What Is BANT? A Beginner’s Guide to Qualifying Prospects in 2021

Imagine you are the owner of a shop selling good quality products. You want certain types of buyers to visit your shop and buy the products that you are offering. So, what are the ways to determine whether the potential customer is ready and willing to buy your product or simply window shopping?

So, how do you get the step right when it comes to qualifying the sales prospect? It is essential to identify potential or target customers who are most likely to buy your company’s goods, products, or services.  The objective is to tap into the most probable buyer interested in making the purchase based on the need, budget, and earliest timeline

That’s where BANT comes into the picture, complete with a stable qualification framework that can help you identify good prospects. To successfully close the sale, you also need excellent communication skills, a unique sales pitch, and the right sales tools.

What Is the BANT Sales Process?

The BANT is a well-known and easy-to-use sales qualification methodology or process that you can use to understand and identify the right prospects to pursue. Most sales professionals prefer this framework due to its ease oF use and high success rate. 

Using the BANT factors or criteria such as budget, authority, needs, and timing, you as a sales professional can prioritise specific leads that you want to convert to prospects on your target list. 

BANT Full Form

The BANT full form stands for the following:

  • B – Budget – refers to the purchasing power of the prospect.
  • A – Authority – refers to the final decision maker or group of personnel that will take the last call.
  • N – Needs – refers to the requirements of the customer
  • T – Timing – refers to the urgency factor based on which the prospect may require your product.

BANT Definition

The BANT is a well-known sales qualification methodology or process that you can use to understand and identify the right prospects. You can determine how much weightage to give to specific leads on your target list using BANT

How to Qualify Prospects using BANT Sales Process

Once you get the leads, you can use the following BANT qualification criteria to narrow down the search results for qualifying the prospects. You can consider the sales pitch as successful when the potential prospect meets three or more criteria. 

  • Budget

“Budget” refers to the purchasing power of a potential prospect. As a sales professional, you should evaluate the potential prospect who is interested in making the purchase. You can ask questions that are designed to get specific answers. 

Some of the questions you can ask the prospect include the amount they are willing to pay for your product. You can ask questions about their price expectations and readiness to negotiate. 

Note that the price that you quote for your product should match their budget. This applies to the products that are priced at the higher end. You may ask them questions that include the purchases they may have given the same budget amount.

If you target another potential business (B2B) with whom you want to collaborate, you need to identify whether they have an amount set aside to conduct the transaction. Alternatively, if you are fixed on attracting potential regular customers, this factor may vary from person to person. However, if the lead does not have sufficient monetary resources, it is best to cut the chase.

  • Authority

“Authority” refers to the final decision maker regarding purchasing a prospect. The potential prospect should be in a position to authorise or sign payments on behalf of an organisation. Your primary task is to identify the number of stakeholders as mid-size and large organisations has more authorities involved in the decision-making process. This is also applicable in case the amount that you are charging for the product is significant.

You need to customise the pitch to get the attention of the decision-maker that is your primary audience. You need to avoid talks with someone who says that they will speak on your behalf to the primary decision-makers.  Some of the questions you can ask them to determine their authority include suggesting interacting with the real decision-makers and the number of authorities involved in the process or meetings.

  • Need

“Need” refers to the exact requirement of your target audience. The needs can be a specific problem or opportunity.

Once the budget is acceptable to the potential prospect and you can identify the authority, you need to ask the right questions to get a pulse on the priority areas of the customer.

You can prepare a list of questions designed to understand the challenging areas or pain points that the prospect may be facing and whether your solution can address those areas of concern.

You can ask about the solutions that they may have tried and their experiences with those. Once you get the details, you can prepare the product or solution that meets those needs and expectations. For example, they are struggling with managing certain expenses that are manually entered. You can specify how your solution can control and minimise those expenses using automation. 

  • Timing

“Timing” is an essential factor in evaluating the level of urgency that the prospect is having. You need to factor in the exact duration when the opportunity requires your product. For example, in case the prospect is in talks with another.

