Conceived by IBM to qualify prospects, BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Needs, and Time. It is a sales qualification framework that aims to identify and pursue the prospects that are most likely to convert. It is widely known terminology in the business world. If a prospect meets at least three of the four BANT items, they are considered to have qualified. Here is what BANT means:
Budget- Is the prospect having enough budget to buy from you?
Authority- Is the prospect the decision-maker or an influencer?
Need- What is the need of the prospect’s business?
Time- How much time will the prospect take to implement the solution?
While the concept was very relevant and effective some time back, the modern business landscape does not approve of it. In simple words, there is a need to go beyond BANT to qualify sales prospects. Here are a few steps that need to be taken when qualifying a lead.
- Find out your prospects’ Goals, Plans, Challenges, and Timeline.
Begin by figuring out the goals, plans, challenges, and timeline of your prospects’ buying journey. Goals here, are the ones that your prospect wants to fulfill. If they don’t have any, this is your opportunity to advise them and help them figure out their goals. Only make sure you focus on realistic goals with deadlines.
Next step is to know the plans that they will implement to meet their goals. This will include asking them a number of questions about their plans in the previous year, their outcomes, availability of resources, and any changes they wish to make to new plans.
Further, it is important to note the challenges of your prospects and how they can be dealt with. Finally, timing is crucial to the whole process. When do your prospects look forward to meeting their goals? What is their priority? Is the timeline realistic?
- Who is the authority and do they have the required budget?
As outlined by the BANT framework, budget and authority play a vital role. It is important to know the budget of your prospect and determine whether or not they are capable of buying from you. You might have to remind them of their ROI and ask them to revise the expenditure sources.
Further, it is important to see whether the person you are interacting with is an influencer or a decision-maker. Once you know that, you can figure out how much effort you need. When there is a decision-maker at the other end, you will multiply your efforts to sell. Ask them about all goal, plans, challenges, time, and budget questions even if you have discussed those with the influencers.
- Look for positive implications and negative consequences.
Next, you need to look for any negative results that may come from your prospect not hitting their goal. Also, know the positive implications if they do reach their goal. And if your product is capable of helping them reach the goal or decreasing the risk of not achieving them, know how that will happen. If the product you have is good enough to help them achieve their goals or mitigate any risks on the way, you have a very good proposition. Therefore, to take this further you should know if the goals affect your prospects personally and what are the exact consequences of not hitting it.
The modern prospects are well-learned and therefore, are informed about you, your products and services. They know who your competitors are and they know them well too. To stand out, BANT only is not enough anymore. Following the above-listed steps is crucial to qualify a sales prospect. It is more complex than the famous frameworks but we assure you that it is worth all the effort. Our expert team is always ready to assist you. If you need more details on the sales-qualifying framework discussed here, you can get in touch with us.