When IBM pioneered a method of qualifying sales leads based on Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline — commonly known as BANT qualification — the world was a very different place. These were the days before the Internet and before potential customers could conduct extensive research on their own. Any customer wanting information on your goods or services had to work through your sales department. Either your sales staff made rounds and called on likely candidates or your telemarketing department did a bit of pre-screening before handing leads off to sales. Occasionally, a potential client would call in response to a print ad or flyer. In short, virtually all sales leads were generated by outbound sales methods that involved your company pushing its message to possible buyers.
Outbound marketing still has its place, but the digital age has shifted the "balance of power." Today, the emphasis is on inbound marketing, which is essentially getting the customer to contact you. Sales funnels are no longer straight, logical progressions that can be managed in a linear manner, so you might have little information regarding just where a buyer is in his journey when he calls you for the first time.
This makes BANT qualification process unwieldy when used as it was originally designed.