It's no secret that qualified sales leads are more valuable to B2B companies than unqualified sales leads. Sales lead generation is typically the first step in the sales process. Before you can pitch a product or service to a prospect, you'll need to identify and capture the prospect as a sales lead. Additionally, though, you may want to research the prospect to ensure he or she is a good fit for your B2B company. Known as lead qualification, it can help you create a more effective and efficient sales process. You can use a variety of techniques to qualify leads, but one of the most popular is the BANT model. What is the BANT model exactly, and how can you use it to qualify sales leads?
What Is the BANT Model?
The BANT model is a systematic approach to qualifying sales leads that focuses on four pieces of information about a given prospect: budget, authority, need and timeline. It was pioneered by IBM in the 1950s. IBM developed the BANT model for use with its own sales reps.
While it's been around for over a half-century, the BANT model still focuses on the four aforementioned pieces of information about a given prospect. It involves the evaluation of a prospect's budget, authority, need and timeline. Using this information, you can determine whether the prospect is ready for a sales pitch.
Most B2B companies don't qualify their sales leads. Research shows that over half of all newly generated leads are sent directly to sales reps. In comparison, only about 27% of sales leads are qualified. There are several different ways that you can qualify sales leads, one of which is by using the BANT model. The BANT model allows you to determine whether a prospect is ready for a sales pitch. Qualified sales leads are those who've been vetted and, thus, are ready for a sales pitch. When compared to unqualified sales leads, they are far more likely to make a purchase.
When using the BANT model, you'll need to evaluate the prospect's budget. One of the most common reasons for sales objections in the B2B industry involves the price of a product or service. Prospects typically won't buy a product or service if it exceeds their business's budget.
Different businesses have different budgets allocated for B2B products and services. Some businesses have deep pockets with the financial resources to buy expensive products and services. Other businesses have a smaller and more limited budget that limits their ability to make purchases. The BANT model requires you to evaluate the prospect's budget -- specifically the budget of his or her business -- during the lead qualification process.
You'll need to evaluate the prospect's authority when using the BANT model as well. Authority refers to a prospect's ability to make decisions on behalf of his or her business. Pitching a product or service to a prospect who doesn't have this authority is typically a waste of time. You can create a compelling sales pitch, but the prospect won't be able to make a purchase without the necessary authority. As a result, the BANT model includes authority as a piece of information for lead qualification.
Even if a prospect doesn't have purchase-making authority, though, he or she may be able to refer you to another prospect who does. Don't be afraid to ask prospects whether they have purchase-making authority. With the BANT model, only prospects with this authority can be qualified. Nonetheless, they may provide you with the contact information of other prospects who do have purchase-making authority.
Another piece of information that's included in the BANT model is the prospect's need. Prospects seek products and services from B2B companies to fulfill a need. Most of these needs involve a problem. All businesses encounter problems that, in some way, restrict their money-making operations. To solve these problems, they seek solutions from B2B companies. You can qualify leads by comparing prospects' needs to the products or services sold by your B2B company.
Unless your B2B company has a product or service that can fulfill a prospect's need, you shouldn't qualify him or her. The BANT model only allows for lead qualification when a prospect's need matches a product or service sold by your B2B company. If a prospect needs industrial commercial equipment to develop a new property and your B2B company sells this same type of equipment, he or she is a good match. Therefore, you should qualify the prospect under the BANT model. Prospects with needs that don't match your B2B company's products or services, on the other hand, shouldn't be qualified under the BANT model.
Timeline refers to the date by which a prospect needs a particular product or service. Some prospects have a shorter timeline than others. A short timeline means that a prospect wants to buy a product or service either immediately or in the near future. Prospects with a short timeline can be referred to sales reps. Sales reps can then pitch products or services to the prospects in an effort to capture them as buyers.
A short timeline is a criteria for the BANT model. Qualified leads under the BANT model have a short timeline. They don't want to make a purchase several months down the road. Rather, they are ready to make a purchase now or in the near future. If you're going to use the BANT model, you should inquire about prospects' timeline when communicating when them. You can ask prospects when they are looking to buy a product or service. Timeline is a key piece of information that's included in the BANT model.
Using the BANT Model
The BANT model is a simple formula for qualifying sales leads in the B2B industry. When you initially generate a lead, you may have little or no information about the prospect. You can research the prospect, though, to determine whether he or she is ready for a sales pitch. The BANT model is a method for qualifying leads such as this. It revolves around the prospect's budget, authority, need and timeline.
Don't Forget Project Reports
The BANT model is great for being able to qualify new sales leads. If you need to fill your funnel faster with identified projects, then be sure to take a look at Salesleads' Project Reports. The reports will have the following qualified for you according to the BANT Model: Budget: it'll state what the project is worth. Authority: take a look at the key contacts. These are the individuals that you need to speak with that have management responsibilities. Need: The report will give you information on the project so when you call, they'll know you already have information on the project and more inclined to speak with you. Timeline: We'll give you where they are at in the process and the timeframe for completion. It's certainly worth a look.