How to Use the BANT Sales Process to Increase Leads (Definition)

Bant Sales

Wondering what is BANT sales methodology? And how you can use it to qualify leads? Read through this detailed BANT sales qualification framework.

If we had to mention the main pillars of successful sales strategies, without a doubt one of the main actions that we would recommend for any company is to know their customers well.

It may sound obvious, but how can we know what they need if we don’t know our customers? And worse yet, how do you determine the best way to offer a solution to your problems?

Qualifying sales leads can be one of the hardest nuts to crack. You need to know if the opportunity in front of you is worth your time and effort. And this is important because, honestly, no one wants to waste their time with a prospect who isn’t going to buy products or services. This is why the process of lead automation can become very handy.

Lead qualification essentially assists you in determining whether a prospective customer is truly interested in your offerings.

From another angle, rating something is intuitive in human beings. We want to know if the restaurant we choose to have food will be worth our time and money, or if a job we are taking will be worth our efforts.

Lead qualification is a necessary process in any sales or lead generation strategy. Both departments must work together to reach the company’s target audience, especially decision-makers. The BANT method is a very effective way to determine if a potential customer is interested in converting or not.

Qualifying a user means monitoring their journey from the time they are in the first phase of the sales funnel, where they know the brand and show interest until they make a purchase.

In other words, it consists of identifying how prepared the lead is to close the sale and thus deciding if it will be profitable to invest in actions to challenge him.

What is the BANT Sales Process? (BANT Sales Meaning)

The IBM organization laid the foundation for BANT as one of its sales lead qualification methodologies. It soon became the go-to method for work. BANT is the acronym where:

B: Budget

A: Authority

N: Need

T: Time

1. Budget

One of the most important questions to answer to achieve adequate customer prospecting is whether the lead has enough money to hire our services.

2. Authority

Evaluating the lead’s role in decision-making is essential to direct communications and optimize our efforts correctly. Are you talking to the person in charge of contracting the service? Will anyone else be involved in the decision?

3. Needs

Being clear about what the customer needs is key to moving forward with the sale because it allows us to identify how we can help them satisfy that need.

To do this, it is convenient to ask ourselves some questions: what steps have you taken to address your problem or need? What are your priorities?

4. Time

Your sales strategies will not be complete if you do not consider the customer’s time to solve their problem.

The four pillars of BANT help sales reps uncover some of the most important factors regarding a potential lead. However, the method’s effectiveness decreased when people started using BANT as a checklist instead of a strategy.

The sales reps prepared a questionnaire and began bombarding potential customers with questions, paying no attention to the answers they were getting or the fact that it was an interrogation rather than an interaction with them.

However, BANT can help companies capitalize on the right and most fruitful leads when used as a strategy.

This technique is very useful to discover leads’ needs and understand how your service or product can satisfy them. Having this clear makes it much easier to generate content to launch personalized actions -such as email marketing campaigns.

The BANT method is a great option to start distinguishing cold leads from prospects who can become customers. In the latter case, they will be excellent candidates to offer them content through lead nurturing actions.

How to Use the BANT Sales Framework to increase qualified leads?

BANT is a methodology that allows company sales departments to determine if a lead has a realistic chance of purchasing.

To achieve the objective, it is necessary to observe if the lead meets:

  • The economic conditions are necessary to face the investment (budget).
  • Purchasing capacity (authority).
  • The urgency of solving your problem with the product or service to acquire (need).
  • The time it will take to reach the conversion stage (timeline).

To consider that a lead is interested in the brand, they must meet at least three of the four requirements mentioned. On many occasions, companies fail in the sales process because they invest resources in unqualified leads and advance by taking false steps.

The fact that a user has left their contact information on a landing page does not necessarily imply that they are a prospect and will become a customer.

The following are the main questions you can ask yourself to systematize lead qualification using the BANT method.

  1. Budget: Does the potential customer have the ability to pay?
  2. Authority: who is the decision-maker?
  3. Needs: can you provide a solution to their requirements?
  4. Timeline (chronology): how long will it take the lead to make the purchase decision?

Consider Your Client’s Budget

This first point is the most important for most companies for a lead to make a purchase. They must have the necessary budget. From the perspective of the commercial area, it makes no sense to allocate time and resources to profiles that do not meet this basic requirement and, therefore, work as a first filter.

This topic can be delicate to deal with, so you have to be careful. The first path is to talk to the customer, but if you haven’t reached that trust point, the alternative is to make inferences from their online information. If your company is B2B, the size of the company you are targeting can be a good starting point to determine its buying power.

Identify the Decision-Maker

Knowing who or, rather, who makes the decisions is essential to design marketing and sales strategies that offer the expected results. That is why to qualify your leads, you must identify the decision-makers.

To do this, you must investigate who they are, what position they occupy, how they can be accessed, and the company’s decision-making process.

If you manage to arrange a face-to-face or virtual meeting, you will better understand what stage of the funnel they are at and if they are interested in your product.

