BANT Lead Scoring
Enterprises should strive to know as much as they can about their prospects before sending them to their sales team for the final close, but which leads are more likely to buy? Is this the right prospect at the right time in the purchase cycle?
Enter lead scoring, a very common practice in lead generation that essentially helps marketers prioritize leads based on their likelihood of purchasing (as well as how much and when).
One of the most popular, yet basic, ways to score leads is through what’s known as BANT – an acronym for Budget, Authority, Need and Timing. Lead scoring is essentially just a means to assign value to a lead based on certain criteria and more specifically, the previous behavior or attributes of that lead. Scoring leads essentially provides a way for sales people to make good decisions about their time, as well as the “pitch” they use on prospects.
To come to an accurate lead score, it’s important to know what criteria are important to qualify a prospect as a potential customer – and the use of BANT scoring provides as good a framework as any – at least in the initial phases. Essentially, the forms that prospective leads fill out/complete and the experiences they ultimately have in the sales funnel should (even ask questions over the phone) can populate our BANT matrix so to speak.
For example, marketers may want to know the lead’s estimated project budget (the B in BANT). Savvy marketers should also determine what level of purchasing authority (the A in BANT) the prospect has, what level of need (the N in Bant) meaning what solutions it is that the prospect is actually looking, as well as the Timing (the T in BANT) which reveals how soon they might be ready to buy.
Today, most marketing automation, CRM and sales software solutions provide some means to score the prospects that are acquired and led to your digital property and business. Many will argue that BANT is too basic/elementary to serve as a reliable assessment of a lead’s quality – and on the surface that’s absolutely true.
But BANT is a framework, not the end-all, be-all of your lead scoring. For example, providing a scale for the budget, providing detailed options for prospects to indicate authority (social sign-in has been useful in this regard, and obtaining details on the lead by understanding the on-site behavior of a user and their actions and frequency of those actions all provide an opportunity to know quite a bit about a potential customer.