Intent data has become an established presence in B2B prospecting, so it’s no surprise that it also helps answer BANT questions used to qualify leads. Since the day IBM introduced the term, the BANT framework has been popular in B2B sales. Using Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline as essential prospecting criteria has proven itself as a qualification process for B2B companies.
However, as businesses evolved, and buyers changed the purchase process, B2B marketers found BANT less effective, because it was harder to get answers. And that’s where intent data comes into the picture.
Let’s look at challenges in the four areas of the BANT framework and see how intent data overcomes those limitations to qualify leads.
#1 Budget: Interrogating prospects to fully understand their budget is a problem in the BANT process. Prospects rarely share budgets during initial chats with salespeople. Moreover, SaaS subscription models charged monthly further cloud budget reality. Hence, firmographic data is a possible solution in this case to understand company size. Also, by gaining insights into the types of purchases buyers research, B2B demand gen teams can get an idea of how much a prospect may be thinking about spending.
#2 Authority: Authority tells you who possesses the buying power. It helps salespeople know who needs to be involved in the buying process. If one contact doesn’t have authority to make a purchase decision, yet the account shows relevant engagement, you want to dig deeper to qualify against BANT criteria. Intent data reveals buying group members within an account and may indicate who does hold the purse strings in the decision.
#3 Need: Do prospects need your product? Do they have buying intent, or are they just looking around? B2B brands can get data-driven insight into these questions by studying buyer intent behavior. Intent intelligence and website visitor intelligence bring great value to evaluating this BANT criteria.
- What topics drove the prospects’ search behavior?
- What types of content or events have been accessed?
- What problems are usually associated with topics?
- How are those topics relevant to your brand?
- How much time have prospects spent on your website?
Answers to these questions paint a picture of prospects’ needs and confirm or eliminate them as qualified for sales.
#4 Timeline: The timeline depends on how soon a prospect needs a solution and has budget to buy it. Some prospects show urgency, while others can’t decide even after a year.
By analyzing buyers’ online activities, intent intelligence reveals the urgency of the purchase. Did they read a blog on a relevant topic, or did they download a data sheet? As buyers move through the funnel, their behavior gives clues to their purchase timeline. The involvement of different members of a buying group also indicates the purchase stage. Users downloading ebooks may be on a vague timeline, while an IT vice president reading a competitive comparison could have a closer deadline. Ask intent data for answers.
BANT qualifying questions have staying power, because they help brands focus on capturing important information. Intent data complements BANT with rich intelligence about buyer behavior that further qualifies leads. Together, BANT and intent data help B2B teams focus on the contacts with the most potential value.
For more intent data-related information, we recommend these blog posts:
Intent Data Use Cases: Try These 10 Popular Applications for Intent
Maximize Your B2B Marketing Budget with Intent Intelligence