Qualification methods in B2B SaaS: the classic, the better and The Best.

https://flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/6216677689/ – Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

One the breakthrough ideas of the mythical «Predictable Revenue» book (2011) was that organizations needed to specialize and to have dedicated prospectors (SDRs) to qualify leads and feed closers (AEs).

However, the book did not go into much detail about how to qualify those leads. In its «Cold Calling 2.0 example», Hyperquality’s qualification criteria was BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing)+ Fit with the product provided by Hyperquality.

Being BANT a method developed by IBM in the 1950s, I would say that is fair to baptize it as ‘the classic’.

Moving forward to a more recent B2B SaaS best seller book, in «The Sales Development Playbook» (2016) the author Trish Bertuzzi says that «Qualifying for BANT is like going on a first date and asking to see a credit report», and recommends a qualification methodology called PACT: Pain, Authority, Consequence, and Target Profile.

Just because of talking about the Pain to solve instead of Need, and trying to create FOMO in the prospect by asking for the Consequence (of the implications of not acting), I will qualify PACT as ‘the better’.

However, based on my reads of the last few paternity-leave nights, I would rather prefer a revamped BANT, as explained by Jacco Van der Kooij:

  • Need -> Impact. How the customer’s business compares before and after us.
  • Timing -> Critical event. Are we able to identify the consequence of missing a given date for going live?
  • Budget -> Priority. Having in mind the reduced cost of SaaS, it is more about scaling to the top of the ToDo list and less about getting eventual budget availability.
  • Authority -> Decision Process. From authoritative to committee, or who (group of people) and how (process) the customer decides about our value proposition.

It does not have a catchy acronym and it is not even perfect. However, just the explanation of Impact, Priority and Decision Process make it «The Best», IMHO.

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