Sales Prospecting Lead Qualification

15 Best Lead Qualifying Questions To Identify Worthy Prospects

Anirban Banerjee

Anirban Banerjee
Lead Content Specialist, Clari



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Red 'Ask' sign
Red 'Ask' sign

67 percent of lost sales are as a result of sales reps not properly qualifying their prospects before taking them through the complete sales process. 

Yes, 67 percent!

All the calls, the research, the time, hopes, resources, and the efforts to build a relationship with your prospect - all of it goes down the drain. Why? Because you didn’t really qualify your prospects to identify if they are a good fit and whether they will go through with the deal. 

You see, this approach is increasing your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) while there is no Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) on the other side. And that is, indeed, quite a huge bite out of your revenue pie - for nothing. 

Rectify mode on!

Make the best use of your discovery call. When reaching out to your leads, don’t just pick up the phone and start dialing. You need to have a strategy ready, and you need to ensure that there is a good reason to call them again. Get your prospects to answer the right sales qualifying questions that make you understand their pain points, their needs, and buying intent. With this information, it’ll be way more easy to decide whom to give a second call. 

Before we dive into those profitable lead qualification questions, let’s first understand the purpose behind them - sales qualification.

What is sales qualification?

Not every prospect is ready to be converted into a customer. We need to know their needs, desires, and goals to identify whether they are a good fit for the product or service. The prospects who are ready to take the next step in their customer’s journey are the ones on whom the salespeople should focus.

The sales team maintains an ideal customer profile that they can use to compare the lead’s goals and characteristics and determine whether the lead is not a good fit or not. But to compare, you need to ask suitable questions from your prospects that give you clear insights about their top priorities.

For example, you are selling an application that helps the sales team to reduce the time involved in onboarding and training new hires. You found a SaaS business that fits your ideal customer profile. So you went on to set up a discovery call. After a series of questions, you realized that they are starting with a hiring freeze from the next quarter. Despite being an ideal fit, the prospect will not need your product from the next quarter. So, they may stop the subscription to your application or won’t buy in the first place.

Asking the right questions, helps you to identify qualified leads and tells you whether you should spend your time and resources on them. Pursuing the wrong sales lead can cost you dearly.

Nobody wants to burn their bucks. So, are you ready to focus on only and only the worthy prospects? The next question that arises is which sales qualification questions you should ask to qualify leads. 

Top 15 sales-qualification questions to find those who fit:

1. What challenges are you facing at this moment?

Ask yourself: do you make a purchase unless it satisfies your need or desire?

Similarly, a prospect won’t buy your solution unless it is solving a challenge for them. Or a business won’t migrate its systems unless they have a good reason because migration in itself is time consuming from them. So, you need to establish a pain point before going further with the other questions.

2. Did you face a recent inconvenience in your business?

It’s hard to remember what we had for dinner last night. So, the prospects who faced a challenge many quarters ago must have forgotten about it already if they no longer face it. Leads who have suffered from a recent loss in revenue due to market shifts, technological development, or a significant trigger that has caused them an inconvenience, are more likely to choose your product. 

3. Did you face this challenge before? Why do you want to solve it now?

In case the problem did not crop up recently, then what was the reason that they slept on it until now? Has there been another wave of changes and challenges in their company? You need to know all you can to unearth their real pain point and get a sense of their current priorities. 

4. Who are the stakeholders in the decision-making process?

The answer to this question can save you a lot of time. Sure, you can get a lot of information from the POCs you’re talking to, but if they aren’t the ones pulling the strings, things might not end up as you’d like. You don’t need to waste your time trying to charm them and pushing them down the sales funnel. Try and get connected with the decision-makers in the company - those are the ones whom the future of your deal depends on. 

5. Did you face the challenge before? If yes, then how did you resolve it?

A solution has not worked out for them. It’s your time to be their night in the shining armor. If they have attempted to resolve a challenge before, then try to understand why the solution didn’t work out for them. History will also reveal whether they are a good fit for you or not.

