Business to Business (B2B) is a challenging segment because it is complex to manage each leads to generate sales.
It’s not as simple as a lead asking a question and we can straightaway sell it. One of the factors is because there are many people who needs to make the decisions (decision makers) in one purchase.
So, the question is when there are a lot of incoming leads, how does the sales manager want to divide the leads to the sales team?
Don’t be easily happy if you get a lot of leads because without proper screening, it is highly likely that you will waste the time and energy of the sales team to manage leads that are not qualified or have no intention of buying. You must have experienced similar situation right?
To overcome this problem, you need a set of standard qualification questions before the lead is given to the sales team.
In the sales team, there are two groups which are experienced and inexperienced sales agents.
These inexperienced sales agents often have a more aggressive nature and want to chase leads until they become sales. They will waste a lot of time and energy on bad leads because for them all leads have the same potential.
For more experienced sales agents, they are calmer and know how to distinguish quality leads from poor quality. However, they may give a wrong impression of the quality of the lead. A quality lead is said to be of poor quality, a poor quality lead is said to be quality.
So sales managers need to play a role in overcoming this problem by screening first before giving leads to the sales team.
Using BANT to Filter of Leads
BANT is a set of qualifying questions to determine the quality of the lead. The meaning of BANT is Budget, Authority, Needs, Timeline.
To find out if the lead is worth giving to the sales team, we must first identify how much money the lead is willing to pay to solve their problem and if they have the money.
Question for leads: How much budget do you have and are you willing to pay to solve your problem?
In B2B, it is complex because there are many decision makers. Each department has different objectives to achieve. For example, if a company wants to buy a CRM that is to be used by the sales team, the company needs to get approval from the finance department and the marketing department.
So before going further, make sure you first check if your lead is a decision maker for the company.
Questions for leads: What is your job title?
Every problem needs a solution. You need to know whether the problem the lead has is compatible with the solution you offer.
And is there a problem that the lead experiences that needs to be solved with the solution that your company offers.
Question for leads: Do you have problem A and want to find solution B?
Because in the B2B segment, if there are many decision makers, usually the purchase period will take longer.
Hence, you need to know the level of the lead’s readiness to buy and how much time it takes to complete a purchase.
Question for leads: How many departments do you have and will discuss with you for the purchase of this solution? How long does it take?
For the qualification questions, it is easy and you can decide for yourself to evaluate the quality of the lead.
But the most difficult thing is to determine their purchase Timeline.
What you need to do is isolate leads that have a long timeline to disqualify and create an automated channel using a chatbot, for example, to nurture them until they are ready to buy.
In addition, you can also target only leads who have a high and immediate buying intention (strong buying urgency).
Reduce your lead pool target (lead generation) due to the fact that only a few leads have strong buying urgency and increase the total cost for one of your leads (cost per lead).
If this is not done, you will miss many opportunities to get quality leads.
The diagram above shows an example of the process that can be done to create a filter.
Leads that do not pass the BAN question are further categorized as ineligible and will not be managed.
Leads who pass the BAN question but are not ready to buy (Timeline question) will be categorized as disqualified but sent to the automatic nurturing channel until they are ready to buy.
Leads that pass the BANT questions will be sent to the sales team.
Who should do the Lead Quality Screening?
Who should do the screening? Is it the marketing or sales department?
It is better for the marketing department to do the screening before the leads are sent to the sales team. Leads like this are called Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL).
MQL provides a lot more benefits aside from just getting a lot of leads. The Sales Team would only need to manage the quality leads.
So the sales team can save time, effort and provide motivation to the sales team because they can quickly get sales as they are only focusing on MQL.
The Marketing Department can consider using chatbots to automate the qualification process and the nurturing process.
With a chatbot, day or night, when a lead comes in with questions, the lead will get a quick answer and the qualification screening process can be done automatically.
In addition, with chatbots, the Marketing Department can also measure the level of intention by giving a score when they perform a single action.
For example, leads who have read the article + downloaded the ebook + viewed the product price page have a higher score than leads who only viewed the article.
So when this type of lead is given to the sales team, the sales team can prioritize based on the highest score and contact the lead based on this priority.
So what should you do now?
You have learned many things including the screening process, the use of BANT questions, why it is important to give MQL to the sales team and others.
To further increase your sales, please download the ebook below.