Best Practices For Passing Over BANT Qualified Leads

If you follow our Sales Wars blog, you'll probably recognize the term BANT in reference to the lead qualification process. The sales term “BANT qualified lead” is important in any client-based organization, no matter the size or industry.  When it comes down to it, all components of BANT are valuable to the client.  Of course a sales rep would want to know a prospect’s Budget, Authority, Need, and Time Frame, but let’s be honest: despite how good the lead is, chances are that one or more of these components will be missing.

Sales Managers: What does your client  really want to know when reviewing a lead from an SDR? Better yet, how can you get your client to modify their opinion of a BANT qualified lead?

Ultimately, it comes down to sales managers making sure sales development reps understand the criteria of a BANT qualified lead and what questions to ask in order to extract that information.

How are they handling the current process?

The first question to ask, is the simple question, “How"? No matter what service or technology an SDR is calling on, the first thing any client wants to know is how the prospect is handling their current system or process.

Getting an understanding of current processes helps lay the groundwork to discovering pains or needs the prospect may be experiencing within that particular process. It also gives the sales rep who will be fielding the lead proper context for the next step conversation.

Are they experiencing any challenges?

The second question SDRs should ask prospects, is "Are you currently experiencing any pains or challenges"? By getting an understanding of the prospect's challenges, SDRs can then cater the conversation around how the product or service can help resolve them. This substitutes for the “need” portion of BANT. Once you know the answer to your “How?” question, you can ask further questions about their current situation, and whether it’s working efficiently for them.

How can this be achieved with a difficult prospect? Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. Have a researched list of common pains and challenges in your sales arsenal at all times. It is likely that one or more will get your prospect talking, and your pain/challenge question will be answered!

3. Are they fully qualified?

During implementation week, clients will often list a myriad of qualification questions that SDRs must ask prospects on a call.  Unfortunately, prospects don’t have the time to run through half a dozen questions about their environment, especially when that information is easily gleaned elsewhere.

SDRs should compose three well-crafted questions, and one make-or-break qualifying question. What is the most important piece of information you need to have in order to sell to this prospect? Is it a number of users? A specific CRM?  An open-mindedness towards outsourcing? This information can then be presented in a lead write-up that is sent over to the client. Essentially, SDRs should have one non-negotiable aspect that qualifies a company in or out.

What is compelling them to move forward?

The budget and time frame portion of BANT is a huge sticking point for most clients. It’s really hit or miss from an information gathering perspective. Some prospects are happy to give you that information freely, but others are hesitant to reveal the answers to these questions on a cold call.

Instead of sending over a lead that a client/sales rep could argue is not “BANT qualified,” urge your SDRs to uncover a “compelling event.” The goal of uncovering the compelling event, is to find out what it is that’s compelling the prospect to take the next step and move forward to a more in depth call.  If an SDR cannot get a grasp on a definitive time frame or budget, the next best thing is simply finding the answer to these three questions What will happen if the prospect doesn't put a system in place to manage xyz? What impact could that have on their business? How important are these issues to the prospect?”

If your sales development reps are curious and confident, they should be able to take the answers to those questions and run with it. These questions will hopefully help your SDRs redefine BANT’s rigid structure for lead criteria, allowing for a more fluid lead qualification and hand-off process.  What are you doing to ensure your SDRs are gathering the most BANT criteria?

Kim Staib

Kim Staib

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