Qualify Prospects: The BANT Sales Methodology

bant sales qualification methodology

Now, you have a lead, but how can you be sure they’re a good fit for your product or service? More so, are you even talking to the right person to make a sale? Of course, you’re busy; everyone in sales is – so consider, are you prioritising your time on the right lead? Therefore if you’re unsure of how to qualify prospects, we’re optimistic our curated guide on the BANT Sales Qualifying Methodology will help you determine where to allocate your time. 

What Is The BANT Sales Methodology?

What does BANT mean?

BANT is an acronym for a sales qualifying methodology used to determine the quality of the lead which can then be used to prioritize leads based on their score.

Here’s what BANT stands for:

B = Budget: Does the lead have a budget to afford what you’re offering?

A = Authority: Does the person you are talking to have the ability or authority to make a purchase?

N = Need: Do they have a need for your product or service? 

T = Timing: Does the prospect have a critical need for your solution now?

While these might seem like simple questions, don’t fall into the trap of believing that all you need to do is ask your lead these four questions. However, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Especially when you’re trying to retain a healthy rapport – I mean, no one wants to feel like they’re being interrogated. 

So remember that no matter which sales technique you are using, the most significant way to make a sale is to connect with your prospect. Therefore, you have to find a way to endear yourself while still finding out the answers to these crucial questions.

Let’s examine each of the four segments to the BANT sales qualification methodology to understand how you can use it to your advantage to qualify prospects.

Also Read:

Using the Agile Sales Methodology to Manage Teams
Decoding The Challenger Sale – Effective or Hype?
Using the MEDDIC Approach to Qualify Prospects and Acquire Customers

Budget

First and foremost, ensuring a company has the money to afford what you are selling is essential to qualify prospects. However, it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. You’ll often find that it only takes someone to point out how a product can save a company money in the long run to persuade a prospect to realize there is enough money in their budget for your solution.

Whilst it feels like the most crucial aspect, the word ‘Budget’ should not be in the first question you ask. Yeah, we know it’s the first letter in the BANT qualifying methodology acronym! However, it is not meant to be used in a literal order. So consider how you can use skilful tact to determine the appropriate moment. 

Once appropriate, use these questions to uncover the budget:

  • What is your budget range for this product?
  • How much have you spent on a similar solution in the past?
  • How will price factor into the decision?

By opening up the conversation, your Sales Reps will quickly know whether they’ve spent too little or too much trying to nurture and qualify prospects. The result? You are saving time and money in the long-term! Nice

Authority

It’s critically imperative that you’re aware of who makes the final buying decision with the company you’re dealing with. However, be mindful that if you find multiple decision-makers involved, you’ll need to find a way to present your solution to everyone. 

It’s also important to remember if you’re pitching to administrative staff, whilst your competitors are pitching to their boss, there’s no chance you’ll be getting the sale. 

So to mitigate this, start to qualify prospects, ask these questions to identify who has authority:

  • Will anyone else be involved in the decision?
  • Who else should we have at the meeting to make sure I can address everyone’s questions?
  • Who will be the end-user of our solution?
  • Do you want to invite the [insert buyer’s role] in our next meeting?

Simple – Well, not really, but now you should understand that locating an authoritative prospect is crucial to using the BANT Sales Methodology. 

Need

The higher the lead’s requirement to find a solution to their company’s current problem, the more likely they are to buy a solution. So, you’ll need first to access if they have a problem your product or service can solve. Then you need to establish the scale of the issue. Can your company provide a solution? 

Quickly gather the information you need to qualify prospects by asking:

  • What have you tried in the past to solve this problem?
  • What prompted you/your company to find a solution?
  • What are the consequences of not finding a solution?

Timeline

Some of the best prospects are those who have a mission-critical project on the horizon. They have a deadline that they need the new solution to be implemented. It’s just a matter of deciding who will be providing this solution.

By understanding when your prospect will be making a decision, you’ll also be able to forecast your closed deals better and know when to follow up with them.

Find out about timing by asking:

  • Do you have a deadline to put this in place?
  • We need X amount of lead time. Will that work for you?
  • Do you have any dates in mind to implement this?

Here is a cheat sheet where you can save and refer to every time you make the sales:

BANT sales methodology infographic
BANT – Sales Methodology Cheat Sheet

Positive Aspects Of The BANT Sales Methodology

The BANT Qualifying Methodology should only be used as a guideline,  a set of questions, and answers you need to know about your prospect to determine how to handle them. Questions should always be conversational, and the Budget should not be the first question you ask a prospect.

We recommend practicing qualifying questions in a role play with colleagues, so they don’t come off as an interrogation.

Negative Aspects Of The BANT Sales Methodology

The BANT sales methodology has been around since the ‘60s, and in the decades it has been around, some people have taken an anti-BANT stance. Some people negatively connotate this qualifying method because many people get the implementation of it all wrong. Frankly, when misused, this qualifying methodology can come across as blunt to potential prospects. 

Perhaps it’s because BANT is an acronym. Therefore, many folks think of it as a checklist, a simple set of boxes to tick off before verifying a lead while using it strictly in the B A N T order. Trust us – Doing this is the quickest way to be labelled a sleazy salesperson and kicked out the door.

Using Sales Qualifying Methodologies

There are many different qualifying methodologies out there, including MEDDIC, MEDDPICC, CHAMP, GPCTBA/C&I, ANUM, FAINT. Which one you use depends on the product you are selling and who you are selling to. No matter which sales qualifying methodology you decided to use, it’s essential to understand the importance of asking qualifying questions and doing it properly to determine the quality of your lead while keeping the rapport with your prospect.

What’s Next?

Here at SOCO Sales Training, we’re incredibly proud to introduce our training programs: Curated to help you prepare for the challenge of customer training that incorporates advanced skills reps need to be confident and competent enough to take big deals over the line. 

Need to give your Sales Team that winning edge with The Bant Sales Qualifying Methodology? Ready to qualify prospects like a pro? SOCO Sales Training has you covered – Contact us today for more information on our training packages. 

Below is a video provided by one of my past workshop participants who successfully implemented the BANT methodology to qualify leads. Enjoy! 

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