Automating the BANT sales process:
with a little help from sales people
Okay, I gave the game away at the beginning, didn’t I? For more contextual background on the BANT sales process, please read my earlier post on this blog and my post on Quora on How we use for BANT for Sales Qualification.
We love the BANT sales process; and we think it is the best way to qualify a sales opportunity through the stages that bring it to a closure- hopefully a win. But, automate it? No. Frankly speaking what Saleswah actually does is to calculate how far have we come to qualify the deal. It does it on all the B, A, N, T attributes. It displays the result graphically on every deal screen. And, it does it by making intelligent use of the data captured by the sales person.
What is the secret sauce?
Well we are not about to disclose our algorithm. But, we will tell you this:
All working out is on the basis of information the sales guys capture on the screen. All the parameters have a max value of 1.0 (min of 0.0) and they are arrived at by combining a composite set of factors.
Budget is worked out of the factors like: Is the budget identified, At what stage of approval is it, Has a priced quote been sent, Is the quote value smaller, bigger or comparable to the budget value etc.
This is the tough one, as we think the need qualification is the toughest one and it is interpreted in different industries differently. We score this on the basis of: Has the solution been presented, how the decision makers reacted to it, has a proposal been generated, has there been requests for literature and so on. Not perfect; but show me a perfect way to read someone’s mind!
In any B2B sales setting, we have decision making by committee- we have the person who is the key decision maker, the evaluators, the users and commercial people. Salespeople start off here, by identifying who the key people are in the deal and what their roles are.
These roles are given different names in sales literature- we grew up working with Miller Heiman’s Blue Sheet Analyses – but those are for key strategic deals. Blue Sheet method refers to Economic Buyers, Technical Buyers, Influencer etc. For a quick summary, please see here. But, for the vast majority of sales situations in B2B, we wanted to simplify the terms. We also think that the Blue Sheet may not have a place unless the deal is of significant size. So, we call our Decision Maker Roles: Most Important, Evaluator, Important User and Commercial. You may choose to see similarities with Miller Heiman, or you may not. We do not have the Coach or the Objector.
That said, we calculate the Authority on the basis of the engaged decision makers identified by the sales people and their roles.
We calculate the time value by the month of forecast and the confidence in the win. I have seen too many forecasts where on one hand you show the forecast date as this month; but the confidence in the win is only 30%. We discount those.
Want to test-drive Saleswah? Do register for free, here.