There have been many blogs, articles, and reports published showing the dynamic shift in B2B marketing that has taken place. Marketers need to think like publishers to keep up with the content consumption demands of IT Buyers. IT Buyers are consuming content faster than ever, and waiting longer than ever before to engage with sales.
These changes in media/content consumption have not only changed the way we have to think before and during early prospect engagement, but also late in the sales funnel. In my experience many people are still using BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe) as qualification metrics/questions to pass leads to sales.
BANT is DEAD.
If you are using still BANT you are likely missing out on many opportunities and potential dollars. Here are 3 research findings and 1 case study to prove that BANT is dead:
o Less than ¼ of buyers have budget allocated in the beginning of the year
· More than 80% of buyers say the first contact with a sales rep was made when they contacted a solution provider directly
o Less than 10% were contacted cold by a solution provider
So what does this boil down to?
In another study (TechTarget Media Consumption) we found that IT Buyers and Marketers have very different opinions on when to be contacted by sales. We need to adapt and keep our communication relevant and on prospects terms. Otherwise as Seth Godin points out, it’s just spam. Yes, I am saying people will think of a poorly times teleprospecting call as SPAM. It will damage your potential relationship, and impact dollars.
Need more? Here are 3 more reasons I shared recently in a client presentation that BANT isn't working anymore:
The above research findings are good, but if you are looking for actual case studies with dollars being impacted – look no further than this - A client of mine changed their sales hand off process to utilize a Lead Nurturing and Scoring systems to pass leads to sales (rather than BANT) – the result, a 16% increase in sales.
Bottom line - Content has replaced the traditional sales role – we need to have a content stream/system to nurture (and score) leads and through buy cycle.