Sales staff unsuccessful at the end of the year? The reason is almost always the same: they spent too much time on deals that didn’t close. Avoid this next year by using the SCOTSMAN sales model.
As Lord Sugar’s trusted advisor Nick Hewer has reminded us in season after season of The Apprentice, it’s vital for salespeople to qualify opportunities before they expend any significant effort on them. Failing to do so is a recipe for wasted time, wasted energy, and, ultimately, missed targets.
How is such an crucial aspect of sales so easily overlooked, especially when it’s one of the most important aspects? Let’s take a look how the SCOTSMAN technique can help your staff qualify opportunities, and why they should do so.
First Things First: Learn How a Lead Needs to be Qualified
There’s no generic definition – it varies depending on the customer – but to be qualified, an opportunity would have to include these key elements:
1. Interest from the prospect in relation to the sale.
2. Identification of the right person to approach in the organisation (the decision-maker), and some sign of interest from that person.
3. Initial work matching the customer to the product or service of value to them.
There’s an industry mechanism for opportunity qualification called SCOTSMAN. that allows staff to quickly and accurately analyse and qualify leads. It’s based on eight aspects of a sale’s potential and value, and outlines questions sales staff should ask themselves before investing time and resources into a prospect.
Why Qualify Leads?
Done properly, this type of sales qualification is a quick way for staff to determine how to prioritise their efforts and time. It helps identify the opportunities that should (and deserve to) take up more time – e.g., the more lucrative and/or stronger ones – so that staff waste less time pursuing leads that are less likely to be closed or to contribute to the company’s overall strategy.
Consistent sales success depends on sizing up opportunities and focussing on the ones with the greatest potential. Doing anything else is a waste of valuable time and energy.