I woke up this morning to these three tweets relating to @nivenor1's recent market2lead blog post titled: The SCOTSMAN vs. BANT for Effective Lead Management
The Bridge Group's twitter response:
bridgegroupinc: part two. Qualilfying for BANT is like asking to see a W2 on a first date.
It's all timely based on a call I had yesterday with a prospect/CMO I was speaking with. That conversation and these tweets inspired me to write the following Blog Article.
I was on a sales call yesterday where a CMO said to me "We used to only want to pay for C/VP meetings that scored a high BANT rating." BANT is an acronym that has been used in sales for years that stands for Budget Need Authority and Timing. He then continued, "the problem is that we've realized we are missing opportunity because we were lead scoring ourselves away from deals." This CMO is in an emerging technology market marketing to b2b audience. Many times their targets don't even know they have a Need, let alone a Budget.
Andrew Gaffney writes in a blog article, When BANT Becomes AINT: The New Realities Of Buying Requires Scoring Refresh:
However, in the current business climate, many executives I’ve talked with indicate that very few projects have been given the final budget stamp this year. Instead, investments have been labeled “pending” or “postponed.”
A good sales exec will tell you that their best selling takes place once they are face to face with a prospect. Haven't you ever heard a sales person say that they created an opportunity? The following are four situations where you can throw BANT out the window and just sell.
Get face-to-face and then start selling:
- BUDGET - Bad economies. Prospects haven't budgeted for projects, we have to show them solid ROI
- AUTHORITY - A CFO is a CFO. If you have a decision maker in your hands, sell. Authority is implied, not measured
- NEED - Emerging technologies. Prospects don't know they have a Need, we must educate them
- TIMING - Tomorrow is too late. If prospects haven't budgeted, don't know they have the need, then the timing is NOW to start selling
Does all this mean throw lead scoring out the window? Absolutely not. If you can bypass the early stages of lead scoring by identifying and meeting with a prospect you would normally not have engaged with, and get them to create a BANT score, you've hit a bonus sale.
To use a sports analogy, it's like putting your 10th man into a basketball game and he hits a 3 pointer while drawing a foul for the extra point. You just gained 4 points that you didn't have prior to the action you took, and from someone that you wouldn't normally have rated as having the potential. Don't leave opportunity on the sidelines just because you're playing by your playbook.
Next article: What makes a good non-scoring BANT prospect?