The BANT sales framework, which stands for Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline, is a sales process that helps you find high potential customers. If you’re struggling to identify qualified leads, this sales methodology might be what you’re looking for.
Let’s learn more about BANT sales in this article.
What is BANT?
BANT sales is a four-part approach to selling something. It’s a simple way to ensure you’re asking the right questions and getting all the information you need from your potential clients. By doing that, you can determine whether or not you should pursue a certain prospect.
As mentioned earlier, BANT stands for Budget, Authorization, Needs, and Timing.
Budget refers to the cost of the product or service that you’re offering.
Does the client have the budget to purchase your product? If not, how much can they afford? Are there any restrictions on when they can pay? Do they need a discount? These questions should be answered before you move forward with them.
Authorization refers to who is empowered to make decisions about purchasing your product or service.
Questions to ask can include “who has authority over this purchase decision?” “Who needs to sign off on it before moving forward with the deal?” and “Can someone else approve it instead of waiting for a manager’s approval?”
Need refers to what your customer wants and how it fits into their goals or vision for their business.
What problems does your product solve for them? What value will it bring to their business if they buy from you instead of your competitor? How will this product impact their bottom line? Think about questions that can allow you and your prospect to know what benefits you’re providing each other.
What is a prospect’s timeline? Do they need your solution now or a few months later? Are there other factors that might prevent them from buying (and if so, how long will they last)?
Timing refers to how long they want the product or service delivered and how quickly they expect it to be implemented after purchasing.
BANT Sales Pros & Cons
- Helps you avoid conflict with your prospective client by ensuring both sides understand what’s at stake before going into a conversation about price or terms.
- Helps clarify what prospects are looking for so that you can better tailor your pitch accordingly.
- Might not always be accurate or effective.
- It doesn’t take into account other factors like product quality or customer service practices.
- Might not work well with complex products
How to Use BANT Sales
Step 1: Determine Your Prospect’s Budget
Understanding your prospect’s budget helps you tailor your offer and make it easier to communicate how much money your prospect can save by using your solution.
To find out your prospect’s budget, ask them directly. If they aren’t comfortable answering this question, offer up some options that might be within their price range. You can also try to guess based on their industry, where they work, or even their online presence.
Step 2: Identify Key Decision Makers
The person who will sign off on the purchase and allocate the budget is the “key decision maker.” Identifying them is an important step in selling to any company.
To know who the decision-makers are, you can ask questions like “who has the final say on this project?” “Who is responsible for making sure that everything goes smoothly?” or “Who will be making sure that we don’t run into any problems?”
Step 3: Detect Your Prospect’s Problems
Once you’ve identified a prospect, it’s time to figure out their problems. This can be tricky, but here are some questions that might help you get there:
- What does your prospect want?
- What is it costing them not to have it?
- What is holding them back from getting what they want?
Another thing to consider is whether prospects’ problems are technical or functional.
- Technical problems involve the functionality of a product or service. Think about seeing only some analytic metrics in one dashboard or the software working slowly over time.
- Functional issues are related to how your product will fit into your prospect’s workflow or business model. For example, a client who is running their store with Shopify might want a tool that integrates seamlessly with their ecommerce platform.
Step 4: Create a Timeline and a Mutual Action Plan
Once you’ve understood your prospects’ needs, it’s time to create a timeline and an action plan.
- The timeline lets both parties know how long it’ll take to complete the project. It should also highlight milestones that can be used for measuring progress. This timeline helps you stay on track with your sales process, so you can keep your team on schedule and ensure everyone is moving forward together. Keep in mind that your timelines should be realistic but ambitious enough that both parties can see an end in sight.
- The action plan should include details on how often you’ll communicate with your prospect (e.g., weekly calls), what form those communications will take (e.g., phone calls, emails, etc.), and any other information that will help move the sale forward (e.g., relevant documents).
BANT Sales Method Alternatives
BANT helps you assess whether or not you should pursue a deal with a particular buyer. However, as said above, it’s not a one-size-fits-all sales methodology.
That’s why you should also consider other sales methods like MEDDIC, which stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision criteria, Decision process, Identifying pain, and Champion. This sales method is effective because it uses a structured approach to identify your prospect’s needs and why they need it. It also enables you to understand the decision-making process to ensure your product or service fits into that workflow.
For more information about effective sales methods, you can read our blueprint for sales methodology.