In B2B sales, one of the most powerful tools that reps should be using are great questions. By asking the right questions, reps can not only discover which prospects are a suitable fit. Reps can also discover which pain points each prospect is experiencing, as well as what goals they are looking to accomplish. By asking the right questions, reps can suss out the competitive landscape. They can then help their prospects subtly move toward a buying decision.
Most B2B salespeople are familiar with BANT:
- What’s your Budget?
- Who has the Authority to buy?
- Do you have a Need for this solution?
- What’s your implementation Timeframe?
Going beyond BANT, there are several often overlooked questions that you should consider asking prospects. Here are seven powerful-yet-overlooked sales qualification questions.
What Part of Your Job is Most Frustrating?
This question is designed to help you discover your prospect’s primary pain point. If you can identify your prospect’s frustrations, and offer solutions to them it makes it that much easier to close the deal.
How Have You Tried to Solve That Problem So Far?
This is an awesome sales question because their answer will virtually always offer insight into where in the buying cycle they are, as well as how their organization is structured. For instance, are they investigating other solutions? Are they trying to cobble together budget? Are they trying to get buy-in from key decision makers?
What’s Your Current Solution’s Financial Impact?
One of the most time-worn sales qualification questions is “Who is your current provider for [fill in the blank]”. However, this question alone is probably going to yield a short answer that tells you little-to-nothing about whether they’re a suitable prospect. By asking what the financial impact of their current solution has been you can discover how happy they are with their current offering as well as how open to change they are.
What Led You to Start Looking for a Change Now?
If a prospect is looking to make a change, it’s important to understand why they are looking to make that change. Identifying catalysts that are driving a desire to implement change is incredibly important to your strategy. For example, did they just get budget for a solution? Is your prospect a new hire with a mandate for change? Do they have a lease or policy set to expire? Their answer can help you to identify how big of a priority buying your solution is.
Can You Envision Our Solution Helping you Achieve [One of Their Primary Goals]?
After discovering what your prospects primary goals are, try to draw a direct line between your solution and achieving those goals. Help them imagine a better reality that awaits them by investing in your solution. If they are unable to see how your solution can help them reach their goals, then it’s up to you to help them see the ways that your solution can make a difference for them.
What has your process been like when you implemented similar solutions?
It’s vital to know when a prospect wants to implement a solution. But it’s likewise crucial to make sure that implementations are successful. That’s why you need to know whether they have the resources in place to handle a successful implementation. One of the best ways to discover this is to see how they’ve handled similar implementations in the past.
For example, some SaaS solutions may require training, administration, custom development and more. Make sure that prospects understand the scope of implementation. If it seems like they don’t have the resources to handle a large implementation up front, consider lowering the scope of the deal. This is a strategy I picked up from a webinar we did with sales consultant Andy Paul. Starting small can be an excellent way to prove value. And once value is proven, it’s relatively easy to expand. As Andy so eloquently puts it, “Land and expand.”
Are there Any Issues that Other Stakeholders May Be Concerned With
In B2B sales, it’s rare that there is only a single decision maker. There are usually stakeholders from a variety of departments, each with their own set of pain points, concerns and goals. During discovery calls, it’s vital to not only identify who other stakeholders are, but try to get insight into what they might be concerned with. This will be extremely valuable when you’re attempting to form a coalition of stakeholders to approve the deal.
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