6. Are you aware of the impacts of inaction?

If the sales lead is happy being inert, then there isn’t much that a sales rep can do. If they don’t seem like someone to be moved further in your lead qualification process, then the next simple (and sad) step is to disqualify them. Ouch. 

On the other hand, here’s why you should choose the second route: they might not be aware of the consequences that they’d be facing if they don’t solve their business problems now. So, telling them how inaction will affect their business and hurt their margins can ignite interest. And then, if they realize that sense of urgency and see your product’s value, they might go in the qualified leads bucket.

7. What does an average day in your life look like?

This question will form a broad overview for you. You’ll get crucial information about them like, designation, whether they have purchased a solution before, and are they one of the stakeholders. After they answer this question, you can quickly rework the other questions on the discovery call.

8. Does everyone on your team face this challenge?

Someone who isn’t convinced that the challenge is hampering the business is a potential roadblock. You need good objection-handling tactics (something Clari Copilot can help you with on call) to deal with them. This will help you build a sales roadmap and identify how much support your sales reps will need to sell this solution internally.

9. How did you hear about us?

Did they end up here via a search ad or a referral? The path chosen by your prospect that led them to you can tell about the likelihood of conversion. If they got to know about it via a facebook ad, then they still need more information about your product or service. But if they are here via a referral, then they must already know the essential details about your product and want to take it a step further.

10. How much do you plan on spending on this project?

If the prospect doesn’t have a budget allocated for the problem you are trying to solve, then clearly, there is no reason to move forward. After all, they can’t invest in your product without an allocated budget.However, if they plan on allocating a budget soon, then make sure you get a clear word on the timelines and are not led on by ‘ifs’ and ‘whens’. Consider all factors and get in touch with the decision makers to decide if they are worth pursuing. 

11. Can you describe the purchase approval process?

Knowing the decision-maker who will approve the budget and finances for the project will help you seal the deal. Because they have the final say and reeling them in can make the later part of the sales process go smoothly.

12. Are you evaluating any other solution?

You are always running the risk of being taken down by a competitor. That’s why you need to continuously improve. Maybe you have unique qualities but your prospect is already in conversation with another competitor. In this case, they are just using you to negotiate the prices with another vendor.

But make the best of this opportunity and use your USP to make them see how your product is better and you are the right choice. Conversation intelligence tools (like Clari Copilot) give you live competitor insights and battlecards while you’re battling these tricky sales calls. With a sales buddy on call with you, it becomes way easier to bring ‘em deals home.

13. What do results look like to you?

What are their expectations from the product - both quantitative and qualitative? If your product cannot offer either of the results, then sooner or later the customer will churn. So, it’s better to part ways with those sales leads whose success ratios do not line up with what you are offering.

14. How does this problem affect you personally?

Know your audience. If finding the solution directly affects the prospect and their career, then they are an active part of the decision-making process. These prospects can play in your favor when they are discussing the solution with the stakeholders.

15. By when are you expecting a solution in place?

A rough estimate of time will help your sales rep to determine a signing date. And inform the other business departments like marketing teams, and customer success to prepare.

If the customer wants the solution urgently, then you can make small agreements even in the discovery call or lay the groundwork for the final deal.

These golden questions will help you determine qualified prospects. But you don’t have to stop at this checklist. There’s someone who can help you squeeze out more details from your prospects which will help you in the lead qualification process.

Ask the right qualifying questions with Clari Copilot

Are you going on a discovery call without Clari Copilot? Maybe you are risking a deal.

Clari Copilot is an AI-powered sales intelligence platform that helps you identify your prospects’ likelihood of conversion. It sticks with you on your sales call while you are asking the sales questions and gives you metrics and insights that you can use later to identify qualified prospects.

Moreover, with the tool, you can save all the interactions with your prospects and go back to them to prioritize qualified leads who are sales-ready. Clari Copilot provides you live assistance on calls to tackle objections and answer tricky cross questions related to your product, industry, and the competitors. 

Using Clari Copilot is never a hassle. You can integrate it seamlessly with your calendar, slack, zoom, dialer, and more. Book a demo and try it out today!