I get a lot of leads and I only want to do demos for qualified people. By qualified, they have to have access to $100k or more in capital.
Before, I was putting them in our sandbox (software), but that opens me up to more questions.
I find spending time on dead end leads takes time from pursuing HVT (high value targets). I know sales and prospecting has a balance, but there's got to be a nice, non-confrontational way to handle this.
You can set requirements, but the real time wasters just b.s. me to get you to do some free consulting, so I would rather not go that route. Also, the last thing I want to do is alienate a potentially good customer w/ these hoops. I am worried that sometimes, in an attempt to avoid bad customers, I will avoid some potentially very good customers ;)
So, my question is this: How can you pre-qualify your leads before spending the time and money to give them a demonstration of the software?
You have a few options:
You also may want to consider that smaller companies or people not yet established have an interest in the software/services you provide and while not ready to buy yet, will remember how well you treated them and how you helped them when it is time for them to buy in a year or two. Part of sales IS giving free advice and consulting. Are you in this for the short term buck, or is this going to be sustainable. You have to grow your customer base - sometimes that means getting fully-fledged businesses and other times it means watching and waiting until a prospect grows into it.
As for filling out forms and surveys:
I recall last summer I helped a friend with a fleet of trucks try to identify a flee management solution - one of the companies made us fill out this long, silly form in order to get a demo. it was ridiculous. It was a huge time waster for us and no excuse to impose that kind of thing on customers.
We have a survey to understand our client better, we say this helps to tailor the demo to be relevant to them because our product is so configurable.
Some of the questions are Size/volume questions, no of employees etc.
From this we either send key sales people, arrange a webex demo or if they are too small they can't answer sufficent questions and we recommend a more suitable alternative.
Often we ring them and just ask verbally because many won't get around to filling out the form.
Yup. Classic tradeoffs, how do you reliably separate the wheat from the chaff?
Is there the possibility of doing a recorded demo that people can view/watch online? That can help eliminate some of the basic time-waster stuff.
Not sure what exactly your product and market is, but I'm pretty sure there are some ways to make better decisions about who is genuinely interested and who is wasting your time.