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recent post spoke to the necessity to make certain that every lead, regardless of source, is captured into a central CRM system.

A next step is to establish some standards and rules that will be become a key part of your sales methodology (the methods or organizing principles underlying the art and science of selling). These should be unique to your particular company.

First, let’s talk Sales Qualification Ratings.

It is common to rate prospects by using designations such as A,B,C, or Hot, Warm, Cool.  The key question to answer is what constitutes an A prospect, a B prospect and so on.  Too often, ratings are not defined and are subjective by each sales agent:

  • The optimistic sales agent may rate someone that is planning to buy in 6 months and is not yet financially qualified an A prospect, while…
  • a more conservative agent may categorize a prospect that has confirmed a 90 day window to buy with cash in hand as a B prospect.  Different strokes for different folks.

Why should ratings be consistent and not open to interpretation by individual sales agents or teams?

  1. You can compare Apples to Apples – A common view of prospect qualifications offers deep insight into the quality of your sales ‘funnel’; hence the ability to forecast sales.
  2. You can more accurately predict and potentially influence sales velocity.
  3. You can better coach and implement more timely actions for success.
  4. You can implement a unique sales process and communications tactics for sales-ready prospects and a different process for those leads that need longer term nurturing.

Following is a simple example of a sales rating system.  In leading CRM systems, the terminology and the attributes can be refined to your own lingo:

Rating Terms A,B,C,D,Z Buying Attributes based on attributes of ready,
willing, able to buy.
A Has 3 of 3 buying attributes – ready, willing & able. You would define your rules relative to each attribute for timelines, financial capability, status, etc:
B Has 2 of 3 buying attributes.
C Has 1 of 3 buying attributes.
D Just shopping – No buying attributes established.
Z No interest/no intention or, our products not a fit.
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