- BANT framework has been a part of sales qualification for the last 70 years.
- BANT sales framework improves the lead qualification process, boosts sales and can streamline your entire sales process.
- BANT helps a sales rep to qualify leads during the discovery call.
Randomly throwing questions won’t bring fruitful results; thus, you can lose a potential lead generated by your marketing experts.
Your buyer weighs information to decide whether they should accept your offer or not!
So, sales reps should provide relevant information to get details about their prospect’s buying intent towards their product.
Here’s where a sales qualification framework plays an irreplaceable role.
Though sales experts recognize a bunch of qualification frameworks, today, we are discussing the oldest one- BANT.
BANT framework has been a part of sales qualification for 70 years.
Whether you’re just starting or a seasoned sales professional, this article will open a new perspective on BANT with tips on using it in a way that matches your modern sales.
So, let’s dive deep in.
- What is the BANT framework?
- An insight into the BANT sales qualification process
- BANT sales lead qualification questions that you must know
- Alternatives to BANT for sales teams
- Tips on using BANT framework to get better sales opportunities
- Wrap up: How BANT lead qualification framework is useful in 2023
What is the BANT framework?
BANT is a sales qualification framework used to identify and pursue the most qualified prospects.
The framework was formed in the year 1950 by IBM. Here, opportunities are identified by speaking to prospects or clients to determine their business and solution needs.
The IBM guidance, BANT, is used as a standard approach for opportunity identifications within sales strategies.
Using BANT helps reps to qualify sales leads during the discovery calls. BANT is the acronym that stands for:
Let’s understand the entire process of the BANT framework in the following section.
An insight into the BANT sales qualification process
BANT qualification works in sync with its acronym. The process starts with the following:
Isn’t it a perfect start to your day if your prospect’s budget matches your solution’s cost?
And so this is where the framework prioritizes lead means it considers the budget in the first place.
Your prospect’s budget is often based on the value they think is appropriate or often on their interaction with your competitors.
Many a time, they won’t have a budget at all.
Hence, you must know your prospect’s budget bracket.
Their budget should align with the value of your solution. E.g., in high ticket deals like B2B sales, budget is one of the key factors to uncover at initial sales calls.
Once this is sorted, you can move ahead with the lead, as you won’t have to face budget issues during the decision making stage.
If luck favors you, you might start working directly with a decision-maker from the beginning.
However, this isn’t always the case.
A lot of times, you have to move up the ladder and connect with the correct person.
This is because various processes and businesses have different levels of decision-makers.
For instance, in some businesses, decision makers are the accountants; in another, it’s the departmental heads; in some, the stakeholders etc.
BANT framework helps you figure out the final decision-makers from champions or brand advocates.
This way, your reps can discover the chain of command. In addition, it educates them on whom to speak, when, and how to speak.
Clarity on who is the decision maker enables sales professionals to plan their sales approach and move successfully down the process.
After knowing their budget and the decision-maker, you must know their requirement that can solve their problem.
The information allows your sales team to determine if there is an alignment between your solution and the customer’s pain point.
You must explore your prospect solution, as it helps your team understand if they need to pursue the prospect or not.
This step of the BANT qualification helps you and your reps to know that there are hidden needs that the prospect is not even aware of.
And you can leverage the learning to show your product or service as an ideal solution to them.
You should train your sales reps to be patient and listen to the prospects’ problems. And move ahead with accurate solutions throughout the sales pipeline.
This insight helps strategically place your solution in the prospect’s business process and allows your reps to move a step closer to your customer.
After knowing all the crucial aspects of qualifying leads, it’s essential to understand where the problem’s solution stands on the priority list.
There can be various aspects that can be discovered based on timeline information.
For instance. if a prospect’s timeline is too short, it might be possible that your solution may not be able to accommodate them.
Or, if the prospect’s timeline is far out, it is usual that the prospect still needs to identify your solution as a priority.
This allows your reps to treat the prospects as per their urgency to get the solution (if your product/service is the right fit for them).
The prospect having the solution as their top priority needs to be attainted on the go, whereas the prospect for whom the solution isn’t the priority can be delayed.
Establishing a timeline allows your team to qualify the lead as a hot prospect successfully.
Moreover, when your reps get the clarity of the timeline, they can be prepared for the post-closure process.
This is how the BANT framework helps you in qualifying sales-ready leads.
Moving on to the BANT sales qualifying questions. This is learning to understand what are the ideal question to qualify better.
BANT sales lead qualification questions that you must know
BANT is a qualification framework that allows you to discover essential details about your prospects with proper interaction.
The best part about using the BANT qualification framework is you can qualify the lead in the initial calls by asking relevant questions.
Below are these BANT qualification questions you can use in your process:
In the initial conversations, asking directly about the budget would be a little awkward.
