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What is BANT and How to Use it to Qualify Prospects?

What is BANT and How to Use it to Qualify Prospects?

Anirban Banerjee
Anirban Banerjee
November 28, 2022
5 min read

What sounds like a promising stance - beating around the bush or sticking to the point? 

Not just promising, sticking to the point as a sales rep makes you seem more confident, less pushy of a salesman, and like someone who knows what they are doing. 

Everybody wants to be the Harvey Specter of sales. 

Who wouldn’t want to be called “the best closer”!

But life, sales, and discovery calls aren’t that easy. You’ve got to build rapport, stick to the point, unravel prospects’ pain points, talk money, gauge their requirements, make small talk, pitch your product the best way…. 

Nope. That list isn’t ending any time soon. 

There’s so much to do when qualifying your prospects that you might end up with too little in your hands - without the major questions unanswered, no clarity on the budget, and pretty much still where you were before the call - on the top of the sales funnel.

We root for your success as much as we did for Jim. So, it’s time to talk about the solution, to help you make your way to the other side and push ‘em leads to the bottom of the funnel. 

The key is to spend time on only those who would qualify. How to do that? With BANT - a lead qualifying framework that helps you filter out the bad apples who aren’t really going to make the purchase. Now, this is something you could use, right? Hop on then; let the journey begin. 

What is BANT?

BANT is like a sieve. So whenever you pour prospects, they don’t move further down the sales process and get eliminated in the beginning. This helps you concentrate your ace sales-rep skills only on qualified leads. 

Essentially, as defined by IBM, the BANT framework is a sales qualification process that determines qualified leads on the basis of 4 parameters - budget, authority, need, and timing. 

Yep, hold your horses no' mo'.

Let’s take each of these parameters at a time.

Budget - Before starting with your pitch and value proposition on call, you should k know whether the lead can afford it. Maybe they want your enterprise solution and their budget fits the cost of a starter. If the lead is unwilling to increase the budget for this project or they can’t afford it, then it doesn’t make sense to pursue such a deal. 

Authority - Who sets the wheels in motion? Although you can get a general idea about the company and the challenges the team is facing from any team member,  it’s a waste to persuade them to make decisions that they have no authority over. The lead your salespeople are pursuing should be the right stakeholders or decision-makers who have the power to make the purchase decision.

Need - If your product doesn’t help the lead solve a challenge or achieve a desire in their business, then they don’t have the motive to buy your product. If they have no reason to buy your product or service, then the sales rep should disqualify the lead in the discovery call itself.

Timing - Is the prospect facing a challenge, and it’s affecting their business quite very much at the moment? Can your product solve it? Do they want this solution urgently? If yes, then you should definitely prioritize them (of course, if the budget and needs fit as well), as this lead is just waiting for the right sales organization to come and close them. 

You know the rules. Now, let’s play the game. Jump in and learn how to use the BANT framework to determine worthy prospects.

How to use BANT methodology to qualify prospects?

Look at the dollar digits the right way

A prospect’s budget allocation will help you determine whether the prospect is a good fit for your Saas product or not. But the process is not very straightforward. You cannot simply disqualify a lead. Before the subscription model, sales reps selling licenses qualified the leads based on their financial need instead of counting the digits in their budget.

That’s not the right qualification process :(

Now, if your Saas business follows a subscription model, then the total budget allocation won’t be an obstacle to your pricing. Most businesses have plans from basic to premium that can accommodate prospects of different sizes. The more important point in this model is how much the prospect is willing to spend on the solution (depending on impact) and what return on investment they expect.

Talk to the decision-makers

The purchase decision is not made by a single person. Generally, there are two-three people involved in the decision-making process. So, you need to speak with all the stakeholders in the purchase decision.

Having more contacts in the team means no harm. They will help you set up a meeting with the stakeholders or give you critical information about the team’s challenges.

The next thing to do is find out the designation of the stakeholders, understand their priorities, and get in touch with them.

Unearth their business priorities and needs

Without a problem, there’s no need for a solution in place. So, you have to judge the prospect’s needs and get the answers to questions like these:

  • What is the motivation behind solving the challenge?
  • What will inaction lead them to?
  • Can they approach another solution that they can pursue?

A prospect’s needs might not be similar to the stakeholders’. The decision-makers may see the problem as a high priority, but your initial point of contact may not. Such a difference in opinion will cause bumps in the sales process ahead. So, try and connect with the decision maker as early as you can.

Set timelines and prepare a roadmap

This section of BANT sales aims at mapping out a timeline. Determine what the timeframe within which you can get the necessary approvals is. Identify if you need to give a single pitch to the stakeholders or, based on the team’s needs, the stakeholders will need more persuasion. Keep track of the prospect’s timeline and make sure it aligns with yours.

Now that’s a match!

Maintain multiple POCs

As we discussed, there is no harm in keeping multiple members in contact. Instead, it is recommended that you keep in touch with multiple members to determine the obstacles, delays, or objects beforehand.

Be active in listening, attend public enterprise events, follow the leaders on social media and sign up for their newsletter. Make sure you have multiple sources of information to help you in the sales process. Moreover, these sources will help you uncover additional prospects’ needs and identify other stakeholders, involved in the decision-making process.

Being active and connected will help you in BANT sales qualification and saying an early goodbye to unyielding sales leads.

You know what else could help? Asking the right questions. To qualify (or disqualify) your prospects using the BANT framework, you need to ask the right questions related to budget, authority, need, and time. This will help you understand their intent and structure your discovery call

BANT lead qualification questions to ask your prospects

Qualifying questions related to budget

  1. Have you allocated any budget to this project? May I know what that budget is?
  2. Is the budget solely to be used by your department?
  3. If you did not have any budgetary limitations, then what would be your plan of action?
No limitations? We have a deal ;)

Qualifying questions related to authority

  1. Do you feel the need to include another member of your company in this discussion?
  2. Have you tried solving this problem in the past? Are you using any product that might overlap with our SaaS product or which has redundancies?
  3. Were the past products able to solve your problem? Is your team receptive to change?

Qualifying questions related to need

  1. On a normal day at work, what frustrates you the most? How long has this been a problem for you?
  2. Are you planning on solving this challenge?
  3. Do you anticipate any roadblocks that may come while addressing these issues?

Qualifying questions related to timing

  1. Is this problem your priority? Do you have other challenges on your plate that need immediate attention?
  2. When do you plan on solving these issues?
  3. Do you have any other product in your mind that you think can help you?

You know the methodology, but what if we tell you that we can optimize the BANT framework to boost your sales in no time?

Use Wingman with BANT

When IBM came up with the BANT methodology, it changed how sales teams perceived the lead qualification process. Today, you need a smart, data-driven solution to supercharge your BANT sales to qualify your prospects. And Wingman does just that and more. 

Wingman is an AI-powered sales platform that helps you with lead qualification and sales lead management. It helps you track your sales leads and maintain a customer profile by storing your sales calls. You can then access actionable insights from those calls and transcripts to pull out critical information about your prospects to understand whether they are a good fit. 

Title of your sales-tape.

Wingman also helps you ask the right BANT lead qualification questions while you’re qualifying your leads. It stays with you on your discovery calls as your go-to live assistant and gives you the right cues and battle cards to handle objections as they come. What’s more, it reminds you to ask some key questions so that you squeeze out the vital information from your sales leads.

Wingman helps you understand your sales lead and qualify the right ones, so that you don’t waste your time and resources on those that won’t convert. Book a demo to see Wingman in action for you. 

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