BANT is a very widely used system that has been in use for several years now for qualifying prospects. However, we might have heard the decline of the BANT system in 2018.
But it is not because of the system and more because of the way it was being used.
It has been helping businesses to analyze how much their potential customers are willing to spend. Other things it assists are in figuring out who are the real decision-makers, whether you are capable enough to solve their problems, is your prospect interested in buying your offerings immediately or later in the future, and so on.
Businesses using BANT are able to discover more about their prospects for each category mentioned in its acronym(Budget, Authority, Need, Timing). You can identify a quality prospect and decide whether working long hours on that prospect is worth your effort or not.
BANT Lead Qualification Questions
Businesses instead of going down a checklist and spending considerable time to make your meeting seem like an interrogation, they focus on asking tactful questions.
Therefore, you need to make sure the conversation is going both ways. This will help you discover what it is that you exactly need for each section without killing a sale.
It is quite easy to quote figures on a value-based system especially when we know what the prospect’s budget parameters. But instead of asking “What’s your budget?” which sounds too imperative and direct, your business can consider the following alternatives:
- How much is your prospect spending (or losing) on the problem (or missed opportunity)?
- What would it cost your prospect to solve this problem internally?
- What if this problem is existent for around 5 years, then how much will you approximately lose?
- What kind of ROI is your prospect hoping to achieve?
Businesses when finding out who’s behind the decisions can go a long way to targeting prospects correctly. Also, it makes research and finding pain points comparatively easier.
So rather than asking straight, “Who’s making the decisions?”, businesses can try the following:
- Who will use our company’s products and services?
- Have your prospect used a similar product. If yes, then tell me about their decision-making process?
- Moving forward, who else will be included in the decision-making process to take our product or service onboard?
It is very obvious that you cannot serve someone who doesn’t need your offerings. So if businesses find out how desperate their prospect’s needs are can help them decide whether to submit a proposal or to pursue the lead in any way.
Business can try the following:
- How long has your prospect had the problem?
- What will happen if you don’t solve the problem?
- Is the problem the real priority for you right now?
- Have you already taken steps to address the problem?
Naturally, the more urgent your prospect’s need is, the quicker they will want the problem solved. If they want a solution tomorrow, however, they may not be a good fit, depending on your capacity.
There can be instances where they might only want a solution in the next year. Therefore, your prospect will take time to make his decision and forget about you down the line. So you need to use all your sales skills to push the urgency of this problem so that your prospect does not forget about you.
The BANT Process
Having a subtle conversation using BANT is how you will get the information you need without scaring off the prospect.
It is always preferable that BANT is implemented as the second step in your sales process, right after the initial contact with your prospect. Essentially, BANT will be your second contact. Your first contact will be to secure some of the prospect’s time, after that, it’s up to BANT.
Using NeoDove, you can easily figure out your prospect’s preferred means of communication. Whether it’s a phone call, SMS, emails, or face-to-face, apply BANT carefully and you will save a lot of time. Of course, in-person contact is the best, followed by a phone call.
But in case you can get an email conversation, make the best of it. It does have its advantages. It gives your salesperson all the time they need to formulate their BANT questions to:
- show empathy
- show interest in their prospect, and
- get the customer information they need.
Applying BANT In Today’s Business
The business world has changed a lot dynamically since BANT was introduced.
For example, there are typically more decision-makers in businesses these days. If you primarily work with small businesses, you will get to see more of the “one decision-maker” process quite often.
Now the medium-to-large business is a different story. In the previous part, we already adopted the “Authority” part of our formula for this cause. The focus is no longer on finding the decision-maker but seeking out the decision-makers.
Your sales team in your business will have to deal with more than one person. As long as you’re aware of this, it doesn’t change the BANT formula at all. So is budget still a problem in BANT? Many businesses today are offering a subscription model. Moreover, if you are running a subscription model, you may not need to worry about the client’s budget at all.
According to the research conducted by the Wall Street Journal, most businesses can afford $100 a month and it’s likely they will earn an easy ROI.
If this is your business, then spend more time finding out whether you are a good fit for their problem rather than worrying about the budget.
To use BANT effectively, you need to adapt it to each prospect of your business encounters. Make sure to customize it and then implement it into your sales process.
In order to measure its effectiveness, make sure your sales pipeline is well-maintained. Also, ensure that it measures all the metrics you need. With a good sales pipeline, you will be able to update your sales cycles and have more customer information on-hand when deciding to scale operations.