Once the lead has reached the top of the sales funnel they will then go into the sales-specific qualification stage. As your sales reps pick up the lead from marketing/BDR, they need to immediately adopt a disqualify-first mentality: expect the lead to not be good enough and only move them on to the next stage when the rep is completely satisfied they could take them all the way to Closed-Won.
It’s at this point that the acronyms start flying around: BANT, CHAMP, FAINT, GPCTBA… there are plenty of choices. They all come down to expanding on the issues your BDRs identified that should make these ideal customers. At InsightSquared, the sales team uses RAMPACT. This allows the reps to dig much deeper into the pain points and abilities of a prospective client. It means they can find out everything that they need to know about a prospect quickly, and that they can qualify or disqualify them easily:
RAMPACT stands for:
- Requirement—Does the prospect have a real, genuine need for your solution. This is the backbone of the whole deal, so finding out as much as possible is vital.
- Questions to Ask: Is this solution a nice-to-have, or a need-to-have? What will happen if the problem is not addressed? What are the implications to the company if this problem is addressed?
- Authority—No one makes a decision in a vacuum. In any large company, even the CEO might need legal or finance to sign off on a purchase. Beware getting caught with just a single contact at the company.
- Questions to Ask: After your decision, what happens next? At what stage does legal and finance get involved?
- Money—Obviously this is a vital piece of information. If there is no money available then, no matter what else, they won’t be buying your product.
- Questions to Ask: How do you prove ROI? How did you set up your budget?
- Priority—Any growing company is likely to have a number of competing projects running at once. Finding out where this particular project will rank within internal priorities can help you judge whether this is something they are going to take seriously or not.
- Questions to Ask: Is solving this issue something you consider urgent? Where does this project rank in importance?
- Action (Mutually Agreed Next Action)—This is an oft-missed step but one that can really help to reduce your sales cycle. Deciding with the prospect exactly what is going to happen next takes any ambiguity out of the equation. If you get mutual agreement on the next steps, then everyone has a clear objective.
- Questions to Ask (In this case a statement rather than question): We’ll talk again this time next week, when I will have got you that extra material, and you’ll get your CEO on the call.
- Competition—If your prospect is savvy, you won’t be the only solution they’r looking at. Know who or what you are up against so you can devise an appropriate strategy.
- Question to Ask: Who else on the market are you looking at for this type of solution?
- Timelines—Another step which is all about getting your sales cycle shortened and moving prospects between stages. It’s important that everyone knows what the timeline should be at at what stage a) you are at now, and b) which stages key decisions have to be made.
- Questions to Ask: When is the earliest you’ll be able to make this decision? When do you want us to meet your key objectives?
Rest Of Funnel
Once an opportunity has passed the qualification phase, it should only be a matter of demonstrating the value of the product. If you’ve performed the (dis)qualification process properly, everything else should be in place for success. But that doesn’t mean reps shouldn’t be wary of any signs that the prospect could still be Closed-Lost. Warning signs might be:
- A change in your contact within the company
- Suggestions that the budget might need to be lowered
- Less contact overall
Spotting these signs comes down to the individual reps own acumen, and the sales leaders ability to coach reps successfully.
No rep, nor company, wants to turn down opportunities. But by building a concrete disqualifying process you allow yourself more bandwidth for high-value opportunities, ones you know will end on closed-won conversions. Not only does it lead to more revenue, but it also means your metrics will be on-point, giving you a more realistic version of your sales pipeline.