After the year we’ve had, marketing executives could be asking Santa for sacks of budget, authority, needs and timeline (BANT)-qualified leads this Christmas. But if an agency offers you a list of allegedly good-to-go prospects for a bargain, think twice before counting yourself lucky.
At Europa, we’ve seen a rise in the number of clients buying what appears to be a solid list of BANT contacts… and then finding out that the names they’ve got are anything but ready for a sales approach. So, what’s going on?
First, it’s important to point out that ‘BANT’, along with other lead generation acronyms, has always had a somewhat hazy definition. (Our friends at TBT Marketing have recently published a good primer on the matter.)
For us, a BANT lead is one that has been carefully nurtured and qualified through telemarketing, so we know it’s ready to be passed on to sales. Not all agencies are so scrupulous, though.
In particular, as COVID has made it harder to meet prospects in person, there has been a growing trend of content syndication agencies acquiring names and email addresses by offering free reports, white papers and the like.
There’s nothing wrong with this kind of content marketing, of course—it’s a valuable way of filling the top of your sales funnel with marketing-ready or even marketing-qualified leads. The problem comes when these leads are offered as being sales-qualified or genuinely BANTed opportunities.
Unless they’ve been further qualified through telemarketing, they’re not likely to be BANT leads. At best, they are MQLs: marketing qualified leads. But how can you tell? The first clue is value. Nurturing a prospect to the BANT stage takes time and effort. In tech, you could be looking at months or even years for a single contact. So, if someone offers you leads at £30 to £40 a name, those clearly aren’t BANT prospects.
For the same reason, you should be suspicious of any agency that claims to be able to rustle up a sizeable list of BANT leads in a matter of days or weeks.
The best lead gen professionals in the business might be able to muster two or three well-qualified opportunities a week, so anyone delivering a lot more is probably cutting corners. Beyond that, it pays to use common sense when looking at prospect lists.
If some of the names just don’t look like the kind of prospects that would be buying your product or service, the chances are they’ve just downloaded a marketing brochure instead of being nurtured through telemarketing.
Ultimately, the best way to acquire genuinely BANTed sales opportunities is to speak to an agency that has been delivering them for years. If you’re looking for advice or inspiration, then click here to learn about our services or contact us now.