sales qualification

A new — and more effective — sales qualification framework

When it comes time for marketing and sales to determine the most qualified leads, many turn to BANT. The BANT framework has its origins within IBM and it is meant to be an easy and fast way to determine which buyers are a good fit and which are not, breaking down into Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline qualification attributes.

Yet, however valuable a framework is to work from in terms of consistency and unbiased thinking, today’s modern buying journeys mean the BANT framework no longer prioritize its steps in a meaningful way. Its first focus is on budget. If the buyer does not have a budget, the seller will never move on to the other three steps to qualify the lead.

And yet, what buyer has a budget for a need they have not recognized yet? How often does a buyer earmark a budget for a solution they do not understand or have not even heard of?

The BANT framework no longer cuts it in today’s market. It causes an obvious but common disconnect between buyers and sellers. And most importantly it fails to align with today’s buying trends.

There is better qualification criteria

The Mereo qualification criteria consists of AAAA: alignment, appropriateness, authority and action.

  • Alignment: Does the prospect align with the target buyer and organization profiles?
  • Appropriateness: Do you have a solution that serves the specific needs (recognized or not) that the prospect has?
  • Authority: Does the prospect have the buying authority to act on those needs and your solutions? This is where the budget and decision-making come into play, as the buyer may not have a designated budget for addressing the problem, but they have the authority to create the needed budget – for example, shifting that from a lower priority.
  • Action: Is there a sense of urgency to solve the issue? Is the need big enough that the prospect will act, and act now?

While this may have similar elements to the BANT model, the AAAA qualification framework repositions those elements in a way that better aligns with today’s buying journey.

And beyond determining these four attribute, the framework includes a specific scoring model – think Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) – for each attribute to truly turn the qualification criteria into a repeatable and effective science.

When it comes down to it, if the need is great enough and the solution will serve them in a meaningful way, a budget will be created to fund the transaction.

For more information on the Mereo demand progression framework, read on here.


Demand Progression