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What are some Red and Green Flags you look for on early-stage sales calls?

What the title says. What type of things are you looking for from prospects to build your understand of the quality and probability of the deal moving forward? Can be good signs (green flags) or bad signs (red flags).

πŸ“ˆ Closing
β˜‘οΈ Qualification Calls
11
Haast
Notorious Answer
+9
Account Executive
The more they try to tear your product apart, the more likely they are to buy at the end of the cycle.
KPIMaster
Politicker
+4
Enterprise Account Executive
Greatest advice I was given early on in sales β€œyou should feel like you’re losing until you win,” not really losing IMO, but they should be thinking of real life scenarios and following up to see how they can solve them with your product.
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
I like that too, when it's a no BS deep dive with legitimate questions and challenges, it shows they are serious and want to make the right decision.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Can't agree more
Savagedoge
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Bad signs first:
1. When someone says, I like to keep an eye on all the cool tools in the space.Β 
2. When you ask about timeline, they say something on the lines of "in the next 2-3 months. (That's BS and not really priority for what I sell and my average sales cycle is about a month)
3. When they say ask to discuss pricing 10 minutes into the first call.Β 

Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Question about #3. Do you draw a line between pricing discussions and questions about contract terms? I like when people start asking about contract terms because it shows they are imagining us getting to that point sooner rather than later, but I agree that if they are immediately demanding pricing then it's likely not gonna happen.Β 

Any thoughts on getting around the quick demand for pricing in a way that keeps the deal moving?
chips_aHeu
Opinionated
+1
Account Executive
#1 hurts and is all too relevant if you work in the β€œAI” space
Robot
Politicker
+7
Account Exec
First off, do you even have the decision-maker in the call?

Then the tipping scale begins to sway.

Are your first disqualifying questions big hitters, or are you missing the mark? If you have great questions that both earn trust and probe deeper than a normal convo, then you will find what you are looking for.Β 

I honestly look for small cues in budget based on growth discussions first. i.e. what has caused your team to consider procurement? Was last year a success for you during the pandemic? Etc.

Then I look for a decision cue. Use the best judgement to squeeze out how prepared they are for post-purchase implementation. Are they prepared to immediately move on your offering and use it or do they need to "discuss internally" and prolong this inevitable close?
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Great points! Thanks for the reply.
KPIMaster
Politicker
+4
Enterprise Account Executive
They can’t answer the question β€œwhy did you take the call”
koalifications
Old School Bravo
Salesforce Consultant
Green Flag - they do a heavy sigh and tell you the straight tea. Gotem.
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Haha the good ol' "I'm not even going to try and deny having a problem this time"
koalifications
Old School Bravo
Salesforce Consultant
Yes - and you have to hide your excitement because they're in pain so they don't realize you're a sociopath.
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Rupert_Pupkin
Contributor
+2
Account Executive
1. A problem that is tied directly to a business pain (High-Impact) - Green Flag
2. A potential champion in the room to build: Are they challenging you, are people deferring to them when answering, etc... - Green Flag

1. Heavy technical focus with no tie to the business. "How does this impact the business" is answered with "I don't know but it's a really important integration" for example - Red Flag
2. "We're just gathering information about what everyone can do, so we just want to see the demo" - Red Flag
3. Too agreeable "we love this, it's exactly what we need, amazing stuff". - Red Flag, they need to challenge you!
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
I dig it. How do you address red flag #3? If someone is too positive what approach do you take to try and build up some of more back and forth?
Rupert_Pupkin
Contributor
+2
Account Executive
Yeah great question, it's all about tying it back to the business component in my opinion. So things like "I'm glad this is resonating. It sounds like you and the team have a really clear list of requirements you need to see in a solution, would you be open to sharing them?". If they have them, great, time to dig in. If not, it's good to call out the vibe a bit and say something like "we're excited that you feel this is going to help. In our experience, these conversations usually lead to meetings with key executive stakeholders, and we want to make sure we're speaking to what they need to see. Without a clear list of requirements that we meet and meet uniquely, it's going to be difficult for us to get there." Then work with them to put together a plan that aligns to the business goals and EB criteria. Essentially teaching them how to buy on value.
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50
50shadesofcray
BDR Manager
Gives you bullshit answers to your discovery questions… Or is unwilling to go through discovery and demands that you just demo them. If they are a serious buyer and you have explained why the discovery process is important, a serious buyer would be cooperativeΒ 
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
No objections = RED FLAG!
nomdeguerre
Valued Contributor
+5
VP of Channel Partner Sales
Bad sign: when someone is in an absurd hurry and state that they will select a vendor and sign in the next two weeks... complete BS and never goes anywhere
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+12
Director of Business Development
Agreed, this usually is bogus. The only time it seems to work out is if you're a late addition to a process that has been ongoing for a bit. Usually isn't great for your chances, but it at least means they have been spending time on this.
Strangis
Valued Contributor
+3
Key Account Manager / BDM
Their tonality.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Nothing specific or detailed question asked = red flag
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
When they have to ask 'someone else' not due to bad diligence, just the 'head of procurement' has to then ask 'buying lead'. Just going to be a wild rabbit chase.
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