Mar 232010
 
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There’s a good conversation going on over at Focus.com about whether the sales concept of BANT — Budget Authority Need Timeframe — is no longer valid in light of how the modern B2B buying process works. The question has been asked: “Is BANT dead?”

I commented on the post, and as part of my continuous effort to drive my own personal “return on contribution” I’ve re-published my answer to the question in this space. But there are lots of great expert opinions from B2B marketing thought leaders in the original post, so hop on over and have a look!

— begin answer —

“BANT is not dead but it is definitely under the weather and needs better care from its primary care physicians (sales and marketing executives).

As a salesperson’s tool for measuring a prospect’s relative readiness to buy, BANT remains valid and useful to the sales process.

However, there are times (too many times, by my observation) that BANT is used as a rigidly applied internal service level agreement between sales and marketing (or between sales and pre-sales lead development). In some environments, BANT is set up such that the sales team literally can’t talk to buyers unless BANT is fully achieved, or until a certain score threshold has been satisfied. This is a good idea when every sales person’s time is fully utilized talking to BANT-qualified prospects. However, most of the time this is not the case. There is always some “excess capacity” in the revenue factory, which can actually be good thing. So to the extent that BANT is ever used to keep a less-than-maxed-out sales person from talking to a buyer who is less-than-fully-BANT-qualified, it’s not a useful metric.

I think BANT is most useful when applied at the level of the individual salesperson, who must prioritize his/her time as if it were money to spent (time is the salesperson’s most valuable currency). As an operational metric, BANT is not flexible enough for practical application, in my opinion.

BTW, marketers have their own version of BANT. It’s called Cost per Lead (CPL). It’s another metric that is useful in a narrow context, but can needlessly limit outcomes if applied too rigidly. For more on the perils of excessive adherence to CPL (and 3 metrics that are better to use), see this post:

http://www.focus.com/ugr/research/marketing/asdf/

— end answer —

Jan 272010
 
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More fun with the Funnelholic. Following on the heels of our decently-retweeted collaboration two weeks ago, 210 B2B Marketing Tips for 2010, Craig Rosenberg got the band (Craig, Chris Jablonski, and myself) back together for a new effort: The Marketing Hipster Dictionary: 53 Definitions Every Marketer Should Know.

Most of these defined terms are “dual-use.” That is, they provide a new slant on familiar concepts for the seasoned marketer, and give a modernized introduction to the relative newcomer. A small number of the definitions are of limited practical value but may provide some momentary entertainment value to the reader. An amuse bouche, perhaps… … or perhaps just the definitions we rescued from the cutting room floor just prior to press time in an effort to get us to the semi-arbitrary target of 52 terms. Hey, it’s the Internet, not the Gray Lady.

Part 1 was published yesterday (1/26). Part 2 — which includes definitions for funnel jockey, campaign sorcerer, and market whisperer — will be posted tomorrow (1/28).

Enjoy the read and please feel free to pile on with your own hipster definitions.

http://www.funnelholic.com/