Having started my career in sales and attending countless sales training courses and seminars, there’s one thing that was engrained in my thinking for the better part of 20 years—“Sales is a process, regardless of which of the many ‘proven approaches’ you follow, and following a defined process will equal success.” Each of these processes shared one thing in common—they were all linear. One of the first steps in each process was learning how to qualify a customer. If they’re not qualified when you meet them, either move on or find a way to present something to them that would move them into a qualification phase.
No matter how you looked at it, the salesperson was responsible for capturing a potential customer early in their buying cycle and moving them through the proverbial funnel. Every company and executive sales leader subscribed to some sort of sales and marketing funnel.