What is Sales Qualification?

Sales Qualification

One of the most crucial interactions a salesperson may have with a potential customer is the discovery call.

For you and your prospect, it’s a fork in the road: either they’re a good fit for your product or service to justify addressing future steps, or it’s time to split ways.

Making that decision, however, is easier said than done. This is where the value of sales qualification is realized. You can evaluate whether the connection should continue and the necessary next actions to take if a transaction is eventually possible by asking the correct questions.

What is sales qualification?

Sales qualification is the process or stages of evaluating a potential prospect against a specific set of variables that establish customer-product-fit. It’s a tool that makes it easier to figure out if the possibilities in front of us have the qualities we’re searching for, making them a great fit for getting the most out of your product or service.

Sales qualification is a crucial procedure that assists sales teams in choosing which leads should be prioritized first and which should be rejected or saved for later. As a result, over the years, several qualification frameworks have been created and deployed. The purpose? To make the lead qualifying process more simple, relaxed, and implementable. As business processes changed over time, several different sales qualification frameworks were created. And yes, we will look into them in more detail later on in this blog.

But first…

What is the significance of sales qualification?

Sales qualification is essential to the customer since it helps them make the best use of their time. It also aids the customer in describing the issue he or she is attempting to solve, while also aiding the buyer in obtaining executive support for funding the solution.

It’s essential for the vendor since it helps you save time. It ensures that all of your activities have a monetary impact. It shows the opportunity’s flaws and makes it clear as to what has to be done next. Furthermore, it destroys the element of surprise.

What are some excellent qualifying questions to ask a potential customer?

The qualifying questions should not be closed-ended that can end on a simple “yes or no” response. Instead, it should be an open-ended inquiry but should not force a response from the prospects either.

For instance, a few ideal questions for your sales qualifying process could be:

  • What are the difficulties you’re presently dealing with?
  • In your business operations, what type of changes/results do you expect?
  • Are you utilizing any services to help you fix the problem? If that’s the case, what makes you want to alter it?
  • What is your project’s expected budget?
  • Who else is a part of the decision-making team? Will they be able to participate in meetings directly?
  • In your team, who would be the most likely to utilize this product? Is it possible for me to speak with them one-on-one?
  • Is it okay if I contact XXX about the contract and payment details?

After we’ve posed these questions, we’ll either qualify or disqualify the prospects.

How do you qualify a lead?

The prospect list must be reviewed at each level of the sales process. Although qualifying and rejecting prospects happens throughout the sales process, the majority of the evaluation happens during the discovery call.

The sales qualification process should be done on these three prospect qualification levels:

·        Organizational level

·        Opportunity level

·        Stakeholder level

Let’s take a closer look at each one now.

Prospect qualification at the organizational level

This level tells you whether or not you should pursue this idea further. Qualification can also be accomplished by comparing buyer personas and determining if they match.

A few pertinent questions that you could ask at this point are:

  •  Is the prospect’s demographic profile similar to that of your buyer’s persona?
  •  What is the size of the company? Do you work in this field as a salesperson?

Prospect qualification at the opportunity level

This level tells you whether or not the prospect will profit from your services/products. This stage is all about evaluating the prospect’s problems or pain points and figuring out how your product or service may help or meet their demands.

The Opportunity Level Prospect Qualification also indicates whether or not the prospect in need of your goods or service can afford it.

Relevant questions at this level could be:

  •  Do they have any problems that your product/service can help them with?
  •  Are they familiar with the types of products or services you provide?

Prospect qualification at the stakeholder level

Assume the prospect matches your buyer profile and is a good fit for your products or services. Now is the moment to ask them a question that will prompt them to make a purchase.

At this point, you could ask your prospects the following questions, for instance:

  •   Who established the criteria for this purchase?
  •   Is this a buy that you can’t afford?
  •  Who else in your organization is engaged in this product’s buying decision?

How do you eliminate a prospect?

To begin, determine whether the prospect fits your buyer persona. If not, it’s a good idea to disqualify them right away. Your firm may be able to assist them in the future, but now is not the time to do so. Second, if the prospect isn’t suffering any problems, your product/service isn’t necessary. This may be established by speaking with the CEO or the person in charge of the entire budget. Finally, if you question a prospect about their company’s strategic goals and they don’t respond, you should consider excluding them since they lack clarity and desire to make a purchase choice.

