Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, BANT and IMR’s
Werner Karl Heisenberg; (5 December 1901 – 1 February 1976) was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. His “Uncertainty Principle” loosely refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed.
BANT; is an acronym (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline) that Marketing / Sales organizations use to determine if a “Lead” is qualified enough to be put into Sales pipeline
IMR; is an acronym (Inside Marketing Representative) whose job is to qualify / follow up on Marketing Leads and progress them to Sales ready opportunities Okay you may be asking yourself, what a Quantum Physicist’s theory has to do with BANT and Demand Generation! Well let me explain…
To quote Paul Simon “When I think back on all the Crap I learned in High School…” I actually had a physics teacher who was engaging, interesting and she made learning fun. For that reason some of what she taught has stuck (most has not).
The relationship between Marketing (producer of Leads) and Sales (consumers of Leads) has always been a sort of Kabuki Dance, where they both show up at the table, talk about common goals and then walk away execute plans the best they can. There has always been an underlying tension where Sales says “I need more leads to make my number” and Marketing says “Close all that great Leads we already gave you! “ This is not necessarily a bad thing as both organization push each other to higher levels of performance.
Okay back to Heisenberg, the moment of truth in all of this, is when the IMR has a lead that she feels is qualified enough (meets BANT) for the Sales rep to accept it into pipeline and Marketing can ring the bell, proclaim victory and go back and find more. To quote another great American Lee Corso “Not so fast my friend…”
It is important to remember that Sales / Marketing has always been part art / part science. Add to this, Sales is not a linear process. Multiple decision makers, influencers, net new v existing customer, new v seasoned rep, new product v established products and the list can go on and on. All of these are variables that impact what gets into pipeline and what does not (art). One size does not fit all!
So what is the answer?
While lead scoring (Science) provides a great baseline from which to start, it is does not provide a complete picture of the journey from Lead to Opportunity. The magic happens when Sales and Marketing Leadership have frank conversations and both sides completely understand and support the process. This is the best way to achieve success. And by having monthly / quarterly audits of pipeline (painstaking process but worth it) with the Sales teams is the only way to avoid confusion down the line.
So let’s use Heisenberg / BANT as a rallying cry to incorporate both the Art AND Science of pipeline generation and continue work hand in hand to improve every day!