BANT is a qualification framework for sales that helps sales workers refine their pipeline of potential customers to see whether they have any potential for a solid working relationship. This is determined by the key factors of BANT, which are:
Budget – Does the potential customer have the budget necessary to purchase and implement the solution?
Authority – Does the customer have the required authority to sign off and finalize the purchase of solutions for the organization?
Need – What is the customer’s organizational need for the solution? What problems are they encountering that we can remedy?
Timeline – What does a buying timeline look like from the customer’s perspective? Are they on a strict deadline?
The Bant Method
The framework was created by IBM back in the 1950s and worked so well for them that it spread to other organizations. The company thought that IB could take all the information that the BANT framework provided to allocate which customers would be a good fit and which wouldn’t. It helps businesses identify their leads quickly and efficiently to free up more time and resources.
How To Apply BANT
BANT can be applied by an organization through being proactive towards the potential customer and putting in processes that help you answer the elements of the BANT method. Firstly, asking prospective customers about their budget is crucial to understanding where they are fiscally when it comes to finding a solution. After this, you can identify stakeholders involved in the decision-making process to find who has the correct amount of authority and influence to get the deal over the line.
After these processes have been established, determining the importance of the pain the customer is finding will allow you to pinpoint the need from the organization – how badly is the solution required to alleviate the pain point. You should establish a timeframe throughout the use of BANT to get an idea of the timeline from a customer perspective and you can then set yourself deadlines within the deal. By staying informed throughout the process and using available online tools to track the progress, you can correctly apply BANT to a pipeline of leads.
Myths Around BANT
BANT has often been labeled by sales professionals as a framework that gives information and applies discovery too late in the sales cycle. Other salespeople opt to use other frameworks than BANT because of this. This is a myth, however, as the framework is not the issue for this problem. BANT often gives salespeople problems when they resort to using it as a checklist, as opposed to using it as a fundamental tool and framework to work their qualifications around.
Without the correct application of BANT, you will find that a lot of qualifications will contain discovery that is meaningless and both a waste of the customer’s and the salesperson’s time. It will come across as interrogation or questioning and not as in-depth and tiered questioning that helps bring about determinations regarding the BANT elements. You will fail to learn anything about the decision-maker till at the very end of a sales process, which creates this myth around BANT in the first place.
For BANT to be used correctly, it needs to be used as a framework from start to finish. You will qualify your customer or lead based on four key elements but you should not be so rigid like a checklist. Instead, you should be adapting, adjusting, and customizing your approach with BANT for each customer – no customer is the same and sales is an incredibly complex process, so when BANT is altered to fit the customer, the results are so much more efficient and effective.