2. Demographics & firmographics: Demographics is the data most marketers already have, such as a lead’s location, name, job title, etc. Firmographics are the same thing, only for companies. These might be data points like company size, current technology stack, and annual revenue. The psychographic layer you should be interested in looking at is interests, pain points, and departmental/organizational goals. In order to choose the most important factors, take a look at your best customers – what company size or revenue do they generally fall into? Do your biggest sales happen on the East Coast? What problems are you solving for them? What opportunities are you creating for them? (This is where the “Need” aspect from BANT comes in.)
3. Behavioral data: Prospects are constantly leaving us hints about their readiness to buy. It’s important to look at what sort of “online body language” a prospect shows. Examples include website visits, responses to email offers, marketing content downloads, and a willingness to complete online registration forms. What pages are they visiting? How deep do they drill down into product information? Did they watch a demo? Did they read the datasheet you sent them? Did they give up an hour to watch a webinar on a problem your product addresses? These kinds of actions indicate serious interest.
Lead scoring uses a points system to assign values based on a person’s online and offline behavior, such as actions that suggest growing sales-readiness. When prospects score enough points – based on how your organization defines a quality lead – they can be flagged as ready to be passed to sales. According to MarketingSherpa, organizations that use lead scoring see a 77% lift in their lead generation ROI.
4. Your sales and customer success teams: Although marketing is typically the first department to communicate with a lead, it’s (most often) a one-way conversation. Your sales reps are the ones having the one-to-one, real-time conversations with prospects – and therefore have the best understanding of what makes a lead qualified. Have conversations with your sales team about what they are experiencing. Ask them: “What is a qualified lead for you?” or “What leads are the easiest for you to call into and qualify?” or “Which actions are a sure sign that someone will buy?”
In the same way, your customer success reps are the ones having the one-to-one, real-time conversations with customers. They know who’s happy, and who’s unhappy, and why. Have conversations with them; ask “What qualities make up your best customers?” and “Which customers bring in the most revenue, or are most likely to renew their contracts?” This information should absolutely be factored into qualifying your leads. It’s a great indicator of not only a lead’s readiness to buy, but also their likeliness to convert into a successful customer. You can also measure your buyer personas against this information as a reality check, so the next campaigns you build have a better chance to reach the likeliest buyers.
We’re not saying that BANT is outdated or irrelevant. What we do believe is that digital marketing has made it possible to know much, much more about your customers and prospects than ever before. This new knowledge, in the framework of personas, demographics/firmographics, and data has made it easier (and much more important) for marketing, sales, and customer success to work together.
What do you think? Do you have criteria for qualification that works really well that we haven’t covered? Please share!