Types of Lead Qualification Methods & Frameworks: ANUM, BANT, ChAMP, FAINT, MEDDIC, NOTE

Types of Lead Qualification Methods & Frameworks: ANUM, BANT, ChAMP, FAINT, MEDDIC, NOTE

written by Houston Golden
Founder & CEO, BAMF Media
September 23rd, 2021
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What’s worse than no leads?

Unqualified leads.

Here’s the thing.

Getting leads is pretty easy.

If you have the right message, medium, and method, you’ll soon get people clamoring to get your solution.

But, here’s the thing.

Not everyone is going to be qualified.

In this guide, let’s go through the different types of lead qualification methods and sales frameworks, what all those complicated acronyms mean, and what they can do to drive growth in your organization.



BANT FRAMEWORK Types of Lead Qualification Methods AND Frameworks

BANT (not to be confused with the best LinkedIn marketing agency – BAMF ?) is probably the most popular type of lead qualification out there and it stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing.

This methodology has quite a rich history starting off as the brainchild of the people over at IBM, and it has grown in popularity because of its simplicity.

BANT does suffer from one infamous flaw.

It’s seller-centric and tends to discard leads for the sake of high efficiency.

That means it works if you know that the buyer has bought a solution that’s similar to yours or might be shopping for it in the future.

In effect, it only works for people with the budget to buy from you.

Here’s how you can use it for lead qualification:

B – Budget

This refers to the prospect’s ability to have a budget for the solution that you are offering them.

More often than not, one of the greatest obstacles to a prospect purchasing from you is their ability to pay.

This is why BANT attempts to tackle this issue first before moving on to the rest of the qualification questions.

Regardless if the prospect is in love with the product, it would make no sense – from the efficiency standpoint – to try and sell them something that they don’t have the budget for.

(Note: you can still keep them in one of your lead lists for the future.)

A – Authority

Getting the solution in front of the right person is another important part of BANT’s lead qualification methodology.

Lead generation teams should make sure that they are targeting people who can make the decision to purchase from their organization.

However, this shouldn’t be mistaken as just looking for the DMU (decision-making unit), marketers can also target people who help the “authority” make the decision.

N – Need

This refers to their current (or future) need for the solution that you are selling.

The prospect needs to need the solution, or else the entire process is a waste.

When qualifying based on needs, make sure you consider what problems, bottlenecks, or roadblocks they are currently facing.

Also, take into account if they are considering other alternate solutions that other a substitute for what you’re providing.

Be aware of what the competition can offer them so that you can leverage your USP.

You can do this via a sales discovery or triage call, but to make sure you make the most out of your questions in this phase, make sure you know enough about the company.

T – Timing

This refers to the priorities that your prospect has.

Are they looking to solve the problem, possibly with your solution, in the near future?

Does this time frame align with your own organization’s selling goals?

Is this solution a priority?

By figuring out priorities and timing, you know how to position your organization or determine if the prospect can be considered to be a colder lead that should be dealt with at a later time.

For example, take a look at B2B healthcare and education, since their budgets are usually predetermined at the start of the fiscal year, a lot of consideration is put into the timeframe of the sale with an emphasis on lead nurturing.


ANUM FRAMEWORK Types of Lead Qualification Methods AND Frameworks

ANUM was developed by Ken Krogue and it’s pretty much similar to BANT’s approach with significant emphasis placed on authority – A.

It stands for authority, need, urgency, and money.

Money is the last priority because this particular sales framework depends on the rapport that you have with the DMU and takes into account that companies don’t always have a fixed budget for the solutions that you propose.

It’s also seller-centric like BANT.

But, it’s simple enough for an appointment setter to work with effectively.

A – Authority

The priority of ANUM is to find the right authority to pitch to first.

So this means if the prospect that you’re talking to doesn’t have the capability to make decisions for a company, they don’t make the cut.

At BAMF, we’ll suggest that before you find someone else, see if the current prospect has any connection to the DMU and if they can help connect you to them.

You can use this opportunity to find out more about the company, and this can help you with your next pitch to the real DMU.

Also, check if they are part of the technical team, it helps to sell to the technical team before you hit the DMU because you can get them to vouch for your product.

N – Need

ANUM also includes a “needs” portion where you try and identify if they have a need for the solution that you have or if they have other pain points you can help them with.

Note, you want to be a consultant here.

Don’t start pitching right away if you’re in a sales call.

You want to determine how their company functions and how you can fulfill their needs, either today or sometime in the future.

U – Urgency

Just like T for Timing in BANT, this refers to how urgently the prospect wants to solve the needs that they have, preferably with the solution that you have.

If they don’t want to move it right now, you should probably mark the lead off for nurturing until they’re ready.

M – Money

As we mentioned earlier, ANUM assumes that money is the least to prioritize when qualifying because a budget is not always fixed when it comes to more unique solutions to problems.

