The better your sales process, the more qualified opportunities in your team's pipeline. For effectively managing a pipeline, we created this 4-step opportunity qualification template.
Each opportunity logged by your sales team will enter into any one of the four stages before becoming an active client and a closed deal.
Why is an opportunity qualification template important?
To start, it keeps your pipeline realistic. If there is no framework for a qualified opportunity, your sales reps will find themselves logging opportunities in your CRM that should be considered hot leads instead.
Additionally, it helps with sales management. Because all opportunities are logged in stages, management will be able to tell where the majority of opportunities fall through.
4 Step Opportunity Qualification Template
Our template uses something called the ‘UCAN’ acronym to describe these stages. It stands for:
The opportunity has potential, but we can’t be sure how it will turn out. You’ve discussed your solution with those involved in the opportunity and see some type of synergy.
There is an opportunity, but it’s not necessarily clear yet. The prospect has agreed to have a meeting to discuss a potential solution with you, and they know it is a sales call.
This is an important defining line between leads and opportunities. You think leads might become opportunities, but they only do so when the prospect agrees to engage with you to explore the potential opportunity.
Essentially, the opportunity is unqualified because you don’t yet know the scope of it.
The opportunity moves to the confirmed stage if your sales rep has discussed a solution and sent over pricing or a proposal. Depending on your sales process, there may be a different type of document sent during this stage.
In order to move to the Confirmed stage, a conversation must have occurred with the prospect about your solution. Additionally, your rep developed a scope of work which includes pricing.
Note that regardless if your rep has had a conversation with the prospect about scope of work, you’ve sent it to them in writing in order to be confirmed.
Various scopes of work may be sent back and forth and edited over time based on prospect feedback as the opportunity continues to move forward.
This stage indicates that your rep will likely close this opportunity successfully. It is the only stage in opportunity management that is subjective and not based on some type of action.
Advantages might include a previous relationship; an upsell, for example. These types of opportunities are likely to close since you’re already working with the client. Alternately, you might have received feedback that you are one of a few final prospective vendors and the team is leaning toward your solution. Or you may just have a good relationship with a key decision-maker and know they are likely to give you the business.
Depending on your organization, you may consider requiring management approval before an opportunity can move into the Advantage state. That can be a great time to make sure your rep and sales manager are aligned on how realistic it is that this piece of business will close. In some situations, sales reps can be overly optimistic, while the manager may have a more objective point of view. These conversations are also useful for managers and sales reps to brainstorm ways to get an advantage if you don’t have one already.
At this point, your team member has received a verbal notification that you won the business.
This can be a verbal or written notification. It indicates you have mostly won the business, but you still need to work out the legal paperwork. Depending on your process, this could last anywhere from a few hours to months.
If you have a short legal process, you’ll mostly use this stage to make sure opportunities don’t fall through the cracks just as they should be closing. If you have a slow process, it’s even more important to track which opportunities are in the contracting phase and where they are in that process.
Adding the ‘UCAN' opportunity qualification template to your sales process is a sure-fire way to keep opportunities moving to the close. We recommend adding these stages to your CRM system to ensure proper tracking and management.
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