21 Best Sales Qualification Questions
Qualification is one of the most important stages of the sales process. That’s why it’s vital to ask prospects the right sales qualification questions.
Bradley Davies, former SDR and Account Executive at Cognism, defined sales qualification as:
“The process of evaluating whether a prospect is a good fit for your product or service.”
“The core principle is to identify the prospect’s pain and judge if your solution can fix it.”
Sales qualifying questions help you quickly determine if the prospect is a good candidate for the next stage of the sales process.
At Cognism, we teach our sales team to qualify new leads according to the BANT criteria:
- Budget - Is the lead willing and able to spend?
- Authority - Is the lead the ultimate decision-maker?
- Need - Does the lead have a problem that your product can solve?
- Timing - Is the lead looking to buy quickly?
All of the questions we recommend our SDRs ask during sales qualification are based on these four areas.
And here they are! Scroll 👇 to see our list of sales-qualifying questions.
The top sales qualification questions to ask your prospects
1. What are your current business growth goals?
This sales-qualifying question helps you understand if your product can help the prospect achieve their goals.
If there isn’t alignment or they have unrealistic goals, this can be the basis for disqualification.
2. What regions are you looking to prospect into?
Understanding the prospect’s target regions determines whether your product is relevant. If they target regions you can’t support, you can disqualify them.
3. How does your sales team generate new leads?
It’s useful to get an idea of the prospect’s lead generation methods. They could be ineffective or might not align with your target market.
This could qualify them as an unsuitable prospect.
4. What does your current sales strategy look like?
This sales qualification question tells you if your offering corresponds with the prospect’s sales strategy.
What you’re looking for here is a good fit - if their B2B sales strategy is incompatible, it might qualify them out.
5. Who is usually involved in buying decisions for new tech?
Are you looking in the right places? If your prospect doesn’t have decision-making authority or if the decision-making process involves individuals who aren’t relevant to your offering - this could disqualify them.
6. What tools are you currently using?
Knowing the tools a prospect uses helps assess the compatibility and integration potential. If your solution doesn’t work with their existing tech stack, it’s time to move on!
7. Have you used data providers in the past?
This qualifying question sheds light on whether the prospect values your kind of solution.
If they’ve never used data providers or have had negative experiences with them, it could indicate a misalignment.
Note: you can replace “data providers” with whatever category your solution falls into.
8. What did you like about them? What did you dislike?
Guess what - the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour!
Gathering feedback on their past experiences helps assess their preferences and expectations. It’s another way to identify a mismatch.
9. Are you in a position to take on new clients right now?
This is a big one; does the prospect have the capacity, resources, and readiness to engage in a new business relationship?
If not, you can disqualify them for now.
10. What are the key challenges or pain points you face in your industry?
A nuanced understanding of the prospect’s pain points allows you to understand if you can solve them.
If your product or service can’t solve their challenges, that’s solid ground for disqualification.
11. What are your expectations regarding pricing negotiations?
The intention behind this qualifying question for sales is to identify wiggle room for a pricing agreement. Perhaps they have unreasonable pricing expectations, or they demand discounts. Either could make a pricing agreement difficult.
12. Can you provide an overview of your current budget allocation for new purchases?
Ultimately, the buck stops here. This lead qualification question assesses whether the prospect has the financial resources to invest in your solution.
If your pricing is out of reach, or they’ve allocated funds elsewhere, a sale isn’t looking likely.
13. What is your decision-making process for purchasing new solutions?
A clear view of the prospect’s decision-making process is invaluable. A convoluted process, or one that involves excessive delays, could result in misaligned timelines and expectations.
14. What are the specific criteria you consider when evaluating potential vendors?
This line of questioning evaluates whether you meet their requirements and differentiate yourself from competitors.
If their criteria are incompatible, it’s time to look for the next opportunity!
15. What level of support and training do you expect during the implementation phase?
This is about understanding if you can provide the assistance the prospect needs to get up and running.
It can be a disqualifying factor if their expectations go above and beyond what you can provide.
16. What is your timeline for deciding on a new vendor?
This lead qualification question is a temperature check for the prospect’s urgency. If their decision-making process lacks any clear timeline, it could be time to move on.
17. What criteria do you use to evaluate new solutions’ return on investment (ROI)?
Results are important! Understanding what your prospect is looking for helps assess alignment.
Their ROI criteria may be unrealistic, or they might prioritise factors your solution can’t directly impact, in which case - it isn’t a match.
18. What are the key performance indicators (KPIs) you use to measure the success of your sales efforts?
The prospect’s KPIs tell you if your solution can contribute to their desired outcomes.
If the KPIs aren’t related to your offering, expectations may not align.
19. How do you typically handle vendor contracts and legal processes?
This qualification question gives you a view into how the prospect approaches vendor contracts and legal processes. A history of prolonged negotiations could be a sign you’re incompatible!
20. What are your expectations around integrating a new solution with your existing systems and tools?
The goal of this sales qualification question is to understand if your product can integrate seamlessly with the prospect’s existing infrastructure.
If their requirements exceed your capabilities, it may indicate potential challenges.
21. How do you typically handle contract renewals?
Asking this question gives you insight into the prospect’s approach to long-term partnerships.
If there’s a long history of vendor changes, it can be a red flag to drop the deal and move on to the next opportunity.