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  Qualifying a prospect in the U.S. market: sending evaluation packages.

U.S. prospective customers require trying out products before buying them. Understanding how it works on paper is not enough. Even if the sales process has to be customized for each product, we maintain that having an evaluation CD ready to be sent out is often the best solution. This avoids jumping on a plane each time a contact wants to know more about your solution. On the other hand, sending an evaluation kit to everybody who asks for it may also be a mistake: First, your time is valuable and a nice evaluation package may cost more than $30. Second, you do not want your technical team to support a prospective customer that will never buy because the product does not fit his needs. Third, and we believe it is the most important, when somebody asks to evaluate your solution, you are in the best position to ask for information about the company, the purchase requisition process, the budget and the deadline for the project. If you agree too quickly to send what your contact requests, you may lose the unique opportunity to collect this valuable information. If you would like to increase your closing rate, train your sales team to set up a phone appointment with your prospect before agreeing to mail the evaluation kit. It is always easier to schedule a technical phone appointment than a sales call. This reassures the prospect, ensures that your contact will spend time to properly understand your product offering and its benefits, and ultimately speeds up the sales process.

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