All sales veterans know that simply following a sales process doesn't guarantee a deal will close. Qualification along the way is critical to ensuring you don't lose a deal late in the sales cycle.
A key component to qualification is building strong requirements for your solution. Here are some great questions to ask yourself when trying to define if you have strong requirements.
Do the decision criteria reflect the business & technical requirements of all constituents, especially those of the Economic Buyer?
All players in the buying process must be able to connect the dots between the technical features and the positive business outcomes that the customer is hoping to achieve.
Have the Requirements been influenced by you or your company?
It's important that you not only understand the Requirements, but also influence them. If you don’t exert influence, you can be sure that your competitors will.
Were the Requirements written by the customer?
Although your job is to assist the customer in building the decision “shopping list,” the customer needs to feel ultimate ownership of these requirements. This ownership will ensure that your competitors are accountable to these requirements.
Are the Requirements measurable, quantifiable, & weighted?
To be useful during the technical and financial validations, the Requirements must be tangible. In other words, the customer needs to know when the requirements have been successfully satisfied.
Do the Requirements include Technical, Financial and Vendor considerations?
The technical validation ensures a fit between the requirements and the solution capabilities. The financial justification ensures that the solution will achieve the desired business results that are funding the initiative. Finally, the vendor selection process ensures an organizational fit between the customer and the solution partner.