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This New Lead Qualification Framework Helps You Identify Right-Fit Prospects

questions to qualify leads during a discovery call

 Lead Qualification | 6 min read

If your sales team is at all invested in inbound sales best practices, then they've probably – definitely – heard of BANT: the lead qualification framework used in a discovery/exploratory call that asks prospects about their budget, authority, need, and timing.

But, just as inbound is always evolving, so are the strategies behind it. And we are putting BANT into retirement once and for all.

Move over BANT, because there is a bigger and better framework in town: CGP TCI BA.

What the Heck Is CGP TCI BA?

via GIPHY

Ok, so this acronym might not be as easy to say as BANT, but ultimately it's a more evolved form of BANT that really helps gather the right information at the right time to determine if prospects are a right fit for your business.

CGP TCI BA breaks down qualification into three levels. It stands for: Challenges, Goals, Plans; Timeline, Consequences, Implications; Budget, and Authority.

Unlike BANT, this framework addresses budget and authority last, after discovering the why behind their needs.

Modern day sales prospecting encourages you to uncover the motivation behind the search for a solution beforehand to gain a better understanding of your prospects needs and intentions. This makes it easier to transition into the budget and authority discussions because it gives your team context around why prospects are looking to connect with you. 

A Breakdown of the CGP TCI BA Lead Qualification Framework

As mentioned above, the CGP TCI BA framework addresses multiple questions in a three-part process. Therefore, you should treat each “section” of questions as its own conversation during an exploratory call.

Let’s break down each segment of the exploratory call and the questions that align with each framework level.

Questions to Ask During CGP

questions to help qualify prospects

During this initial step, start with the basics. Take the time to learn more about your prospect's business and the issues they might be struggling to solve.

Challenges

Ask your prospects to identify the challenges they are facing with their current business efforts. What struggles are they having that you might have a solution for? Ask them to note any previous efforts they used to try to solve this issue and what those results were.

What to ask:

  • What challenges does your business currently have?

Goals

Sometimes, a certain pain point for a business can affect overall business goals, which can raise a huge red flag and elicit an immediate solution. What goals does your prospect currently have, and how could this current challenge affect the potential success of these goals?

What to ask:

  • What goals are you trying to accomplish, and how are your challenges impacting these goals?

Plans

Does the company have any current plans for overcoming this challenge? Address this early on, as you might be able to provide valuable insights into their current solution. And, don't forget to ask, “Are you open to new ways of solving your challenges?” If the answer is no, they probably aren’t the right fit for your services.

What to ask:

  • If any, what plan do you have in place to overcome challenge XYZ?

Questions to Ask During TCI

exploratory call questions

While the first part of the exploratory call will help you understand the why of the call, the second part of the CGP TCI BA lead qualification framework will help motivate the prospect to take action by vocalizing their hopes and concerns.

Timeline

What is your prospect’s time frame for accomplishing their goals? Identifying the timeframe in which your lead is hoping to conquer their challenge and achieve their goals can help you better understand how urgent this challenge really is to them and show you how ready they are to come around to making a decision.

What to ask:

  • When are you trying to accomplish your goal by?

Consequences

Ask your prospect what will happen if they fail to achieve their goals. While at first glance this question may seem too negative, it's something that will get them actually thinking about the severity of their issue and whether or not they need a solution sooner rather than later.

What to ask:

  • What consequences will arise if you fail to meet your business goals?

Implications

On the other end of the spectrum, inquire about the positive impact that reaching a goal could have on their business. This question will identify any strong motivations behind why they're seeking your solutions and help them visualize the positive impact goal achievement will have on their business.

What to ask:

  • If you do accomplish your goals, what positive effect will it have on your company?

Questions to Ask During BA

how to ask about prospect's budget

Budget and authority should be the final questions during an exploratory call. Why? If you approach a prospect and ask about their budget in the first 30 seconds, they might believe your sole intention is nabbing their credit card number.

Unlike the BANT framework, CGP TCI BA allows you to establish trust and build credibility first by analyzing concerns and motivations. Once you gain their trust, they’ll be more open to sharing about their decision-making process and intended budget.

Budget

How much is your prospect looking to invest in an attempt to achieve their goals? Discussing budget is an essential part of an exploratory call because it can ultimately determine if they are a good fit for your business. If you work with a minimum value, anything less may be a red flag.

What to ask:

  • How much money (per month/in total) did you plan on investing to help your business achieve these goals?

Authority

Unfortunately, not every discovery call will have the decision maker(s) on the other line. Because of this, it's important to identify who at the prospect's company will be involved in the decision-making process when it comes time to choose a solution.

It can also be beneficial to ask about the company's internal decision-making process to evaluate the path you'll need take in order to get in front of the actual decision makers

What to ask:

  • What does your company's decision-making process look like, and who is involved?

BANT Is Out, CGP TCI BA Is In

Put down your BANT worksheet, and start applying the CGP TCI BA framework into your sales discovery calls. Uncover your prospects' challenges, find their motivations, and uncover their budget and authority to qualify each lead in an efficient, effective way. 

When it comes to qualifying prospects to find the diamonds in the rough, you have to know what questions to ask and when. With CGP TCI BA ringing in the back of your mind, your next discovery call will be a breeze.

Sales Assessment

Published on February 28, 2019

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