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How to weed out tire kickers in your sales process

Are tire kickers cluttering your sales pipeline? Learn how to distinguish genuine buyers from time-wasters with our expert tips.

Chloe Lloyd · February 16, 2024
How to weed out tire kickers in your sales process

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Sales reps invest significant time and resources in nurturing leads and closing deals and it’s only natural to want to try and close them all.

However, not all prospects are created equal. Some are genuinely interested in your product or service, while others are merely ‘tire kickers’ – prospects who may inquire, but have no intention of making a purchase. If you have a tire kicker in your midst you must identify them and move on.

Read this blog post to learn what a tire kicker is, how they can disrupt your sales process, how to identify them and how to remove these disruptive influences from your revenue-making operation.

What is a tire kicker?

This phrase originates from selling cars. When you're selling cars, you'll have someone who frequently visits car dealerships and appears interested in buying by inspecting vehicles and kicking their tires. They may even test drive the car, but they leave without ever making a purchase.

Here are eight effective strategies to help you identify genuine leads and spot tire kickers, with a specific focus on how you can use Capsule to do this.

Define ideal customer profiles

Start by clearly defining your ideal customer profiles based on demographics, interests, buying behavior, and pain points. You can use reports in Capsule such as the won opportunity report and then dig down into each customer’s profile and spot patterns in your converted customer's details.

Here are a few questions to consider when determining a good fit for a potential client.

  • Do customers in a certain region convert more than others?
  • Do people in a specific industry or a specific job title convert vs. those that don’t?

Use this information to segment your leads and prioritize those who closely match your ideal criteria and disregard those who differ from your typical customer and who you might identify as a tire kicker.

Qualify leads early on in your sales process

Implement lead qualification criteria to assess a prospect's level of interest, budget, authority, need and timeline.

By qualifying leads early in the sales process, you can focus your efforts on prospects who are more likely to convert into paying customers rather than tire kickers.

You can build this process into Capsule as a stage in your sales pipeline and add a Track to it.

A Track is a series of repeatable tasks that you can add to your sales pipeline or a project. You can add the steps you need to complete to qualify leads and only when they meet chosen criteria you can move them to the next stage in the pipeline.

Use behavioral analytics

Use behavioral analytics to track prospect engagement patterns of potential customers. For example, if you integrate an email marketing tool such as Transpond with Capsule you can monitor email opens and click-through rates to gauge genuine interest levels and identify potential tire kickers.

Set clear expectations with potential buyers

Establish clear expectations with prospects from the outset regarding the sales process, timeline, pricing, and next steps. Transparent communication helps disqualify individuals who aren’t serious about moving forward.

Get your sales team asking the right questions

During initial conversations or discovery calls, ask probing questions to identify the prospect's pain points, goals, challenges, and budget constraints. Genuine prospects will provide detailed responses, whereas tire kickers may remain vague or evasive.

To help with the qualification process, in Capsule, you can set up a Track when a prospect hits your pipeline. In this Track you can make each individual task a question that the prospect has to answer or that the sales rep has to know about the prospect before moving the lead on to the next stage in the pipeline.

There's never been a better time to be informed about companies that you're doing business with. Genuine prospects will have done their research about potential products or services before ever jumping on a call with a sales rep.

There's no problem giving potential buyers all the info they need about your product or service but they should have done some research. The problem is, that you also get one kind of tire kicker who will engage with sales teams by asking too many questions and raising objections all the time. So, if you're on a call with a prospect and they have not done any research of their own, ask irrelevant questions or raise unreasonable objections then it's possible they’re a tire kicker.

Qualify budget and authority to get quality leads

Determine whether the prospect has the budget and authority to make purchasing decisions within their organization. You can record this information in Capsule so that no matter who the lead is passed to, anyone in the business has this information to hand when they speak to the potential customer.

Speaking with decision-makers or key stakeholders early on minimizes the risk of investing time in leads with tire kickers who have limited buying power. If you're engaging with someone who can't give you an idea of their budget or timeline to purchase, you could be dealing with a tire kicker.

Monitor sales engagement metrics

Monitor sales engagement metrics within Capsule, such as call duration, meeting attendance, and follow-up responsiveness. If you spot a prospect who is consistently disinterested or shows a lack of engagement then you have a potential tire kicker in your midst who may not be worth pursuing further.

Implement lead scoring to spot serious buyers

Implement a lead scoring system to objectively prioritize leads based on their likelihood to convert. Assign scores based on demographics, behavior, engagement, and fit with your ideal customer profile.

You can use a Custom Field in Capsule to add in your lead score so you can filter for and focus your efforts on high-scoring leads with the greatest potential for conversion.

How to identify tire kickers in a nutshell

  • The prospect doesn’t match your target persona
  • They haven’t done any research about your product or service
  • When speaking to the prospect, they don't know a budget or timeline
  • They don't have the budget
  • Their need doesn't feel urgent
  • In sales conversations, they're constantly wandering off topic

Focus your efforts on genuine buyers

Identifying and qualifying leads effectively ensures that valuable resources are directed towards prospects with the highest potential for conversion. To achieve this, Capsule has some key features to consider using:

  • Use reports such as the won opportunity report to help you build an ideal customer profile.
  • Set up Custom Fields to capture information about your prospect that’s unique to your business. You can add information to help you qualify a lead such as their budget, purchasing authority, timeline and give them a lead score.
  • Add a specific milestone in your Sales Pipeline for qualifying leads.
  • Add a Track to your qualification milestone and make sure the sales rep follows all the criteria to qualify a lead before moving it to the next milestone in your pipeline.
  • Integrate with an email marketing provider such as Transpond to monitor email campaign stats inside Capsule.

In conclusion, weeding out tire kickers from your sales data is essential for maximizing the productivity and efficiency of your sales team as you can focus your efforts on prospects with genuine buying intent. Get a free 14-day trial of Capsule today to help your sales team convert more leads.

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