Post originally published in 2014
We have written a few articles about collaborative qualification and how to select and apply the right sales qualification tools – including SCOTSMAN and BANT. These tools are quite familiar to B2B sales and teams that focused on a considered sale. Yet, we see some challenges:
- As clients are self-selling on websites, they will pre-qualify (assuming they find buying content on the website). This changes the role of sales-led qualification.
- BANT is a proven model, but the focus is on qualification from the seller perspective, it works better to qualify OUT the opportunity rather than qualify IN the opportunity. It does not help build a collaborative relationship with the client. It is confrontational.
- SCOTSMAN is another great model as it offers a nuanced approach, but it is hard to remember each of the elements in the mnemonic on the fly. Sales reps may need to pull out a cheat sheet which can be difficult in the heat of the moment. ( See our other post on BANT and Scotsman to learn more. )
So what is the right approach to sales qualification? We suggest a collaborative approach using FACT.
Toward more collaborative sales qualification using ‘FACT’
We know that the web and inbound marketing environments have changed the buy-sell cycle by giving buyers more control. Buyers are more educated and often self-qualified before they engage with a sales person. So sales lead qualification today requires a shared responsibility between marketing and sales.
A more collaborative approach to qualification should be embedded in the marketing-sales process to guide a prospect through the stages of MQL, SAL, SQL. Marketing and Sales will share qualification duties and each qualification stage should have content targeting key buying personas to support the buy-sell experience.
SCOTSMAN and BANT both have their place in lead qualification, but we decided to use the FACT Qualification Tool to encourage a more collaborative process.
FACT Qualification Model: Fit – Alignment – Competition – Timeline
Fit: (Are we a mutual fit?)
- Is the client within our target segments where we bring the greatest value?
- Does the budget range fit the work and is it comfortable for both parties?
- Does the buyer perceive value in relationship and solutions offered?
Alignment: (Are we aligned on the buy-sell process?)
- Is the buying criteria aligned with our solution value proposition?
- Are decision makers engaging in a collaborative process?
- Are there too many firms bidding?
Competition: (Is there a path to a win-win opportunity?)
- Do competitors offer any significant advantage based on the buying criteria?
- Does the prospect express a negative bias toward our company or people?
- Do we have any unique competitive advantage?
Timeline: (Does the implementation timeline work for both parties?)
- Are the prospect’s plans and timelines realistic for a successful outcome?
- Is there a compelling event driving the decision and can we can deliver?
- Will the buy-sell process demand more resources than we effectively manage?
Benefits of using FACT Qualification Questions
- FACT is an easy Mnemonic to use, similar to BANT. It is easy to remember and use.
- FACT is designed to be more collaborative with the client and non-confrontational.
Contact us to get a copy of the FACT qualification model.