Remember your boss telling you “Every lead is worth chasing down?” Well this concept may no longer be relevant in most sales cycles. Instead of spreading yourself wide across all the leads you generate, you need to focus on leads that you know are going to convert, maybe today or the next year! IBM conceived an idea known as BANT, which is now being effectively used in many businesses to identify and follow up on leads that have a better chance of conversion.
What is BANT?
BANT is an acronym of Budget, Authority, Needs and Timeline.
B – Do the leads have the budget for your product/service?
A – Is the lead authorized to make the purchase or is someone else the decision maker?
N – How much do they need the service/product you are offering?
T – When does the lead want to purchase?
How to choose leads based on BANT?
On a general rule, sales team pick leads that qualify on 3 of the 4 criteria in the BANT leads list to follow up on the lead. However, choosing the criteria depends on the service or product that you are offering or the expectation of the lead.
If the lead doesn’t have a budget to make the purchase, then you will surely not want to follow up on the lead. However, you could put it on hold and contact them if and when you have any deals or discounts that they may be interested in.
Authority is an important factor in determining whether or not you need to follow up on the lead. If you are just having back-to-back discussions with a lead who has no authority to sanction the purchase, then you could be wasting a lot of your time. It would be better if you can ask to talk to the decision maker and then decide whether or not to follow up on the lead.
Does the lead actually need the service or product you are offering? If no, it is not worth your time following it up. You can start working on leads who may require it.
Most sales persons get frustrated because they diligently follow up on leads and then find out that they are looking at a longer timeline. Get the details and also check if they are looking for other solutions or options.
You can identify the right leads using BANT and follow up on them to streamline your lead generation process. Identifying the most important criteria of BANT depends on your leads, business and process. Work efficiently and get maximum conversion of your BANT lead follow ups.