How serious is your buyer?
10 Feb 2020
Is your sales team struggling to manage their pipeline? Are they spending too much time chasing prospects that don’t convert?
This is a common scenario with many potential root causes. Perhaps a new lead source is diluting pipeline quality or the team is overwhelmed with lead volume, struggling to keep on top of their activities. There is also a strong possibility that lead quality is an underlying issue and those prospects being chased aren’t yet ready to buy. It may be time to review and tighten your qualification criteria using, BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) or a similar framework.
It is, however, also possible that those leads have gone through your qualification process and have met the criteria set. The prospect may be telling you they have a need, giving you a timeline and suggesting they have both budget and decision-making authority. They may present a picture based on their understanding at the time but may not be party to the full facts, or they may have an initial vision, only to find circumstances change due to factors beyond their control. With leads of this type, as your sales team digs deeper, the prospect goes off the boil and their initial level of interest wanes. They then become less receptive and less available, a dangerous drain on sales time and effort. To compound the issue, the ‘potential’ size of opportunity based on early enthusiasm or the size of the prospect’s enterprise may lure sales into an overoptimistic view. Consequently, devoting a disproportionate amount of time to chasing these ‘opportunities’ with negative impact on pipeline health, and zero impact on sales. The pressure to hit target risks blurring their judgement further and impacting pipeline management, as they no longer see the woods for the trees.
How then, when these ‘opportunities’ slip through the net, is it possible to differentiate a serious and non-serious buyer and ensure the latter is qualified out quickly so that valuable sales time is not wasted? To help differentiate these two types of buyers, we have drawn up a list of some of the typical behaviours that might indicate whether a buyer is committed or not. We have put these into a simple infographic available here