Also, rapport is a major consideration.

People are more willing to spend if they’re more familiar with the person they’re dealing with.


ChAMP FRAMEWORK Types of Lead Qualification Methods AND Frameworks

ChAMP or CHAMP, stands for Challenges, Authority, Money, and Priority.

It shares a resemblance to ANUM and BANT, but it switches out needs with challenges.

The assumption here is that a prospect will be interested to commit to a solution depending on the challenges that they are having in their organization.

Instead of focusing on looking for the Authority in the organization or the budget that they might be willing to spend, a lead generation expert can jump right into the meat of the matter.

That being: challenge.

This is methodology ticks a lot of the right boxes in lead generation because it assumes that a budget can change depending on the solution being provided and that looking for the DMU is only the second priority in qualification.

CH/Ch – CHallenges

The first step is checking if the prospect (or their organization) has specific challenges that you can solve.

This is basic human nature.

People might be solutions to make their lives easier.

But, they have a higher propensity to make a purchase if they are currently facing an obstacle that’s getting in the way.

To a degree, it gives them a sense of urgency regarding their situation.

A – Authority

Like the rest of the lead qualification frameworks that we discussed here, it is essential that you are talking to the right person in the organization that you’re setting an appointment for or marketing to.

This step ensures that you are being efficient with the time and resources that you have.

M- Money

Since you started with challenges, now you need to know if the company places the same value on the solution that you offer to counter the problem that they are experiencing.

Again, a lot of marketers need to understand that sometimes a company can go over their budget to fix a problem that’s really getting under their skin.

P – Priority

ChAMP ditches the word Time or Urgency, in favor of the word priority.

It might be so they could complete the word “champ”, but we think it’s because the timing or urgency of sales is also based on priorities that they have.

If you assume that all potential buyers will buy your solution, then the only question is “when will they buy into what you have to offer?”

And, that all depends on how much a priority they attach to solving the problem that you want to fix for them.

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FAINT FRAMEWORK Types of Lead Qualification Methods AND Frameworks

If you want something more advanced, we advise that you take a look at the FAINT framework. It stands for Funds, Authority, Interest, Need, and Timing.

Initially developed by Mike Shultz, it introduces interest as a qualification factor and it solves a major problem that a lot of bigger prospects have.

“What budget should I have for this solution?”

This deals with organizations with funds but no set budgets.

This is both a good and bad thing.

It’s great when your client list contains a list of high-profile prospects with the ability to pay X thousands of dollars for your solution.

But, FAINT “faints” if you’re dealing with a company with a set budget.

(In our experience, there’s always ways around this so just like what we said in BANT, keep them in a different lead list. You might never know you could have a low-budget product for them in the future.)

F – Funds

How is FAINT different from BANT?

One uses “funds” as a qualifying factor while the other uses “budget”.

Budget refers to the amount of money that a company is willing to allocate to solve a problem or invest in a new solution, while funds refer to how much money a company has.

The initial qualification is made easy because you get to set aside companies with smaller cashflows as you prioritize those with the money to spend.

This first part in lead qualification even allows you to help your prospect set a budget during the sales discovery or triage call.

A – Authority

Just as it is with the rest of the other sales qualification frameworks, you need to look for someone of authority to speak with.

If you want to keep some people on the list who aren’t DMUs, make sure you go through the decision-makers first.

I – Interest

Out of all the frameworks that we’ve discussed so far, we love the inclusion of interest in FAINT because it’s a factor that you can directly control.

Interest is something that can be generated by the outbound lead generation team or through targeted marketing.

It refers to the likelihood that a person doesn’t just like what you have to offer, but also their perception of how important it is to their organization.

This is done through marketing and rapport building in lead nurturing, and it can make or break any deal with a closer.

The more interest that is generated in a solution, the more likely it is for rapport to come naturally and a deal struck.

It’s just human nature.

We are more likely to align ourselves with things that pique our interests.

Now, in qualifying a prospect, you need to know how interested they are in the solution that you want to provide them.

If you find that a prospect only has a limited interest in what you have to offer, you can always put them on a separate list for you to nurture and follow up with later on.

N – Need

Once it’s established that there’s interest from the prospect, it’s time to look at their need for your product.

You can always leverage interest in this part of the qualification process since it has a greater weight.

T – Timing

Lastly, there’s the issue of timing.

Will you be able to get an appointment out of your lead at this time?

When are they planning to buy from you?

Are you a priority?

This follows the same rules as BANT, ANUM, and ChAMP.


MEDDIC FRAMEWORK Types of Lead Qualification Methods AND Frameworks

MEDDIC is one of the longer acronyms when it comes to lead qualification frameworks, and it’s been around for decades.

It stands for Metrics, Economic buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identify pain, and Champion.

Not only is it a mouthful to say, but it’s a more rigorous process of qualifying sales leads.

