In Marketing, Lead Generation is a process to initiate the interest of strangers/potential customers in your company’s product or services The industry standard to identify an opportunity is the BANT framework (Budget-Authority-Need-Timeline). BANT framework is deployed as a primary sales prospecting methodology created using four components, and customer events.
About the framework
BANT answers a simple question – Is the person likely to become your customer? A Salesperson needs to answer several questions to help the person reach the purchase decision. Who is window shopping and who will actually buy your product/service?
How BANT enables Sales?
1. Budget: Does the prospect have a budget to purchase your product or service? Are you asking the right questions to qualify the Sales lead? If the budget is not roughly equal to the cost of your product/service, then it is not a match. However, rely on your experience and judgment to make the best decision.
2. Authority: Does the Sales team have an idea about how decisions are made in your company? The first thing is to identify key decision-makers from your brand advocates or sales champions. This information supports in drafting better narratives and improves storytelling efforts. Knowledge of the chain of command will result in an efficient and effective Sales process.
3. Need: Once you have relevant insights about your prospect’s needs, you can position your products or services better. Not only does this insight help in further qualification, but it also offers you a strategic advantage of how to design customer interaction and close the lead.
4. Timeline: A Salesperson does not get enough time to convert a qualified lead into a customer. Set clear expectations for both parties to achieve success. Sales and Marketing teams must establish and agree on a set timeline. The teams then work coherently to ensure proper resource allocation to close the sale. It causes less friction along different stages of the buying cycle and helps provide better customer service.
CHAMP – A Dynamic Qualification Process
BANT is not a popular tool used in the modern sales scenario. So, what is the alternative then?
The success mantra of the past will not be applicable today. Modern businesses are thriving in a dynamic environment, where the landscape is evolving at a crazy speed. The criteria to qualify leads need to shift continuously aligned with the changing needs and behavior trends of the people. I may not have the right answers for you, but CHAMP is worth trying at least once.
This acronym stands for Challenge, Authority, Money, and Prioritization.
– Challenge: What is the pain point for your prospect? Do you have a solution to address this pain point? Only, then would you be able to close the sale. Effective questioning is the key to success. Ask your prospect about what solutions have they tried out in the past to resolve the problem. What were the personal challenges in addressing the problem?
Collect enough information that will help you understand the scope of the business opportunity. Also, understand the objectives that the prospect is looking to achieve by addressing the pain point. Later, you may explain why your product/service is the best fit solution.
– Authority: You may establish initial contact with a low-level executive of the prospective buyer. But, who is the right decision-maker? Key influencers include – CEO, CMO, CFO, VP-Sales or a Board Member/Manager. Develop a smart approach to pass the gatekeepers and reach the decision-maker quickly. Ask intelligent questions to these influencers to achieve success.
– Money: A critical factor in the buying decision, an important question to ask – can the prospect afford your product/service? Identify investment expectations and prepare your Sales pitch accordingly. If not now, will they have funds for future investment? Mention the ROI of your offering while recommending your product or service.
– Prioritization: What is the importance of solving the issue when compared with other activities? Where does your business proposal feature in the prospect’s to-do list? Figure out how your offering benefits the prospect to achieve their business goals. If not now, when would the prospect be likely to consider your proposal?
It is mostly believed that a crucial part of the Sales journey is closing the deal. Nevertheless, how you qualify a lead is equally important. Pursuing the most viable prospects using BANT and CHAMP frameworks will help you secure new accounts quickly and efficiently.
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