Time to Rethink BANT
With insight on the direct marketing process, sales will better understand the value direct marketing brings to the sales function—i.e., prospect identification. Once marketing has helped identify a prospect who can afford to buy, has potential interest in buying and a need to buy, it is up to the sales team to create desire and move the buyer along the sales process.
A Better Way to Evaluate and Score Responses
What I'm proposing is that your lead generation campaigns are not failing, but instead, the understanding and expectations of your results is failing you, because you're not looking at results from the right marketing and sales perspective.
In the past, my firm has tried to use BANT as the evaluation criteria for responses. However, we found this process emphasizes trying to gain sales qualification information too early in the sales process. And prospects are reluctant to share information if there is no relationship established. It's equivalent to meeting a stranger on the street, telling him you're a financial planner and asking him to share his income and net worth with you.
Instead of using BANT, I'm suggesting direct marketers adopt APNRP. This will allow the sales team to understand where a respondent stands from a marketing perspective, and sales can pick up a respondent from a marketing campaign (what is too commonly called a lead) and actually begin the sales process.
Here are the definitions I propose for evaluating your inquiries based on the APNRP methodology:
Attributes—Respondents will be passed to the sales team when they have similar or acceptable company revenue, number of employees, and come from the business types and industries as current highly valuable customers have. Or, they will have the attributes that match the target for a new product solution.
Position—Respondents will be passed to the sales team when they have a job title or a job function similar to the types of individuals typically involved in evaluating, recommending or purchasing your products, just like current customers.