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Use this checklist to qualify your leads.

Jonathan Farrington

As I have highlighted in a number of articles dealing with opportunity assessment, having a tilt at every windmill that presents itself, is neither practical nor profitable. Qualification, is a core competency that every professional salesperson should take on board as quickly as possible. Working to the maxim that “All business is good business” is unrealistic and totally erroneous. It takes just as long to work an unprofitable opportunity through the pipeline only to lose it at the death, as it does a profitable one – the ability to determine which is which, can have a huge impact on your ultimate success in a front-line sales role.

The following is an explanation of the S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N. a very basic but nevertheless, accurate forecasting and qualification system. There are eight qualification elements that should be considered for each potential client. If you identify five or more areas which are positive, then the client is worth entering into the sales funnel and progressing further.

S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N. will not only allow you to identify potential buyers, but will also enable you identify areas which need converting, in order to ensure that you achieve the sale.

• Is there a solution you can supply and support?
• Can it be matched within your companies’ current portfolio?

• Are you aware of who you are competing against?

• Can you offer something ‘original’ or unique to this potential sale?

• Are you aware of their timescale?
• Is their timescale reasonable?
• Does it fall within you own ‘sales cycle’ criteria?

• Is the potential order value worth the effort?
• Is your company large enough to handle it?
• Is the potential client of a size that you would normally deal with?

• Is there a budget allocated?
• How much is it? Is it approved?
• It is reasonable; can you provide a decent solution for that amount?

• Are you speaking to the right person?
• Do they have the authority to make the decision?
• Do you know who else is involved?

• Are you aware of all their needs?
• Can you match them?

In Summary:
As the value of the product, service or solution increases, the depth of the qualification should increase proportionally. Equally, it is important to remember that qualification is an ongoing process, not a single event!