For quick sales to hot prospects, you can ask questions such as their timeline for making the purchase. You can also emphasise the urgency factor rather than waiting a few months or years.

BANT Steps 

Using the BANT framework, you can determine whether the lead qualifies to be a prospect. You can achieve the desired number of prospects provided you can tap into the prospect. Do apply some of the following suggestions to qualify the perfect prospect. 

  • Schedule a Meeting

Set up a meeting with the potential prospect by communicating with them over the phone, email, or social media. Ensure that the prospect is equally keen for the interaction and suggest meeting for 15 to 30 minutes. You can schedule the appointment in a neutral setting wherein both would be comfortable. The venue can be a nearby coffee shop.

  • Build Rapport

The first step is to build a good rapport with the potential prospect. You can always gather more information about the opportunity in an informal manner, such as conversational tone. You can build rapport by talking about shared interests, actively listening to them talk, remembering their names, and so on. 

  • Ask Relevant Questions

Be prepared for the meeting that you are scheduling with the prospect by preparing a list of questions you want to discuss. It is possible that during the conversation, the sequence of questions and topics may change, so you need to be flexible to accept those changes.

  • Take Notes

It is helpful to take notes while conversing with the prospect, indicating your level of interest in them. Notes also help to customise the solution that you want to present to the prospect. You can also add the details to a CRM tool to further assist you in determining whether the prospect meets the qualifying criteria.

BANT Lead Qualification Questions

You can prepare a list of questions that can prove to be useful during the conversation. These questions can be designed to get more details from the prospect that you want to qualify.  

Using the BANT Lead Qualification Questions, you can have a natural flow of discussions with different prospects.  This also helps to eliminate the time wasters and save time.

Budget

To have a good discussion about the budget, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your potential prospect have a dedicated budget?
  • Do they have a systematic budget allocation process?
  • Which department handles the budget allocation process?
  • What is the Rate of Interest (ROI) they expect from the solution you are providing? – For example, if they want to hit X in revenue and achieve a certain percentage of marketing ROI, you can determine the maximum budget they want to spend to hit the goals.
  • Is the allocated budget subject to change within the year? What would be the factors that lead to the change?
  • What will be the Impact of the price factor on the decision?
  • Have they used a product or solution similar to yours in the recent past? How much did it cost them?
  • Do they have a price range in mind that closely matches your budget?
  • What are the other concerns besides cost?
  • Who provides the final sign-off on the budget?

Authority

To identify the real decision-makers, you may ask the following list of questions – 

  • Who will be the end-users of the product?
  • What is the standard decision-making process at your organisation?
  • Who are the other stakeholders involved in the final decision-making process?
  • Who else will be joining the meeting?
  • What are the steps I can take to make this a winning solution for all stakeholders?

Need

To identify the real needs and requirements of your prospect, you may ask the following list of questions: 

  • When did you first identify the problem and the need for the solution?
  • What are the challenges/pain points you are trying to address? – This question allows the prospect to talk about areas of concern or challenges in detail. You can then specify how your product will help them to address those issues.
  • What are the steps you have taken to address the issue?
  • What kind of solution are you expecting to be delivered?
  • What is the current list of priorities?

Timing

To identify the time factor, you may ask the prospect the following list of questions – 

  • Is there any upcoming event by which you require the solution?
  • When do you want this problem to be resolved? Tentative date? This question helps you determine the urgency level or whether you need to apply other strategies to close the sale.
  • What is your goal for the next six months?

How Can We Help?

BANT is still one of the most effective frameworks for prospecting. Infotelligent has a global database of B2B contacts (email IDs, direct dials, LinkedIn IDs) along with their intent which can be leveraged to aid the BANT framework.

You can get access to the right prospects provided you apply the questions mentioned above correctly. Do remember that the sequence for these questions may vary from client to client, depending on the situation. 

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