Here’s a simple but surprisingly accurate way to forecast and qualify sales leads. Sales coach Jonathan Farrington says if you identify five or more of the following eight criteria as positive, it is worth pursuing the lead further:

Solution. Is there a solution you can supply and support?

Competition. Are you aware of who you are competing against? Do you have a reasonable competitive position?

Originality. Can you offer something original or unique to this potential sale?

Time scale.Does the prospect have a timetable for making a decision? Is their timescale reasonable? Does it fall within your own “sales cycle” criteria?

Size. Is the potential order value worth the effort? Is your company large enough to handle it? Is the potential customer the size you normally deal with?

Money. Is there a budget allocated? How much is it? Is it approved? Is it reasonable? Can you provide a solution for that amount?

Authority. Are you speaking to the right person? Do they have the authority to make the decision? Do you know who else is involved?

Need. Are you aware of all the prospect’s needs? Can you match them?

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