The BANT framework is a tried and tested methodology to help sales teams determine how qualified a prospect is and where to position in the sales cycle.
Qualifying leads is one of the more tedious and time consuming parts of a salesperson's role. While generating leads from your website and nurturing them through the sales process, to ensure they are ready for a sale.
BANT can be used to gather information that fits your sales cycle and to ensure a prospect aligns with your company.
What does the acronym BANT stand for in sales terminology?
BANT is an acronym that stands for:
Budget covers how much the lead is willing to spend on the solution you offer.
Essentially this is the main starting point for any sales conversation as you do not want your sales rep investing too much time with a prospect who cannot afford to work with you or has unrealistic expectations around pricing.
Who is the decision maker in the sale? Who are the authority figures / stakeholders who would give makes the ultimate decision on investments?
Understanding the right person to sell to is another critical aspect for sales reps in a sales cycle.
In the authority stage of the framework, it is recommended to map out those involved in the process including job titles, decision making role and how you can get access to them (perhaps by way of introduction).
Does the prospect have a challenge that my product could solve?
A sales rep should identify the challenges faced by a prospect and how motivated they are to solve it.
Identifying if the prospect is seeking a solution urgently or are prepared to wait before making a decision is something that a sales rep needs to know when preparing to close the deal.
Timelines help to organise your sales team on the leads that need to be addressed urgently compared to those that do not require immediate focus.
What is BANT in sales?
BANT is a useful framework for sales reps to use in a discovery call to qualify leads.
For organisations with sales teams BANT can be used to qualify leads in a shorter time period than lead scoring through inbound marketing activities.
Through a discovery call with a sales rep, information on budgets, decision makers, the need and timeframe can all be established.
How to Use the BANT Sales Framework and Process?
Understanding the prospect's budget
Budget is one of the main blockers for sales teams. All organisations have some sort of budget for marketing, inventory, equipment etc.
Finding out the prospect's expectation of ROI is key for qualifying that lead. If their expected ROI aligns with the price for your offering, then you can qualify the prospect on their budget.
Identifying the stakeholders
Perhaps a lead has come through your website by downloading a content offer, or is seeking more information on your offering.
It is important for your sales rep to identify the role of the particular prospect, are they a marketing executive? Do they operate under a marketing director? Are they need a sign off on investment from an operations manager, CFO or even CEO?
Understanding the authority figures, the stakeholders of that particular organisation is essential for sales success. Following the BANT framework, your sales rep can figure out the key decision makers which will help the sales process.
Determining the problem
Your sales rep should gauge the importance of the prospect's problem. Are they keen to solve it and how high is the problem on the organisation's list of priorities is it?
While a prospect may have a particular need, the stakeholders of that organisation may have a different priority. For that reason, this is why the BANT framework is effective. If you have already identified and gained access to the stakeholders, you will have a better indication of the need of the decision makers.
Not following the BANT framework and simply could lead your sales process down the wrong direction by engaging with the a prospect who is not a decision maker or may not have a priority that is aligned with the stakeholders.
Sales Process Timeline
By using the BANT framework, you should now know the budget, decision makers and the problems faced by the prospect. The next step is to set out a timeline to close a deal.
Your sales rep should now, by using the BANT framework, have an indication of
how long it may take to close the deal, identifying the authorities in the organisation will help understand if it will take weeks or months to close the deal through the approvals required through the various levels of the organisation.
What Digital Tools Track Sales Progress
Having a CRM like HubSpot Sales Hub will help your sales team keep track of sales progress, particularly when you implement BANT into the sales process.
HubSpot's Sales Hub will allow your sales team to record all the vital BANT information gathered from discovery calls and remind your team when a follow up is due.
BANT Alternatives For Sales Processes
While BANT is one of the oldest sales processes, it may not work for every sales team. While some sales teams who operate on a cold call basis, BANT may not work with age old sales scripts. There are other popular sales frameworks like GCPT that may work better for organisations with large sales teams.
What is GCPT?
In The GCPT model goals replace "Budget" in BANT. Rather than your sales agent focusing on the prospects budget, the focus is on establishing the end goal.
When you understand the goals of your prospect, you can quantify them and provide a solution that helps them achieve those goals.
What are your prospects plans for achieving the goals? What steps have already been taken, what has worked what has not worked so well? These are questions that your sales rep can use to probe further to get an understanding of what services/ add-ons can be provided to accelerate the fulfillment of those goals.
Challenges is looking into the issues that the prospect have when trying to achieve their goals. This is where your sales rep can identify if the services provided can bridge the gap to overcome the challenges faced by the prospect.
If what you offer cannot address their challenges then your not the right fit for your prospect.
Timelines in the GCPT model work similar to BANT. Figuring out the expectations of your prospect and the priority of the solution offered are covered in this section of the sales process. From here your sales rep will give you an indication of how long the sales process is likely to take to close.
Despite being one of the oldest sales frameworks, BANT remains a useful tool and relevant for sales teams today. Using BANT while using a powerful CRM like HubSpot, can help your sales team efficiently qualify leads for your sales pipeline.