To work as a sales person is largely about being able to talk and inform about different products and services. But it’s equally important to ask your leads the right questions. If you don’t know your potential customer, how can you assess the probability of a deal? Here are the basic questions you need to ask during qualification!

Like most others in the sales industry, you have wondered which questions are the best ones to ask your potential customers. I think it’s an interesting question, but it’s also an insanely big and complex one. The short answer to the questions is: it depends. Parts of the longer answer contain everything from sales phrases to types of questions, but in this article, I will be focusing on the basic questions for qualification, one of the most common mistakes salespeople make, and which answers you yourself should be able to give:

3xB plus 1xT = probability of a deal

During qualification, you as a sales person try to get to know your leads a bit closer. The purpose is to find out if they are ready to close a deal with you or if you should continue your promoting and marketing. What do you need to know to make a correct assessment? At Lundalogik, we prefer a model called “the 3 B’s” in Swedish (in English it would be N-B-D). The idea is that you as salesperson should ask your leads three questions:

  • What are your needs?
  • What’s your budget?
  • Who are the decision-makers?

Sometimes a fourth letter is added: T, as in timeline.

The questions you ask your leads are about these four areas: need, budget, decision-making and timeline. You don’t have to formulate the question in a particular way – what matters is that you get a clear picture of your lead. What’s the point in trying to sell something to your potential customer when they have other needs or not enough funds? If your lead’s company has many decision-makers and/or a long timeline, you need to take this into account as well.

The most common mistake sales people make

The NBDT model is actually super simple. But some salespeople find it really difficult to use! You need courage and instinct to be able to ask those straightforward questions – or be able to formulate them in a softer way and still get the information you need. That’s why it’s not surprising that one of the most common mistakes that salespeople make, is to never ask those four questions. So take a deep breath and go for it! How could you find out otherwise which leads are hot and qualified? 

Two answers you should be able to give yourself

Not only your leads should be able to answer questions – as a salesperson, you also need to be prepared, especially in two areas: references and “pains” (relevance). These are the two things you are selling initially. Who are your company’s previous customers? And what will someone gain from doing business with your company? Make sure you are able to state your references without hesitation (you find some of our customers here) and have clear examples of what your company can do to facilitate the everyday work.

The bottom line is, that you as a salesperson can ask your leads tons of questions, but there are only four that are crucial. Don’t make the mistake of avoiding them. And be prepared to answer questions yourself – qualification is about getting to know each other!