The most undisputed method to learn something is to ask questions. The more answers you receive, the more solutions you will uncover.
When at the lead qualification stage of your sales process, asking relevant questions is a no-brainer.
You may ask, why? What is its purpose?
The reason is simple: You may have developed a product that’s the best in the market, but that does not mean everyone would want it.
The plain truth is that every product is meant for a target audience and resonates with a specific persona.
This is why it’s essential to qualify every lead; not doing so may result in a frustrating sales cycle that fails to convert.
But what if you could align your information-gathering process with your sales cycle? With the sales team utilizing various methods to qualify leads better, the BANT methodology is one of the oldest and the best B2B lead generation services.
IN THIS BLOG
All About BANT
You might have heard about BANT – it’s an old technique that helps qualify leads. Now you must be wondering, is it still relevant in today’s time? Questions must be ringing: Is BANT out of fashion? The fact is that BANT is a classic technique that has worked well ever since it was introduced in the 1950s.
In a nutshell, the acronym BANT stands for:
Budget – Is your prospect compatible with the budget allocated for your service?
Authority – Who holds the authority to make the ultimate decision?
Need – Have you understood your prospect’s requirements well and does your offering alleviate the concerns?
Timing – Will you be able to meet timeline requirements realistically?
Cut short, BANT makes the sales process efficient by allowing the salespeople to understand their prospects better. With a set of questions that determines key aspects of a prospect, the sales team can prioritize their work according to the requirements and meet their needs. BANT is crucial in the sales process because it simplifies the sales reps’ work by qualifying leads early in the cycle. Hence, they don’t have to rely on the score received from a prospect’s behavior and engagement, which may take days or weeks.
How to use the BANT sales framework and process?
- Get an understanding of the prospect’s budget other than the budgetary aspect.
- List the stakeholders involved in the decision-making process.
- Understand the importance of the problem.
- Establish a schedule for the sales process.
- Follow a variety of sources to stay informed.
- Use technology to monitor your progress.
What are the questions to ask for BANT qualification?
Instead of going through a checklist, concentrate on asking thoughtful questions.
Ensure that your conversation is two-way. This will enable you to ascertain your prospect’s needs without giving up a sale.
It must be understood, BANT is not merely a to-do list. This framework can help gather all crucial details about a prospect while also allowing the salespeople to develop a rapport with them. You can make BANT work by engaging in meaningful, conversational questioning.
Some of the best questions to ask a prospect for each stage of the BANT framework are listed below –
A key aspect worth considering during lead qualification is the prospect’s ability to afford the product and the readiness to spend. These two aspects are more important when your product or service is costly.
Questions surrounding the budget will help you determine two things. First, analyze if the concerned business has set budget criteria for your product. Second, it will help you determine if the customer, especially in the case of B2B a customer, is prepared to buy. It may take some time to convince them if they are not, which means a potentially longer sales cycle.
Some of the questions that may help you gauge your target’s budget are as follows:
- What is your potential budget to solve this issue?
- How much are you spending to solve this problem internally?
- How much will you lose if this issue continues for, let’s say, five years?
- What sort of ROI are you aiming to achieve?
You may have a good sales pitch, and your preparation must be spectacular, but it’s all in vain if you are not pitching the right person. Your pitch needs to reach the right decision-makers in an organization.
Mostly C-suite executives and top-rung managers are in the position to take the call, but they, too, often turn to their subordinates to seek advice. Thus, it is essential to determine the person most impacted by the pain point. In such situations, one must first approach the one in a subordinate position and simultaneously consider the weight that that person carries in the final decision-making process.
Some questions that can help you determine authority are as follows:
- Who are our products or service’s target audience?
- Have you ever used a similar product as ours? If so, could you describe the decision-making procedure to me?
- Who will be involved in the decision-making process to use our product as we go forward?
A pre-requisite to selling a product is establishing its need, which can vary in intensity. One needs to dig deep into the variations with appropriate questions and ensure that the answers to the questions have all the necessary information.
For example, when asked how long a prospect has been experiencing the issue, if the answer is a couple of weeks or months, the prospect has not felt the pain enough. Follow-up questions can help you dig deeper and get you all the details about the prospect’s current situation and how it can be resolved.
Some follow-up questions on needs are as follows:
- How long have you been struggling with this issue?
- What will occur if you are unable to solve the issue?
- What is now your main priority?
- Have you already taken action to fix the problem?
Timing is crucial when it comes to sales. Questions surrounding the timeline can help gain an understanding of the urgency. Some prospects may desire an immediate solution. In such cases, you must determine if you can fulfil the requirement within the stipulated timeline.
If the prospect’s need is not urgent and can be pushed down the line, one must determine if it would be worthwhile to pursue such a client in the pipeline to be nurtured for future sales.
Some of the timeline questions are as follows:
- Does the company have any upcoming events or deadlines?
- Are you planning to host any event?
- What is your goal for this year?
BANT in today’s business world
Since the existence of BANT, the corporate sector has witnessed significant changes.
Businesses today have more decision-makers than ever. If you work exclusively with small organizations, you will encounter the “one decision-maker” approach frequently. However, the situation with medium-sized to large firms is different.
Your sales team will probably have to interact with multiple people. The BANT qualification formula will work well if you know this. It would help if you customized BANT for each business prospect to use it effectively. After customizing it, incorporate it into your sales process.
Try using BANT on your next discovery call if you’ve never done so or if you believe it’s outdated for the modern sales process to see how much information you can gather.
BANT is still in use today because it works, is easy to remember, and can be used with various goods, prices, and sales techniques. Apply some of the questions mentioned above or apply them in variation with small tweaks to suit your industry or client base.
Do you want to increase your sales even more? Improve your BANT strategy by adding new inquiries that you can use to qualify more leads and close more profitable agreements.
If you need help with BANT, adopt a new mindset and change how you act. If you still have any questions, please feel free to contact us.