lead generation, business to business leads, appointment settingDespite the fact that every company has their own qualifiers when it comes to generating leads, many still turn to the use of the acronym BANT when it comes to dealing with new prospects acquired through their lead generation efforts. BANT stands for budget; authority; need; time, basically what a company wants to see in a prospect they wish to market to.

Qualifying leads through BANT is a traditional yet still highly effective way to measure a prospect’s capacity to make a purchase. Although, its use does not really help us gauge a prospect’s interest and intent to make a purchase. However, it still serves its purpose in identifying which leads are the best to pursue.

So for those of you who do not yet know how to qualify your business to business leads and other prospects through the use of BANT, here is a little guide for you to make use of.

Qualifying leads based on B – budget.

Before we do business with a prospect company, we always need to see if they have the capacity to pay for our product/service. Obviously, this is what we call a budget, and companies that do not have the budget to attempt to make a purchase are obviously not people who are going to buy from you. However, that does not mean that your lead is no longer a lead.

A budget may or may not exist depending on the period of time in which you made contact with the company. Who’s to say that maybe in the next month they’ll finally come into some money with which to use in increasing their current spending capacity?

Qualifying leads based on A – authority.

Having a “lead” just doesn’t cut it. You need to make sure that whoever your contact person is within your prospect company actually has the capability to make a decision on your offer. For example, let’s say you’re doing B2B appointment setting. You need to be meeting with a staff member of the company that has a say in making large decisions, such as with their current IT infrastructure; their need for legal services; their need to outsource lead generation.

What would be the point in going through all the trouble of scheduling an appointment with a contact person that doesn’t even have any idea about what you are talking about, let alone not have the capacity to make a decision. Authority matters when you pursue a lead so make sure you are in contact with company personnel who can make such decisions in regards to what you offer them.

Qualifying leads based on N – need.

When you’re hungry, it means you need food. When you feel sleepy, it means you need sleep. It’s simple enough to understand that we base our actions on the situation at hand and act accordingly. So when you come around and start marketing to your prospects, they are not going to buy from you if there is no need to. Why waste money on something that wouldn’t even be useful at the moment, right?

Need, however, does dictate the level of interest a lead holds. If your prospect company voices that they are in need of your types of services, then it means they have the intention of making a purchase although the company that they work with may not be you as they may be considering similar firms to yours. It’s good to know how and when to act based on your prospect’s needs.

Qualifying leads based on T – time.

Time is also a key factor when it comes to qualifying your leads. From the moment you make contact with them, you need to know when exactly it is they are planning to make a buy. It could be 6 months from now, or within the next few weeks, or maybe even next year! Time is something you may not have and you need to increase your sales, however there is really no point in pursuing a prospect that just doesn’t want to budge at the present time. Also, throwing more offers their way may just annoy them.

These four are basically what you need to know about qualifying prospects through BANT. If you have a lead generation campaign in place, it is important to know how to qualify your prospects because it helps you determine which ones are good to pursue. Of course, sales and marketing are two different aspects however both matter greatly when you run a business.

Marketing is about how you can draw in more leads. Sales is about how you close them. These qualifiers help you gauge a lead generated through marketing so you can get them around to sales!