Through many years of B2B selling, I have come across several great models for deal qualification. I thought it would be useful to point them out here.
First, why is qualification important?
One of the critical drivers for revenue success is an increase in close rates by the sales team and effective qualification is critical to that metric. Not only will effective qualification help the sales team re-focus on the right deals, the very exercise of qualification inspires better engagement tactics in the sale.
These models also work in marketing and elements can be configured in lead scoring qualification and identifying the MQL – marketing qualified lead and SQL – sales qualified leads.
So what are the three we like?
BANT is likely the most popular model in the B2B sales arena. I learned BANT while at IBM and I rely on it the most because it is easy. A short acronym quickly helps focus the mind around the four critical elements. Most of our lead scoring models with marketing automation use a BANT model to build a scoring qualification – though we recognize that the primary insight around lead quality will occur with the sales team after the lead has been deemed a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
- Is budget available for project?
- If no budget, will budget be provided
- No budget
- What is the contact’s title?
- Are they a decision maker?
- Are they an influencer?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
- Are they just researching?
- Are they job seekers?
- Are they college students?
- Are they trying to sell YOU something?
- When do they want to make a purchase decision?
I really like TAS qualification. It centers on four key questions: Is there an opportunity? Can we compete? Can we win? Is it worth winning? We adopted the TAS program at Viant and standardized TAS qualification into our sales operating model Find more about TAS here.
The TAS model is also quick to remember and deals strategically with the go/ no go business decision. The last question – “Is it worth winning?” is particularly powerful because so often a deal can appear win-able, but with a thoughtful approach, it still may not be worth pursuing.
Is there an opportunity?
- Defined project
- Business profile/ situation
- Financial condition
- Access to funds
- Compelling event/ Implementation date
Can we Compete?
- Formal decision criteria
- Solution fit
- Resource requirements for bid
- Current relationship strong
- Unique business value
Can we win?
- Inside support strong
- Executive credibility strong
- Cultural compatibility good
- Informal decision criteria
- Political alignment strong
Is it Worth Winning?
- Short term revenue
- Future revenue
- Degree of risk
- Strategic value
I learned SCOTSMAN while at the PA Consulting Group. At PA there were plenty of real Scotsman! It was the PA standard model we used in global sales training programs – and a very popular model. SCOTSMAN uses more elements and as a result, can provide rich insight. For particularly complex relationships and sales situations, SCOTSMAN is a good choice. You may need a “cheat sheet” or spreadsheet to work through the analysis (similarly with TAS). (if you would like a spreadsheet or tool, contact me at ( jcstone at revenuearchitects.com )
Here is how the model works:
- Do they like our solution ?
- Are we bidding a new service ?
- Are too many firms bidding ?
- Does the prospect express a negative bias ?
- Does the competition have any significant advantage ?
- Has the prospect committed our USPs to his selection criteria ?
- Has the prospect committed time to examine our strengths ?
- Has the prospect accepted our timescales ?
- Are the prospect’s plans realistic ?
- Is the decision or implementation too far away to be worthwhile ?
- Is the job or account potential big enough ?
- Will the job demand more resources than we can offer ?
- Are the fees within the prospect’s budget ?
- Is the budget realistic ?
- Are we much more expensive than the competition ?
- Are we talking/can we talk to the decision makers ?
- Do the decision makers know that there is a decision to be made ?
- Do we have a bad history/rapport with the decision makers ?
- Are consultants involved in the decision ?
- Do we have an inside salesperson ?
- Have we agreed the (business) case for the engagement ?
- Have we agreed a decision timetable with the prospect ?
Each of these models are part of an effective sales operating model. We help clients define operating models that work in their specific environment. A sales operating model defines key elements of the sales responsibility, including;
- Pipeline stages and rules
- Usage criteria for CRM and Sales Force Automation tools
- Forecasting Models
- Assets for team sales, qualification and selling
- Assets required at different stages of the sales process
Contact us to learn more.