Have you been to a mall? Got what you needed?
Questions are more important than answers.
We have all read or heard this many times, and we do not dispute it; it IS true and we understand things better when we ask questions.
Now, the importance of asking relevant questions cannot be overstated, especially at the lead qualification stage. And sales teams use a variety of methods to better understand leads, one of which is the BANT methodology.
However, what is it? Read on!
What is BANT?
There are many sales techniques out there, but each one of them has its own strengths and weaknesses. One of the most popular sales techniques is BANT. BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, Timing.
In essence, this technique helps the salesperson to understand the person on the other end better before attempting to close a sale.
Most people have a budget in mind when they are looking to jump into something new for their company. By understanding the budget that the person on the other end has available, salespeople are more likely to be able to meet the other person’s needs.
It is important for any salesperson to understand who they are speaking with and what their role in the company is. This ensures that the person on the phone is someone deemed worthy of going through with a sale.
Everyone has a need for something at some time. By understanding what someone’s need is and how it can be met by you, you can show them why and how your offer will help them out.
Since most people are always in a rush, it is important to be aware of what the situation is with their schedule. If the prospect needs something right away or that they’re not in a rush, they will be more likely to buy your product or service.
BANT helps you understand people better so that you can figure out what your prospects need and how you can meet those needs. If a potential client sees that you care about them, they’ll be more likely to go through with the sale instead of passing you over.
BANT Qualification Questions
In order to prevent your meeting from feeling like an interrogation, you should focus on asking tactful questions instead of going through a checklist.
Ensure that you are having a two-way conversation. This will help you figure out what your prospects need without having to sacrifice a sale.
The process of giving a value-based quotation is quite simple when we are aware of the prospect’s budget parameters. And in place of asking “What is your budget?” which sounds too direct, you can consider the following alternatives:
- What is your prospect spending on this problem?
- What would it cost you to solve this problem internally?
- How much will you lose if this problem persists for, say, around 5 years?
- What kind of ROI are you hoping to achieve?
Finding out who makes the decisions can help businesses target their prospects more effectively. In addition, it makes researching and identifying pain points relatively easier. So rather than asking “Who makes decisions?” you can instead ask:
- Who are the intended users of our product/service?
- Have you used a similar product before? If yes, I was wondering what the decision-making process was like?
- As we move forward, who else will be included in the decision-making process to incorporate our product?
It is very obvious that you cannot serve someone who does not need what you are offering. If you discover what your prospects’ needs are, then you can decide whether or not to submit proposals or pursue the lead in any way.
You can ask the following questions:
- How long have you been experiencing this problem?
- What will happen if you fail to solve the problem?
- What is your top priority right now?
- Have you already taken steps to resolve the issue?
In general, the more urgent the prospect’s need is, the more quickly they will want the problem solved. There may be times where your prospect may wish for a solution to be provided in the near future and not immediately.
Due to this, your prospects will take their time to decide and if you fail to follow up consistently, chances are that they will forget you eventually. In this case, you’ll need to use your sales skills effectively in order to drive home the urgency of the problem.
BANT is a great tool to use to help you get the information you need without driving the prospect away. The best way to implement BANT is right after the initial contact with your prospect, as the second step of your sales process.
If you are in an email conversation, make the most of it, since it has its advantages. It gives you plenty of time to formulate your BANT qualification questions. Make sure to:
- Show empathy
- Show interest in your prospect
- Get the customer information you need
BANT in Today’s Business World
A lot has changed in the world of business since the BANT methodology was introduced.
Today, businesses typically have more decision-makers. You will see a lot of the “one decision-maker” process if you work with small businesses primarily. It’s a different story with medium-to-large businesses though.
It is likely that your sales team will have to deal with more than one individual. As long as you know this, it doesn’t affect the BANT qualification formula in any way. If you want to use BANT effectively, then you need to adapt it to each business prospect. Customize it and then integrate it into your sales process.