Understand the Problem’s Urgency

The need is another of the criteria of the BANT method that helps determine if the lead will find a solution to their requirements in your services or products. To achieve this, you must know the importance of this problem for your potential client and know how urgent it is to solve it.

In this sense, you must recognize two aspects: the prospect’s need and if investing in your product will be his best solution. You must be sincere and not make false promises that can end up in a stain on your company’s reputation. It is preferable to assume that you cannot help him than not respond to his needs.

Make a Schedule to Approach Your Client

The last step in applying the BANT methodology is to establish how long the customer will need to make the purchase decision. Based on that, you can design a schedule to plan and organize how you will start a conversation.

Through meetings, you can figure out if the potential client is considering moving quickly or if the process requires more time. Finding the balance between working hard to close the sale and meeting prospects’ deadlines is key to securing the deal.

This prospecting method is highly effective because it gives you the space to get to know your leads well. Thus, sales managers can act strategically to help that potential customer effectively, without wasting time and focusing on what he needs.

Remember that each person is different and that is why we must offer you specific and well-targeted solutions according to your needs. With this, we improve our clients’ experience and, at the same time, the effectiveness of our commercial sales strategy.

List of BANT Lead Qualification Questions (BANT Template)

 

Budget

  • Do you have a budget reserved for this purchase? Which?
  • Is this a high enough priority to allocate funds?
  • What other initiatives are you spending money on?
  • Does seasonality affect your financing?

Authority:

  • Whose budget is this purchase?
  • Who else will be involved in the purchase decision?
  • How have you made purchasing decisions for products/services similar to ours in the past?
  • What objections to this purchase do you anticipate encountering? How do you think we can handle them better?

Needs:

  • What challenges are you struggling with?
  • What is the source of that problem/pain and why do you think it is worth spending time?
  • Why hasn’t it been addressed before?
  • What do you think could fix this problem? Why?

Timing:

  • How fast do you need to solve your problem?
  • What else is a priority for you?
  • Are you evaluating other similar products or services?
  • Do you have the capacity to implement this product right now?

More Bant Sales Questions:

  1. How much money would you be willing to pay on comparable goods/services?
  2. Who is the decision-maker in terms of finances?
  3. What funding has been set aside for this solution?
  4. How do you arrive at your conclusions?
  5. What can I do to assist you in meeting your goals?
  6. Who is going to use this solution on your team? Which values do they hold? Obstacles?
  7. How would you characterize your current process?
  8. Where are the roadblocks that you encounter?
  9. What issues are you attempting to address by considering solutions similar to ours? How frequently do you come across such issues? How much do they bug you on a scale of 1-10?
  10. Describe the evaluation procedure to me. How long have you been in search of an answer?
  11. What time restrictions do you face?
  12. What are the consequences of failing to adhere to the deadline?
  13. Are you currently bound by any agreements with other solutions? How long until?

Ensure all relevant stakeholders from the beginning of the process and ensure buy-in from each individual. While the BANT method addresses many opportunity-level requirements, it may fail on others. According to CEB research, it currently takes an average of 5.4 people to make a purchase decision, so the “maximum” buying authority could be more than one person.

Timing is another area where the BANT method falls short today. A strict BANT rating could tell you to put a potential customer who won’t be ready to buy until next year in a closed loss queue. But you may be jumping the gun: send educational resources and offer to help until they’re ready to buy if you can.

Once you have a firm grasp on all of these facets, you will have a good idea of who fits the description of your ideal customer. Once you recognize this, begin moving forward, but avoid blowing your budget.

In summary, the BANT method is extremely effective in evaluating the degree of commitment of each lead with the sales opportunity. Applying it will notice that the prospects transferred to the commercial area will be much closer to purchasing before.

FAQs

Is BANT dead?

BANT as a strategy is often overlooked and there is often talk about its demise. However, BANT is not dead but evolving. Alongside BANT methodology, SPIN selling can help you improve the discovery phase of your lead gen process.

What is BANT MTG?

BANT stands for budget, authority, needs, and timeline, and this is a sales lead qualifying method used to determine which leads are worthy of consideration.

Is BANT a sales methodology?

The BANT method for lead qualification is perhaps the most effective way to know if a potential client is really interested in the opportunity that is being presented to them.

Conclusion

As a checklist used by salesmen, the BANT framework has fallen out of favor recently because it is out-of-date and misses the mark. There has been an increase in intelligence because of technological advances.

This enables companies to move forward at a faster pace than ever before. At the same time, sales representatives are having a harder time exerting influence over the decision-making processes of their clients.

You have a better chance of closing the deal if you concentrate on helping your customers reach their goals. B2B sales are difficult and time-consuming. Because of this, sales managers must help their salespeople by streamlining the sales process and working on the right B2B Lead Nurturing strategy.

Sales teams can, however, focus on the best prospects that could become their most important priorities thanks to the BANT Framework. Prospects that meet these criteria are more likely to make a purchase of the product or service you’re promoting.

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