Most sales and marketing professionals involved in lead generation are familiar with “BANT”—Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe—which are commonly used criteria for qualifying leads. When all four criteria are confirmed, the lead is considered qualified and enters the sales pipeline.
While BANT can be valuable to an extent, many companies find that holding to all four criteria means not qualifying enough leads, and removing any one criterion qualifies too many leads. Michael Hanna, formerly of Sales Ops Solutions, suggests using the following “weighted BANT” lead qualification methodology:
Step 1: Apply a weighting to each of the BANT criteria (0, 1, 2, 3 or 4) and define each weighting. Below is a sample set of definitions for Authority:
0 = Has no authority and has no access to the decision maker(s).
1 = Has no authority, but has direct access to the decision maker(s).
2 = Has influence and has access to the decision maker(s).
3 = Is one of several decision makers.
4 = Has complete authority as the sole decision maker.
Step 2: Define a similar scale for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe.
Step 3: Qualify leads based on the sum of all four scores. For example:
0-4 = Unqualified (Don’t waste your time)
5-8 = Slightly Qualified (Nurture it)
9-12 = Qualified (Follow up)
13-16 = Highly Qualified (Follow up immediately)
Hanna believes that this methodology provides enough flexibility for any sales organization to be able to use it, as well as enough simplicity to train and deploy it quickly.