It’s Q4-Time to Qualify Your Pipeline


Share on LinkedIn

Welcome to Q4! Is now the time to qualify your pipeline?

Far too often, sales managers get involved too late in
qualifying specific sales opportunities that their salespeople are pursuing.
The manager discovers that the “sure-thing” deal is anything but a sure-thing.

The sales opportunities your salespeople are working on
right now will comprise the lion’s share of your team’s sales revenue between
now and the end of the year. The most successful sales managers recognize the
importance of getting involved early in a sales process (like October), not
only at the end of a sales process (like December).

The best sales managers know that the size of the sale is
determined at the beginning of the buying cycle, not the end. That’s
where customer needs are determined. So, now is the time for you to get
involved by asking some probing questions of your salespeople, to qualify your
team’s Q4 pipeline. Here are a couple of my favorite questions to ask
salespeople before they deliver a demo to the customer.

  • What are this prospect’s two biggest problems?
  • Why are they experiencing these problems?
  • What factors, or criteria, do they consider
  • Have you met with a 2nd
    decision-maker yet? Are any decision-makers opposed to our solution?
  • What specific actions has the customer taken,
    thus far, in their buying process?

For the purposes of sales forecasting, what matters is not
what your salesperson is doing (their sales activities). What matters is what
actions the customer is taking in their buying process.

Customers who are sincerely interested in your solution will
take specific actions as they move through their decision-making process. For
example, they may serve as a “sponsor’ for your salesperson, and help your rep
to meet with a 2nd decision maker, they’ll schedule an hour for a
demonstration. They’ll call your references. It is these actions by customers
which truly qualify a sales opportunity, so find out from your sales rep what
actions the prospect is taking.

A sales manager who waits to get involved too late, in the
“close” step, will often recognize mistakes that the salesperson made weeks or
months prior. Don’t let this happen to you! To increase your win rates and
increase deal-size, ask more probing questions of your salespeople early in a
sales cycle to ensure that your team finishes the year strong!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kevin Davis
Kevin Davis is the president of TopLine Leadership, which provides sales training and sales management leadership training programs to companies from diverse sectors. Kevin is the author of "Slow Down, Sell Faster! : Understand Your Customer's Buying Process & Maximize Your Sales". For more information visit


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here