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Announcing The 21st Century Guide to Lead Qualification

Senior Editor, Intercom

Geoffrey Keating

@geoffreykeating

Main illustration: Tim Gilligan

It’s time to adopt a more modern approach to lead qualification, one that puts your prospects’ needs first. Today we’re publishing The 21st Century Guide to Lead Qualification to help.

In the 1960s, IBM revolutionized the sales process with the introduction of BANT, a framework for finding qualified leads for your product.

The mantra is simple: qualify your prospects based on their Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline. And for nigh on 30 years, this framework worked well. In a world where prospects could not easily learn about their business problems via a simple Google search, their favorite blogs, or by posting a question on Twitter, they were heavily reliant on salespeople to diagnose their needs and prescribe a solution. The result? Unnecessarily long sales cycles dictated more by the sales team’s requirements rather than the prospect’s.

But the world has changed.

The current generation of B2B buyers shop for software in an entirely different way than they did in the 1960s. They’re more informed about you and your competitor’s products and have identified their own needs – all before even thinking about talking to a salesperson. Forcing buyers into a lengthy qualification process and sales cycle isn’t working right now, and is likely to be outright rejected by the B2B buyers of the future.

Thankfully, there’s another way to qualify leads, one that works better for buyer and seller – through 1:1 conversations on your website. With real-time messaging, you can give your best leads a direct, real-time line to your sales reps (and their calendars) based on the qualifying criteria that matters to you. By responding to incoming leads in real-time and making sure the best ones get immediately passed to sales, your sales cycle can go from dealing in months and weeks to dealing in days and hours.

lead qualification guide

This guide will walk you through the fundamentals of lead qualification, some frameworks you can use and how the rise of messaging and intelligent chatbots can open up a fast lane for your hottest leads, giving them a direct line to their sales reps. It also features a short interview with Close.io CEO Steli Efti, one of the most passionate people we’ve ever talked to about qualification. In his own words, without effective qualification “you’re essentially throwing darts in the dark.”

Head over to our guide and start talking to your best leads today.