The problem? It’s too specific and it’s not necessarily buyer-centric.

M – Metrics

Metrics refers to what quantifiable benefit can get the prospect gain from the solution.

The word metrics is used because whatever the prospect gains from the solution that you’re selling them have to be quantifiable.

Whether it be increasing their sales by 800 percent, reducing wastes by half, etc. there has to be a number attributed to it.

The reason MEDDIC goes for this approach is that it’s easier to go speak with a prospect if you have a solid plan of action that’s quantifiable in hand.

E – Economic buyer

MEDDIC is known for being hyper-specific even in the way it determines the “authority” in an organization.

Prospects are usually filtered out depending on their capability to authorize spending. Although you could talk to any person of authority that functions as a DMU, talking to someone that can authorize the funds for the purchase is the main target here.

D – Decision criteria

Most companies have decision criteria before coming to decision about a solution – like the one you have to offer.

And, MEDDIC drives that point home by getting the lead generation team to understand the company to try to meet their decision criteria.

For companies that don’t have any set criteria left, it’s advised that you ask the prospect to lay down their terms.

You can say that this will make it easier for them to choose between multiple solutions that they can consider.

D – Decision process

Apart from decision criteria, it’s also important that you earn the decision-making process in the company.

In this way, you can properly plan your course of action when dealing with the prospect.

I – Identify pain

We like that they use the word “pain” instead of “need”.

This sales qualification framework takes a look at how a solution can prevent certain pains from happening to the company.

The use of the word pain suggests a more implicit sense of urgency coupled with need.

This makes more sense because you’ll be prioritizing companies with a more pressing need – something that cause them pain, instead of going after everyone who “could” need the solution that you have to offer.

C – Champion

One of the best ways to sell in an organization is to have someone else on the inside rooting for you – your champion.

It’s a great reference to wars in the past that would usually pick a champion to dish it out for each side.

One way to establish champions is not only to target decision-making units but also people who are actually going to use the solutions that you are proposing.

They might actively root for you and even help in the internal sales process.

One great way of doing this is through brand awareness campaigns for other employees apart from the decision-makers themselves.

You can do this through retargeting, organic content, etc.

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NOTE FRAMEWORK Types of Lead Qualification Methods AND Frameworks

Lastly, we come to another contender to topple  BANT, the humble NOTE.

NOTE stands for Need, Opportunity, Team, and Effect.

It’s a newer technique pioneered by Sean Burke, and a lot of companies have been adopting it because it solves the seller-centric nature of BANT by being buyer-centric.

Instead of focusing on budgets and financing, it qualifies based on what the prospect actually needs.

N – Need

The way NOTE defines Need is a little different from the other frameworks.

A pinpoint can be ignored because the business can still function with the pain, but a need is something that can’t be put on the sidelines.

By working with prospects that have an actual need for the solutions that you are proposing, it makes it easier for companies to be less reluctant with dealing with you.

O – Opportunity

Think of opportunity as what the clients get when they work with you.

This is reminiscent of the metrics stage of MEDDIC since it deals with the opportunities that prospects get once they get the solution that you’re selling them.

It doesn’t really need to be quantifiable – although that’s always a big help in lead qualification, it has to provide prospects with a vision of great things to come for their organization.

T – Team

Here’s another new criteria why a lot of lead generation experts fall in love with NOTE.

Your solution has to do something to make the lives of a group of people in your prospect’s organization better.

Whether it’s the entire organization as a team or different teams inside departments.

You need to be marketing to everyone that wi potentially use the solution you’re selling – if you haven’t been already.

E – Effect

Lastly, you want to talk about the effects of collaborating with the prospect.

What is their vision of success when they buy into the solution that you’re offering?

For a lot of companies, this isn’t just limited to financial gains, but also better functionality across teams, better systems, etc.

But, that’s not all this stage deals with.

It also takes into consideration expectations.

Both the prospect and the closer have to be on the same page to make sure that a future deal will benefit them both.

This leads to better relationships with your prospects and allows for future collaboration.

Our Takeaways on Lead Qualification Methods

There are a lot of lead qualification methods and frameworks, but not all of them can help you with the challenges that we are facing today.

If you ask us, NOTE and FAINT work well given the ever-changing industry landscape.

You’ll be able to put the buyer first and proceed to have long-lasting relationships that serve all parties involved.

And, that’s what matters.

The moment you’re able to make the prospect the priority, you already have one foot through the door.

You’re there to sell relationships, not products.

That’s the growth hacking way.

The BAMF way.

Do you need help with your lead generation and qualification?

Why not talk to someone at BAMF to help you out.

About the Author

The name's Houston Golden. I'm the Founder & CEO of BAMF — a company I've grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $5M+ in revenue over a span of 5 years.

How did I do it? Well, it's quite simple, really. I've helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win), I tell all on this blog.

Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.
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