BANT is the acronym for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe. We could define BANT as the most effective technique to know if a potential customer is really interested in the opportunity that is being presented to him. This implies discarding the leads that we do not know if they are a real opportunity to make a sale, and focusing efforts only on those who really have the possibility of closing the deal.
what does the BANT method allow you to do?
BANT allows you to optimise your resources by evaluating these 4 aspects:
- B: Budget
This aspect is based on determining if the lead has the economic capacity to acquire your product or service. At this point it is important to investigate the prospect and take into account their financial profile, asking the right questions or using some tools if possible.
Knowing how they are solving their problem and whether they are paying for other products or services that are substitutes for yours can also give you an idea of their ability to pay.
- A: Authority
Analyse whether the customer has the authority to make the purchase decision or needs to consider other people. You may be fortunate enough to get a call with the decision maker. If you do not initially have direct contact with the person who will sign the sales documents, it does not mean that the lead is not good, just that you may need to adapt your strategy and validate the other elements of the BANT before devoting resources to the process.
- N: Need
In this process you can confirm that your lead really needs what you offer. It is important to become a real solution to a customer's problem or need. When your product really fits what the customer is looking for, priority issues may arise that often overcome even budget obstacles.
At this point your honesty is key as many can make the mistake of promising things they can't deliver in order to make the sale and the customer can become dissatisfied.
- T: Time-frame (Time-to-purchase)
This criterion can help you prioritise your efforts and establish appropriate follow-up strategies. It is not the same if your prospect expects to solve your problem in 6 months or if it is a priority and everything must be decided in less than a month. It is also important to know the customer's buying process to evaluate the speed in which they need to solve their problem.
what is lead qualification?
Lead qualification is an important process within the sales process as it helps you to differentiate who is more likely to buy and who is just exploring. Lead qualification also helps to make good customers and not just generate turnover.
The "discovery" process is where the first conversation with the prospect takes place and is where you can do most of your qualification. But at each step of the sales process, you will continuously evaluate prospects for more and more specific characteristics.
- Qualification at the organisational level
This is the most basic level of qualification and doesn't tell you much more than whether or not to do more research. If your company has buyer personas, consult them when qualifying a lead.
Questions to ask at this stage include:
is the potential customer in your territory?
do you sell to their industry?
what is the size of the company?
does the account fit your company's buyer persona?
- Opportunity level qualification
Opportunity level sales qualification is where you determine whether your lead has a need that you can satisfy and whether it is feasible for them to implement your particular product or service. Opportunity level characteristics give an idea of whether a lead could benefit from your offer.
- Stakeholder-level qualification
Let's assume you have determined that your potential customer's company fits your buyer persona. It's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of the question.
To determine this, ask the following questions:
will this purchase come out of your budget?
who else is involved in the decision?
do you have criteria for this purchase decision, and who defined them?
How to apply it in your sales process
You can adjust the BANT criteria according to your business and define a basic questionnaire to help you qualify your leads with some specific questions for each concept. These questions can be asked via forms, mail or phone calls.
Not always a good lead should qualify well in all aspects, so you should segment them; when you define this you can have a practical and unified way to choose how to focus your sales team depending on your leads.
Dedicating more effort to your best leads can not only increase your sales, but also help you gain loyal and long-lasting customers, who will help you grow with suggestions. You can also use the BANT results to better define the offer you will make to each prospect, personalising some important elements that will allow you to meet their expectations.
how can you follow up on leads without making them feel harassed? Click here to learn how to prospect and follow up on leads with HubSpot.
does the BANT method work?
The BANT method works because it attracts the right leads, which are converted into potential customers through sales techniques that will result in less investment and fewer resources in the conversion process. This means discarding leads that we don't know are a real opportunity to make a sale.
The sales department must decide whether to invest resources in a greater number of leads that we are not sure will become customers, or if they prefer to create strategies according to the qualified leads to have a higher success rate.