Have you ever felt that converting some of the qualified leads takes longer than others? Sometimes that may be the case only for particular sales teams. You can boost your sales by hiring new sales reps, generating more leads, or by increasing conversion. The third option is extraordinarily effective – it will simultaneously result in both: lower costs and higher revenue. Such optimization is not a one-time action but more of a process.
BANT framework is binary because it helps you decide whether a lead is worth pursuing or not. There are a couple of factors you can take into consideration to determine which leads should be placed in front of the others. With such data, you can put leads in the right order and gain knowledge on what to consider before the first contact with customers.
How to prioritize leads: inbound vs. outbound
If you receive an inquiry (inbound) you can assume that the prospect faces a paricular problem and is more or less aware about how your product / service works. When the contact is initiated by you (outbound) then it is likely that your potential client has never heard of your company. They are probably at an early stage in their customer journey which means that if you aren’t lucky enough and the timing is not perfect, you will have to firstly help them discover their pain points. Your main task will be to convince them that having a conversation with you is worth their time. Once you build trust, you may have a chance for exclusiveness. Whereas your inbound potential customer is probably in contact with a couple of your business competitors and most probably will choose the offer based on the proposed budget.
To gain better understanding of your prospect, you can ask these questions:
Why did you decide to reply to my cold mail (or cold call)?
Why did you decide to reach us right now?
Why did you decide to follow the recommendation now?
Those questions will help you understand what motivates the lead. Usually, you will get one of three answers:
A compliment (you have great case studies, track record, reputation or portfolio).
An insight into what you are doing well (for example they wanted to talk to you because they found your cold e-mail funny) so that you assess what works.
An insight about the pain of your customer (they wanted to get in touch now because the problem you can help them solve got pressing)
The sales process requires a decision maker
CEO, CMO and HR Director (even in the same company) have different points of view and priorities. Let’s assume that CEOs think about growth, CMOs about marketing presence and generating leads, HR Directors try to ensure friendly atmosphere and maintaing high motivation among employees. Of course, this is a general simplification – you can meet for instance an HR-oriented CEOs etc. However, it is your job to understand your customer’s unique perspective and their pain points. Prospects’ needs should be addressed – to make them interested, highlight different results of using your product or service.
Country of your lead origin can help you predict what you can expect from them. Each country has its own specifics and your strategy should meet their purchase criteria.
Once you know where the closing deal process is faster – focus on that market. Get to know your deal sizes – and choose geographies with deals of higher value. When you discover which countries representatives tend not to pay on time, charge them upfront. Or maybe… it would be a good move to consider introducing advance payments for all the transactions.
Has your lead ever used a solution similar to yours?
A company which used to cooperate with one of your competitors is usually more insightful when it comes to your solution – they use or used something similar, know how it works and can compare it to your solution. The previous supplier might have generated good or bad customer experiences which you should ask about and clarify if needed. Usually, those who buy a certain thing for the first time need more interest and education from the salespeople so be prepared for longer sales cycles and putting more effort into working with these clients.
Thanks to lead qualification process, you will have more data – it will allow you to decide which of your clients are most eager to cooperate. Thanks to this information you will know which leads should be your priority and where to double the efforts.
Does you potential client employ a specialist from your field?
Let’s say that your product solves an HR problem. To ease the decision making process it is advisable to check e.g. on Linkedin whether your potential customet employs HR specialists. That information will help you adjust communication and manage the sales conversation more effectively. Having these details and getting to know the decision makers (another BANT criteria), you will know which leads are more important than others.
Size of the deal
Taking into consideration all those factors you will be able to estimate how long and labor-intensive sales process will be. Compare it with the value of the potential deal. It will help you easily calculate the profits and decide whether prioritizing a particular lead is worthwhile or not.
Remember that there are no 2 exactly the same companies so some of above factors will be more relevant than others. Use them as an inspiration and find factors unique to your particular situation.
By qualifying leads eg. using four bant criteria you will be able to quickly estimate how important given leads are for you and the likelihood of potential cooperation. If you have a sales team – collected data while lead scoring will help them assess who performs the best when it comes to a particular group of leads and effectively relocate sales opportunities to appropriate sales reps.
Then you will never find yourself in a situation that there is no one to take care of a new lead that has just shown interest in the company’s portfolio.