There are sales leads, and then there are qualified sales leads.
If you’re investing in sales leads for your company, you want more than a list of potential purchasers. You want real opportunities for business.
But when is a sales lead real? And when might a contact with a potential new buyer turn into real business?
At INCo, we understand a qualified sales lead to be one which fulfils the BANT criteria.
BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Time. So a properly qualified sales lead (for us and for our many IT and Consulting clients) will have to specify and confirm the following attributes:-
- Budget – there has to be a realistic amount of money allocated to a potential purchase. That purchase has to be budgeted for and included in corporate planning.
- Authority – whoever is named as the contact for a sales lead needs to have the authority to take action, whether conducting an evaluation of available products and services, recommending purchase or authorising it. At INCo, we take time to understand how any purchase might be made. That is valuable information for our clients.
- Need – the need for a product or service should have been identified within the business. There might be a technical or business justification for the purchase, or both, depending on its significance. We always try to identify what precisely is driving a potential purchase.
- Time – any sales lead has to come with a timescale within which actions will be taken. We’ll gather as much detail on that timing plan as we can. It’s important too, to know when it’s too late. When the time for decision-making is past, move on to the next real opportunity.
Of course, it’s often impossible to get all of that information at once. That’s why our continued process of market contact is so valuable. We help to put opportunities on our radar early and then continue to track them until – according to our clients’ own criteria, specified with us – they become real, either in terms of BANT qualification, or the rules of our individual clients.
Because many of our clients are involved in high-level consulting, they are interested in establishing contacts at an earlier stage and at a higher level than perhaps other companies interested in a technical software sale for example.
But because we are experts in gathering intelligence on potential companies’ intentions, we can help deliver sales leads that provide real potential for the future.