Sales funnel.

How to qualify a sales order: Tips from our webinar with Dan Fisher

Nolan Gray Tips & Tricks

We just wrapped up the second installment of our three-part webinar series with Dan Fisher, founder of Menemsha Group. This time, Fisher ran through steps sale reps can take to be sure they fully qualify a job order before using the time and resources to fill it. Here’s what to do to find out if you should move forward with the job order or let it be.

Set client expectations
The road to better job qualification starts with setting expectations with your client. One thing sales reps need to keep in mind here is that a job description is not the same thing as a job order. Once you receive an email asking you to fill a position, your work is far from done. You need to get on the phone with client to hash out the details.

But don’t just call the client up expecting to chat. You need to tell the contact what you’ll talk about. Send a message thanking the person for their interest in your staffing agency, explain you have a number of follow up questions and provide a guess at how long the conversation will take.

Here’s the thing – according to Fisher, this first step is actually part of the qualification process. If the contact is hesitant to get on the phone with you, the company’s probably not serious about filling the position.

Qualify the compelling event
Once you’ve got the client on the phone, start asking questions. It’s important to find out the compelling event for the adding the position. What problem is the company trying to fix? What business result will the new hire bring? Another way to ask this is: what would happen if the position went unfilled? If the client’s staff could knuckle down and eliminate it, the client isn’t likely to need your services.

Job qualification call
Qualifying job orders save you time and money.

Qualify the budget and funding
Budget and funding are not the same thing. Just because your client budgeted for the position doesn’t mean the funding currently exists. Don’t be afraid to ask the client directly if there is available funding. Fisher suggests asking permission from the contact before you dive into questions like this. Luckily, being direct tends to lighten the mood. Also don’t be afraid to tell them if the rate they want to pay the hire is unreasonable.

Qualify the interview process
Once you’ve determined the client has the resources for the hire, it’s time to nail down interview times. Time is the most precious commodity for decision makers, so if you get them to carve out some time for interviews, chances are you’re on your way to qualifying the job order.

The decision-making process
These days, it’s rare that one person will sign off on a new hire. It’s likely you’ll need to run the hire past a team of stakeholders. Learn about all the key players in the interview process and whether the interviews will be face to face, or if telephone or Skype would be OK. Finally, find out if the client expects the potential hire to prepare anything specific the interview – it’s your responsibility to position your candidates for success.

“Using the right staffing tools is key.”

Qualify the purchase process
Finally, there’s one more step to go before you’ve fully qualified the job order. Hiring a new person takes a lot of work and there are many steps involved. It’s easy for a busy decision maker to get bogged down in the details and stall. Find out about the purchase process so you have awareness into the progress of the sale.

Use the right tools
Making placements requires you to manage many different workflows, and access to the right technology is a key part of success. Menemsha Group’s Quota King software helps guide staffing agents through the sales cycle and support them through the sales process. Meanwhile, Jobscience’s staffing software enables you to keep track of the top talent and gain more insight into your own processes.

The third and final webinar in our series with Dan Fisher is scheduled for August 11. During “Cold Calling Techniques that Can Take your Agency to the Finish Line. No Joke,” we’ll talk about why cold calling works and how to do it effectively. We hope you can join us!

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