bant leads pipeline qualification Nov 08, 2023

It's crazy but there are actually companies out there that are turning down great leads they can (and should) close and complaining they don't have enough. They are literally sitting in meetings and discussing how they can create more pipeline.

IF you use BANT or something like it to "qualify" your leads... you are rejecting leads that should be in your pipeline.

I know what you are thinking... "We need stricter qualification so we can bring in the right leads... if not, we inflate our pipeline with garbage"

In no way am I telling you to inflate your pipeline.

INSTEAD... it's about training your sales team how to move people and companies from not ready to buy to READY!

This is NOT done at the SDR level. They aren't responsible for getting the person or company ready to buy. It's your AEs!

Now I understand that we don’t want to send garbage leads to the AE for them to waste their time Reality... BANT clouds the judgment of AEs and even leaders. It’s completely impractical.

Here’s what I mean…

  • Budgets can open up when discovered it’s fixing a problem for them that is having an even greater impact

  • Timelines can speed up when they realize what this will do for them

  • Authority or Decision Makers get involved when they see there is value.

Before you think… great, then the SDR can take it until that point.

This is 100% part of the AE’s role to understand and guide the buyer through the process. They should not only be gathering this information for themselves but also helping the buyer to help process this information. This isn’t a checklist given to the SDR… this IS the beginning of the process.

  • Understand the prospect's frustrations and pain points.

  • Assess the impact of these issues on their business.

  • Explore the potential relief solving these problems could bring.

  • Consider the repercussions if they fail to act.

IF through this process they see that there isn’t a pain they can solve or impact isn’t something above annoying, then they can see that there is no deal.

On the flip side if they discover they have a pain point, it’s having a huge impact but don’t have this in the budget or a project timeline hasn’t been created YET… the AE knows where they are TODAY and should be saying “Challenge Accepted”

It’s now on the AE to figure out how to show the value that they can do for them.

It’s on the AE to help them see what this can do for them and how it will impact them.

It’s on the AE to position this in a way to bring in the decision-makers and all those who need to be involved.

If you are thinking… then what holds the SDR accountable if it can’t be BANT?


  • 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗜𝗖𝗣 (𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗶𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝗺 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘂𝗻𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀... 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗱𝗼𝗻'𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗲𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵)

  • 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗯𝗹𝗲𝗺𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗲

  • 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 (𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗯𝗲 𝗮 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗿... 𝗰𝗮𝗻'𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻)

See here is the thing… the qualification process isn’t going to bring better leads. It’s going to cut down the amount of leads that should be qualified but are instead rejected.

If you really want to improve quality… focus on 2 things.

  1. Your ICP… dial it in. It needs to be so defined that everyone knows it.

  2. Messaging… if you are getting the wrong people to raise their hands, then find ways to get the right people to raise theirs.

Bottom line… SDRs are not the AE’s assistant and if driving pipeline is the thing you want most, then let them focus on pipeline.

And most importantly, as an AE, you should want to be involved in the process as soon as possible because your money is on you to turn lemons into lemonade.

High qualifications = sales are order takers

Lower qualifications = sales are selling

Do what you do best… SELL and it all starts in the Discovery process by uncovering where and how you can solve their problems.



PS... I took over a team several years ago and eliminated the BANT qualification process. The most important part was training the AEs on how to sell to someone who didn't come into buy. SDRs produced more leads (because they weren't bogged down with extra steps) AND AEs closing rate went UP. (not down with supposedly "unqualified" meetings). 


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