Before starting @Funnelll , I was the IBM regional digital sales manager in Middle East and Africa for their SaaS portfolio. I have taken the revenue for the portfolio from $0 to $1M in 3 quarters and then to multi-millions of dollars afterwards.
Here is the one thing I teach my sellers on how to increase their win-rate; Validate early, validate often.
The easiest way to validate your lead that is to establish the BANT criteria: Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline.
Ask questions like:
Need: Why are you considering us?
Understand the need the customer wants to fulfill. Are they a good fit for your product? Be honest about it. Your customer will do their research anyway so you can save yourself and them time early on.
If your product is a good fit, try to establish their Compelling Reason To Act (CTA). E.g. if you are selling cloud storage and your customer's servers are almost full, then they have a compelling need to buy your solution (or your competitor's).
Budget: Do you have a budget set for that?
This is more essential for high ticket items in B2B. Enterprise customers usually plan a budget before the end of their fiscal year and will stick to it the year after. You need to make sure that your product is accounted for in the budget or, if not, understand if it is in the budget planning and when the budget will be allocated.
Timeline: Are there any timelines or deadlines you need me to be aware of?
You need to understand if the customer's compelling reason to act has urgency or a solid timeline. In the server space example, that would be when the customer estimate they would totally run out of space. Always follow up with What happens if you get our product 30 days later? You want the customer to object to delays or otherwise the timeline is not as solid as you think.
For Enterprise customers, you need to also ask for the length of their procurement process which might prove lengthy and delay your deal closing.
Authority: Do you have any internal approvals you need before proceeding?
Here, you need to assess if you are talking to the sole decision maker, one of them, or an influencer. You want to make sure you understand who all the decision makers are, where they stand, and their criteria to going forward with the deal.
BANT is a simplest form to validation. In my teams, I use an 8 criteria validation method called Trust Thermometer that also establishes if customer is considering other competitors, their decision criteria, decision process, among other things.
If you are interested in learning more about the Trust Thermometer or get advice on what your questions should be for your product, let me know in the comments.
Happy selling :-)