where is that?
Learn About Customer Need
The big answer to this question is to use a specific process. One of the most favored processes in sales is one you probably already use: SPIN. SPIN stands for Situation, Pain, Implication, and Need-Payoff.
SPIN selling is validated in years of sales research. If you haven’t read about it, check out SPIN Selling, a very popular book by Neil Rackham.
The reason SPIN is used by top sales forces around the world is simple. It works. It helps you quickly identify customers who have a situation, pain, implication, and need-payoff for what you’re offering.
This much-loved model is also incredibly flexible. You don’t just use it once and forget about it. You use it over and over and over. You may need to adapt and adjust the specific questions to fit your product or service.
At the same time, asking the right questions according to this 4-step model opens up your thinking. It helps you think creatively. You can use the answers to think ‘outside-the-box’ to develop the best approach personalized to the client’s needs. It can streamline your qualification process and help you save hours of effort, time, and money by avoiding blind spots.
Let’s explore what you’re doing in each of the four stages.
In the Situation questions, you’ll collect facts and background data. This helps you understand specific situational issues such as organizational structure, employee numbers, and geographic layout.
In the Pain questions, you’ll explore problems and challenges. You may be able to grasp what could happen if these problems continue or expand.
This leads you to the Implication questions. This is where you’ll explore how current problems are related to your business solution. In these questions, you can explore money, risk, and time.
This is where you can prove to develop how the implied needs could affect profitability, cost, productivity, safety, compliance, and competitive position. These questions help reveal explicit needs and may link with strategic initiatives.
Finally, you’ll ask the Need-Payoff questions. This is where you’ll discuss the value of improving a process, efficiencies, products, technology, and resource utilization. You’ll explore potential cost savings, added sales, and overall profitability of implementing the solutions.
I’m confident you’ll use the SPIN model and you’ll uncover core needs.
Insights Into Opportunity
As you can imagine, this is a powerful process. It’s where you’ll discover the best match and gain clarity on qualifying your B2B sales opportunity. By asking and answering these questions, you’ll be able to identify how good a fit your opportunity is.
One of the great things about the SPIN model is you’re asking questions—and you’re listening to answers. Listening is where you’ll discover even more relevant data, facts, and nuggets of gold.
This is where you can drill even deeper to identify customers who can share insights into your opportunity, or even accelerate the sales process.
Some of the ways to drill down and gain an even clearer picture require more probative questions. Here’s a sample set of areas to focus on. I trust that you’ll build on these—and adapt to your specific situation.
“How soon are you likely to purchase?” “What kind of timeline do you have in mind?”
“Who is involved in making the decision?” “What is your approval process?”
“How much budget do you have allocated for this solution?” “Who owns the budget?” “Is there a timeline for that budget?”
“Have you considered other solutions to solve this?” “What is your experience with these?”
“What is involved in deciding to change from your current solution?”
“What is your purchasing process?” “Who is involved?”
As you collect the facts and data on potential customers, explore these key areas of budget, time, and strategic focus. It will help you evaluate the best opportunities to prioritize.
Prioritizing with Clarity
If you’re like Ned, you’re feeling a little relieved. You’re not just staring at a vast array of potential without a map and a plan. You’ve got a clear process to help you evaluate your B2B sales opportunities. Using the SPIN process gives you and your sales teams a great foundation. Asking further questions reveals the best opportunities to drill further.
Qualifying B2B leads with a reliable and definitive process helps you and your sales teams work smarter—not harder. You’ll quickly see who is the best fit. By determining strategic focus, values overlap, budget, timeline, competition, change, and process— you’ll spot the most promising leads.
With a clear eye for qualifying opportunities, you’ll focus your efforts in the right place. You’ll help your team up their game with a clear priority on productivity. If you’re envisioning a virtual landscape with shorter sales cycles and greater team buy-in—with Co-Selling, you’ve got the tools to succeed.
With the shift to collaborative selling, successful businesses are shaping the market and realizing significant revenue potential. Partnership Co-Selling is how you can virtually qualify B2B sales opportunity. You can use this to boost sales, expand your network, and grow profitability.
Using a platform like CoSell.io is the simplest way to get your sales team on board. CoSell is a robust platform that makes it easy and fast to automate and scale collaborative co-selling across sales teams.
If you’d like to explore how partnership co-selling can help you and your team boost sales and win major clients fast - check out our selection of free eBooks.