Sales & Sales Management Expertise

Qualifier DNA: The 2nd Must-Have for High Performing Sales Teams

I am reading the blog of Insideview. One of their recent posts is about building a "Rock Star Team of Sales Hunters". 

This is part II of a III part blog post discussing the DNA of High Performance Sales Teams.  The first post discussed the Hunter DNA of a sales person as discussed in the Insideview article. The author highlights a research paper by one of their partners, Vorsight, that has identified a hunting sales model - (DEPT)^T. 

My premise is that there are several strands that make up the DNA of a High Performer, but these are the 3 Must-Have strands necessary to build a ROCK STAR SALES TEAM.

Rock Star Emblem

  1. Hunter
  2. Qualifier (newsletter - Why is qualifying so damn hard?)
  3. Closer
If your sales people won't hunt or can't hunt, then you must have a system or process in place that provides them with leads.  Understand that when you do that you open the door for the Glenngarry Glenn Ross excuse - "It's the leads, if I just had better leads, if I just had some of the Gary leads, I'd close more business".
Assuming for a second that you are dealing with the lead situation either by hiring hunters or hiring telemarketers, let's move on to the next Must-Have strand - the Qualifier.
Here are the skills/characteristics of a Qualifier:
  • Uncovers actual budget - In every type of sale, there is an exchange of consideration for value. In other words, someone pays something for something.  
  • Meets with decision makers - Qualifiers know who is making the ultimate decision, and at some time, actually meets with that person to uncover their concerns, problems and compelling reasons to buy or make a change.
  • Knows the compelling reasons to buy or make a change - Top performers get into deep conversations that identify the root cause for the problems discussed by the prospect.
  • Knows the decision making process - Qualifiers do not assume to know the decision making process. They are not surprised by the phrases "go to committee", "discuss with partner" or "think it over". (Listen to this audio presentation)
  • Asks about everything - They do not leave any rocks unturned.  They discuss all the implications of making a purchase or making a change.  They ask, "What could go wrong to keep us from doing business together?"
  • Discusses finance/underwriting considerations - The budget or investment isn't always about a finite amount of money.  Often, there are terms and conditions of the contract to discuss, an investement of time and an investment of resources necessary to make the desired changes.  Qualifiers DO NOT hear money or investment objections at time of close; they discuss these well in advance.
  • Handles high-ticket pricing issues up front - If the qualifier is representing a high price ticket item, they always discuss the fact that they are not low price and they make sure that the prospect is willing to pay more for the value being brought as part of a solution.
  • Has no need for approval - They do not allow "being liked" to get in the way of asking the right questions. Qualifiers do not fear rejection and are not concerned about if the prospect "likes them".  This doesn't mean that they are rude or unprofessional; it just means that they ask the questions that need to be asked and deal with the issues that need to be dealt with, such as the prospect ending a relationship with a current provider.  
  • Has clinical detachment - Qualifiers stay on track.  Even when they start to see or hear "buying signals", they remain clinically detached so that they continue to ask ALL of the appropriate qualifying questions.
  • Has a supportive belief system about buying - Qualifiers DO NOT subscribe to beliefs such as:
    • People buy from people they like
    • I must educate someome before they can make a decision
    • It's okay if a prospect wants to think it over
    • Prospects are honest
You are probably not going to know without a doubt if your sales people are qualifiers just by looking at these characteristics and skills.  What will help you determine this skill set is to look at movement in the pipeline, and  your sales cycle and margins.  The sales people that possess the Qualifier DNA will be those who qualify prospects, move prospects through the pipeline, and those who have shorter sales cycles than others that don't qualify well and protect margins. 

Tags: sales skills, Qualifying leads, Qualifying skills, Closing business