Remember reading about qualifying frameworks at the beginning of this blog and wondering what it was? Well, let’s find out!

What is a sales qualification framework?

A sales qualification framework aids a sales professional in conducting a complete evaluation by applying a set of predetermined criteria. A discovery call is made in the early phases of a sales interaction with a fresh lead by a sales professional. Whether a lead is qualified or disqualified is frequently determined by the outcome of the discovery call. It’s not always easy to make the best option, which is where sales qualification frameworks come in. A sales qualification framework aids salespeople in determining whether or not to continue the connection.

What are the benefits of using a sales qualification framework?

Not every lead will be a suitable fit for your product or service, which means that not every lead is worth your attention. Sales qualification frameworks enable you to rapidly distinguish between prospects with a plethora of interests and real leads with the potential to become customers. You can better manage your resources if you know which leads have the potential to become future sales. When a lead completes a qualifying framework, you can more confidently and precisely anticipate the closure timeframe and forecast sales revenue, resulting in a greater return on investment.

Different sales qualification framework

Qualifying your leads is critical because it connects your sales staff with potential verified clients who are an excellent fit for your business, saving everyone time and money in the long run. That’s where a lead qualifying framework comes in—the proper one may help you qualify your leads quickly.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the various lead qualification schemes.


You’ve probably heard of BANT. That’s because it’s the most widely used lead qualification framework; not because it’s the greatest, but because it’s been there for a while. Some elements of it are a little out of date. The arrangement of the letters in the BANT acronym indicates that “budget” is the most important element to consider when qualifying leads under this framework. The problem with this, according to some sales leaders, is that it prioritizes the demands of customers over their budget or authority.

BANT Sales Qualifying
  • BUDGET – How much money is the lead willing or able to spend?
  • AUTHORITY – Is the decision-maker for acquiring your goods or service the lead?
  • NEED – Will your product or service meets the lead’s business needs or assist them in achieving a goal?
  • TIMELINE – Will the lead put your product or service into action soon?

For prospects, it’s akin to coming into a jewellery store with your hair in a bun and wearing a sweat-stained tracksuit and being ignored by the owner. Why? Because you don’t appear to be the “type” to shop there.

This is one of the primary reasons BANT is losing popularity, especially now that we are in the Relationship Era.


FAINT Sales Qualifying
  • FUNDS – Begin with the leads having the largest bank accounts.
  • AUTHORITY – From those big baller accounts, target the leads who have the authority to decide whether or not your product or service will be acquired.
  • INTEREST – Get these leads interested in you by educating them on how your product or service can assist them to take their business to new heights.
  • NEED – Determine their needs and how your product or service can meet them.
  • TIMING – Obtain a verbal commitment from the lead to buy from you and a timeline for when they intend to do so.

The rationale here is similar to that of high-end clothes businesses catering to an affluent clientele. They will purposely conceal the price tag within the clothing—or will not display the price at all—forcing visitors to focus entirely on the product itself while choosing whether or not they like it.

Many times, leads have money but haven’t committed it to your product or service. So, under this paradigm, just leave the money conversation out of the equation at first and concentrate on piquing the decision-makers interest and desire. Demonstrate how your product or service will assist them in meeting their goals. When they’ve acknowledged they need it, reveal the cost when you ring them up at the pay register.


ANUM Sales Qualifying
  • AUTHORITY – Determine if the lead is the one who makes the purchase choice for your goods or service.
  • NEED – Determine the needs of the lead and whether or not your product or service can meet them.
  • URGENCY – Will this lead make a decision soon, or will it be a lengthy process?
  • MONEY – Do they have enough money to purchase your product or service?

While they do share similar traits, ANUM and BANT are not the same things.

The key distinction is that, unlike BANT, where creating a lead’s budget is the first goal, a lead’s decision-making authority at their firm is. In this framework, money is the last topic!

Many salesmen prefer ANUM over BANT because they know they’re talking to a decision-maker rather than someone with no purchasing power, so they know their efforts are being directed to the proper person.

Plus, rather than going straight for their wallet and bank account balance when you first start conversing, the focus is on developing a genuine, trustworthy connection with this individual.

Now it’s your turn.

Effective qualification is critical to a sales success. Your ability to discover prospects that are a suitable fit for your company will make or break your company. Prospects who become satisfied customers result in improved word-of-mouth, recommendations, and the potential for cross- or upselling. And to do all that, it has to be done properly!