Introduced by IBM in the 1960s, BANT is a popular sales acronym used to identify and pursue the most qualified prospects based on their Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline.
The acronym BANT stands for:
Budget: How much is the prospect willing to spend?
Authority: Who is the ultimate decision-maker?
Need: Does the prospect have problems your product can solve?
Timing: Is there urgency?
What is BANT?
According to Hubspot, BANT is a sales qualification methodology that lets salespeople determine whether a prospect is a good fit based on their budget, internal influence/ability to buy, need for the product, and purchase timeline.
Must Read: 5 ABM Mistakes You Cannot Afford to Commit
How NOT to use BANT
Marketers claim that BANT methodology fails if you don’t use it right. For instance, it may fail if your sales representative treats this sales methodology like a checklist, meaning they bombard the prospect with questions after questions- without truly listening to their responses or attempting to add value.
Here’s an example:
Mike is a prospect who walked into your store hoping to purchase a car.
If we cut the exchange of pleasantries, the dialogue will be something like this.
Sales Representative: What’s your budget?
Mike: Um.. somewhere around $40,000!
(Obvious question for obvious reasons. Your sales rep wouldn’t want to waste his/her time showing a car that proceeds beyond this budget)
Sales Representative: Is there anything you’re looking for in particular?
Mike: You know! Should fit the budget. Great mileage, engine, features & technology, cost of ownership, warranties etc.
Sales Representative: Will you be driving it every day or occasionally?
Mike: Every day! I wish to ditch the passenger trains. Can you elaborate more on this particular (xyz) feature?
Sales Representative: Sure. And when would you want to own it?
Mike: This Spring!
Can you tell what’s wrong?
Firstly, it sounded a lot like an interrogation, not a two-way dialogue. Nobody likes being quizzed. Unfortunately, BANT often causes sales representatives to adhere to a memorized script rather than asking questions that can build on each other.
Secondly, the sales representative missed out on so many opportunities to connect with the buyer better. For instance, he could have dug deeper into understanding the nature and purpose of the purchase.
To implement BANT successfully, consider it as a concept rather than a to-do list. You need to qualify on all 4 characteristics, but you don’t need to do them in a specific order or way. You should alter your approach every time to fit the prospect.
BANT Lead Qualification Questions
- How much do you currently spend now on this problem or need?
- We’ve calculated your team could make X % profits per [week, quarter, year] by executing this [change, policy, investment].
- Whose budget is this coming out of?
- How much would it cost to construct the system by yourself?
- How much would it cost if you haven’t fixed this issue in 5 years?
- How heavily will the price factor affect the decision?
- Have you kept aside a budget range for this purchase?
- What’s the ROI you’re expecting to see?
- Who will be working on the product?
- When was the last time you bought a similar product? Did it help the concerned team or department for better?
- This is typically the stage where my customer brings in [the head of Finance, the other stakeholders, their manager] to [discuss X, get their perspective on Y]. Do you want to invite [Z person/people] to our next meeting?
- Will anyone else be involved in this decision?
- When did you identify [problem, threat, opportunity]?
- What steps have you already taken to solve it?
- How significant is addressing this to your personal goals at [organisation]? Career goals? Your departments’?
- What are your top priorities at the moment? Where does this fit on that list?
- What happens if you don’t address this?
- Are there any upcoming events/deadlines that you’d like to have a solution in place by?
- Are you planning any [insert relevant project here, i.e. lead generation campaign, major hiring spree, program overhauls, etc.)?
- What’s your [lead generation, revenue, retention, etc.] goal for [next quarter, half of the year]? Will you be able to meet that goal without any sort of change?
- Working backwards from the date you gave me, we’d need to seal our agreement by [earlier date]. Does that sound doable?
BANT is a lead management methodology used for sales qualification. Using BANT, sales representatives ask various questions to their prospects and based on their answers, the lead is assigned priority or is pursued.
Get Leads That Are BANT Ready
We at OnlyB2B identify BANT leads that qualify for sale and let your Salesperson determine if the prospect is a good fit based on their budget, authority or ability to buy, need for your product and purchase timeline.