Buyers beyond BANT: Digging into data for better conversions
Published on 23 January, 2024 | Author: Digitalzone
Let’s set up some absolutes in content syndication: we need MQLs to convert, the buyer’s journey is NOT linear, and data is king. Now onto the variables: nearly everything else in demand gen. But if we zoom out, it’s simpler. Orgs who want bottom-of-funnel targets that will quickly convert are using BANT.
Born in the hallowed blue halls of IBM, the BANT framework is a solid lead qualifying approach – uncomplicated to set up, easy to use, and boasts a track record of success.
In an ideal world, target content reaches a buyer who then correctly answers the BANT questions (Budget, Authority, Need, and Time. BANT, get it?) and they convert to the buyer stage. If that’s giving you enough leads – amazing! Keep at it.
If you’re noticing a lower MQL conversion rate than you’d like, stagnated leads, or are curious about more data-driven content syndication, dial into the Waterfall method. Waterfall takes data extracted from leads to create a full-funnel campaign that gives you visibility into the entire customer journey, enabling you to close bottom-of-funnel leads while pointing you in the right direction to re-engage prospects with new content.
Where BANT dives, and when Waterfall can take you to the surface.
BANT is popular for a reason – it works. Its systematic, laser-targeted focus on prospects most likely to convert leads to – you guessed it – more effective sales. With this method, sales are bottom of the funnel buyers most likely already with one foot in on the ocean floor. Target those, convert them, sell ’em. Boom. Easy.
What if you want to target those who float in the middle? Prospects closer to the surface? Too heavy with the water-based metaphors, I agree. BANT’s rigid structure can miss potential future sales opps who need nurturing and turn off millennial buyers who favor flexibility.
In the BANT method, what happens if your target is disqualified – or incorrectly answers a BANT question? Maybe she’s not ready to buy, or he’s still working on budget approval. For BANT strategies, that profile and buyer are routed into oblivion. Rookie mistake. Non-buyers or disqualified leads are a treasure trove of data that can be used to perfect your content strategy.
Waterfall Content Syndication guides prospects through the entire sales funnel, from awareness to consideration to decision-making. Its customer experience-driven algorithms predict and adapt to changing customer behavior. This wizardry supports your lead nurture more effectively – virtually guaranteeing quality leads.
Treat lead gen like dating.
Anyone in a decent relationship will tell you – timing is everything. Saying “I love you” on the first date is nearly as bad as forgetting to call. Similarly, you need to slowly foster and develop a relationship with your prospect – determining where they’re at and meeting them there.
If a prospect hits BANT and is ready to dive into marriage, great! Book the venue. If not, take a step back and evaluate where you can improve and build rapport.
Start with initial attraction – create compelling content, eye-catching campaigns, and hyper-relevant messages. From there, build more interest. Your prospect may ignore the first content message. Keep a gentle hand but reach out again.
Then, nurture your budding relationship. Waterfall lets you learn about your target buyer by examining where they interact, where they bow out, and what limitations barring them from going all in.
Eventually, you’ll build customer loyalty and consistent. Still – it won’t always work out. Being able to focus on who is not right for you leaves you more energy for the ones who are.
A sea of Waterfall benefits.
Dating is tiring – but feels better with a light at the end of the tunnel. If the above sounded like a lot of work, get inspired by the strengths of a Waterfall strategy.
- Amplified ROI: The targeted approach executed by Waterfall results in better lead quality, which maximizes your ROI. Rather than waste time and money on unqualified leads, Waterfall delivers the right content to the right people at the right stage of the buying journey.
- Data-Driven Strategy: Remember when I said data is king? Waterfall challenges assumptions with a data-driven approach that examines all the customer data, even down to a complete lack of engagement. It’s a test-and-learn strategy where metrics and insights drive decision-making, instead of relying on guesswork.
- Tailored Engagement: See above. Waterfall doesn’t just throw content at your audience; it’s personalized and precise to their place on the buyer’s journey. The modern B2B buyer is super into personalized content.
- Lead Nurturing: Waterfall goes beyond lead generation and focuses on cultivating relationships. It supplies personalized attention to every prospect, carefully nurturing them on the buying journey until they’re ready for conversion.
By this point, hopefully, you’re thinking “Yeah, I see how Waterfall and BANT tackle different strategies of lead gen. But if you want to take away three major themes from this article, let me deliver.
BANT content syndication strategies target bottom-of-funnel users with a single touch to hyper-allocate resources to those most likely to buy. Waterfall uses data-driven strategies to deliver hyper-targeted content to those at many stages of the funnel. If you hit a target who isn’t ready to buy, Waterfall keeps them in the loop with another set of content touches. You stay top of mind, they stay engaged – and hopefully, keep entering the sales funnel until they’re ready to Add to Cart.