Qualification is a process – not a single event – and even internal and reactive salespeople should be fully skilled in asking a small number of basic questions regarding precise requirements, time scales, budget, competition etc. before they are prepared to reveal their price and delivery.
External salespeople have the opportunity to meet with prospective customers and it is far easier to extract information face to face, than it is via the telephone. However, it is vital that some initial answers are elicited prior to that first exploratory meeting in order to ensure that the meeting will be worthwhile to both parties. With sales costs spiralling upwards and sales time becoming limited, considerable prudence is required on the part of the salesperson.