However, sales reps can always ask the questions below without making the conversation too straightforward.
- How much does not solving this problem cost you?
- Have you set any budget brackets for this solution?
- How much would the solution cost if you built it by yourself?
- How much would you spend on this solution?
- By not implementing this solution, we have calculated that you’re losing “X dollars” per quarter/year. How much does this compare to your budget decided?
- How much weightage does the pricing factor carry in implementing this solution?
The above qualifying questions can help you discover who a part of is setting up the buying process.
If you are new to sales and want to be a pro with sales communication, read: How to start a sales conversation that captures the interest.
Here are some questions to help you discover the authority in an organization or business while talking to a prospect.
- What does the decision-making process look like for purchasing this solution?
- When was the last time a similar product like this was purchased? What was the decision-making process then?
- Who else needs to be involved in the decision-making process from your system?
- Does anyone else need to be a part of this purchase decision conversation?
- Who’s going to use this solution?
- Who has the most influence in the decision process?
To recognize the need for your solution to the prospect, sales reps can use these qualifying questions to get insight into their needs.
- What motivated you to look for the solution?
- Since when are you facing this issue?
- What roadblocks are you most concerned about?
- How important is it for you to address this problem?
- What are your expectations after solving this issue?
- Did you try solving this issue before? If yes, what were they?
- According to you, what would be the best solution to this problem?
With the qualifying questions below, you can know the urgency of the prospect’s purchase.
- Where does this solution stand on your priority list?
- By when do you want to implement the solution?
- How does adopting this solution syncs with your future goals?
- How sooner do you want to implement this solution?
Though BANT has been a constant standard that sales teams look upon for qualifying prospects in a sales process.
But apart from BANT, there are some modern other frameworks available to boost your sales conversions. Let’s learn what they are.
Alternatives to BANT for sales teams
With the changing notion of sales, SDRs and managers are adapting alternatives that offer more comprehensive learning of their potential customers.
Here is the list of top sales qualification frameworks recognized by A+ sales leaders.
|Sales qualification framework||When this framework is the best to use?|
|BANT||When a lead has a specific budget. It is used by organizations that have high-deal prizes.|
|ANUM||When the client has a long and complicated decision-making process. This framework should be adopted when dealing with large-sized companies.|
|MEDDIC||Helpful with long sales cycles e.g., while launching new software or selling a new version of a solution.|
|CHAMP||When you want to focus on understanding your target audience in the long run.|
|FAINT||When the lead has huge funds and makes unplanned purchases. The industries with unplanned buyers are the ones that must implement this framework.|
|GPCTBA & CI||When you have enough time to understand prospects needs and goals.|
Tips on using BANT framework to get better sales opportunities
BANT sales work best for the sales team when leveraged effectively. Here are some tips that will add a new perspective on using BANT optimally to achieve more profitable results.
1. Don’t consider BANT like a checklist
To get the most out of BANT, sales teams should use the BANT sales framework as a qualification guide rather than a checklist. Qualification based on BANT should look like an interrogation. Also, reps must know how to create a flow of conversation from one question to another.
2. Sales team must do a holistic lead assessment
Though BANT considers some of the critical factors that are useful to influence the prospect to convert.
But sales professionals must assess leads holistically by considering other factors mentioned in other qualification frameworks.
3. Frame and ask the right questions to qualify prospects
A key to successful qualification is to ask the right questions at the right time.
So, create a short, relevant and simple yet exciting question that your prospects get interested in answering naturally.
4. Prepare for unforeseen possibilities to qualify sales leads
BANT is a promising sales qualification framework on which sales teams can rely.
But sales conversations are unpredictable, so train your reps to tackle unexpected discussions.
Try to be flexible and always be willing to modify your approach as the situation demands.
5. Review and modify
Every conversation will teach you something that helps you modify for good, even if you’re stepping with the BANT sales framework.
So, review your sales calls closely. Then, feel free to make changes and try new approaches to improve your sales performance.
You’ve now understood that BANT is more than just a checklist. Let’s conclude our today’s learning.
Wrap up: How BANT lead qualification framework is useful in 2023
This framework was developed back when the business was done completely differently.
The processes were longer and more time-consuming. But there’s a reason for still using it in 2023.
When the business has a shorter sales cycle and is time/cost-effective, using BANT is just the cherry on the cake. Like in the case of discovery calls which are still a vital part of sales outreach.
And using BANT qualifying questions in these calls allows you to find various essential details about the prospect.
However, you must frame your pitch carefully, as not using the correct words will make the conversation unpleasant.
Imagine asking the prospect- What’s your budget?! you don’t want to do this.
Lead qualification is the collaborative work of sales and marketing teams.
If the lead generation is effective and scoring is done strategically, then sales qualification can help you boost conversion effortlessly.
Hence, you must be open to new ways to boost your lead qualification strategy.
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