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Qualification criteria


Disciplines > Sales > Sales articles > Qualifying > Qualification criteria

Probability | Worth | Timescale | Effort | See also


Qualifying is a difficult art at the best of the times, and in many ways, Qualification criteria is more difficult than other forms of qualification.

When you have identified criteria, you can create a numeric value for each deal by scoring and weighting criteria using a Prioritization Matrix.

Here are some of the criteria you can use (though do also consider others that are relevant to your situation):


The probability of the sale can go up and down, and should be tracked, even as a finger-in-the-air 'high, medium or low'. Indicators of the probability can also be tracked, for example the number of people at a presentation and the positive comments from influential customer supporters (and also negative comments from detractors).


The worth of the deal is not necessarily its gross revenue. More likely to be of interest to the sales person is the commission that will gained from the sale. If the sales person's employer has got their commission structure right, the benefit to the company will be proportional to the benefit to the sales person.

Worth can also be assessed in terms of the additional sales and profit that may be generated once the customer has made an initial purpose. There is also value in other aspects, such as when you secure a known brand as a customer and are able to refer to this fact in your promotions.


The likely time when a deal will be completed also affects its value, with deals closer to today usually being worth more than deals that will not come to fruition for several months or even years.

If your are paid based on achieving a monthly target then this can become more complex as you need to manage the arrival of deal closure needs to at least get you across the target threshold for each month. Beyond this, it can be a tricky dance to orchestrate closure to maximize bonuses.


Generally speaking, you should be ready to put more effort into deals that will return a higher value. If you find yourself working hard on moderate deals, it may be reason to qualify them out.

A problem that can happen is when you have your sales funnel full of slow or small deals, each of which needs a little bit of attention. The result can be a 'death by a thousand cuts' as you chop and chase, keeping the plates spinning, but for limited overall reward.

See also

Sunk-Cost Effect, Theories about decision errors


Sales Books

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