The Perfect Lead

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Jan 22, 2018 12:09:12 PM

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Merriam-Webster defines the holy grail as: “an object or goal that is sought after for its great significance.” Can companies reach the holy grail of marketing—the perfect lead?

Well, what is a perfect lead? Those of us at PointClear do not believe in the alphabet soup of acronyms such as BANT, ANUM and the granddaddy of all acronyms, MAN.

What is wrong with these formulaic approaches to lead qualification?

  • BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe). Requiring budget and timeframe to qualify a lead (other than those for low-priced commodity offerings) ensures that you are eliminating some of the best opportunities. According to ITSMA: “70% of B2B technology solution buyers want to engage with sales reps before they identify their short list. In fact, buyers perceive value in interacting with sales at every stage of the buying process—even the early stages.” If you wait until a budget and timeframe have been established it is likely that the deal has already been won by a more agile competitor, and if you are included in the evaluation it is likely to be as column fodderwith no real opportunity to win the business.
  • ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money). While I like this one better, it still includes money and for the same reason I object to the word “budget” in BANT, I object to ANUM.
  • MAN (Money, Authority, Need). Not only is this one politically incorrect, it includes money and that is a non-starter for me.

This blog, by Frederik Jonsson, is interesting as well as entertaining. He talks about other acronyms including NUTCASE, which is Need, Uniqueness, Timing, Cash, Authority, Solutions, Enemies :)

I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect lead. All leads have warts. However, the formula I use to qualify a lead and optimize the lead's value is Pain, Priority, Process and Environment.

Is there a pain or need? Is that pain driven by some type of priority (compliance, or a condition of need? (That is, is there a need that creates a sense of urgency?) What is the process to establish a budget and timeframe? Is the prospect a match from an environment standpoint? (Environment could be existing technology, disposition toward or against outsourcing, etc.)

What is your definition of the perfect lead—and why?

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