BANT Qualify your Leads to Bring Out The Real Customers
For B2B businesses, lead qualification is one of the most crucial steps to effectively utilize spend resources on the right leads and maximize sales productivity. A commonly used lead qualification technique is BANT.
What is BANT?
BANT is a technique used by businesses to qualify leads based on Budget, Authority, Need and Time.
Budget– Determining if the lead has the budget to buy your product/service.
Authority– Determining if the lead has the authority to make a purchase.
Need– Determining if the lead has the need for your product/service.
Time– Determining if the lead has a buying timeline.
Qualifying the Leads
The BANT process has stood the test of time for decades and is still referred to for lead qualification. There have been some changes to the fundamentals however, especially for SAAS businesses. Also, salespeople would ask complex questions directly to customers like they are interrogating them. Customers tend to not like that. This is where customer data comes into play. Hence, a lot of BANT qualification process has moved to the marketing team from the sales team. Sales and marketing teams often work together as leads are marketing qualified and then sales qualified to complete the BANT process.
Your lead needs to have the budget to buy your products/services. For big-ticket B2B leads, salespeople would often directly ask the lead if they had the budget for the “project” and they would get their answer. For most SAAS companies however, things are different as products and services cost relatively less amount of money. If you are selling a 200$ per month subscription, a medium-large company would generally not have any financial problems purchasing it (as long as they qualify for the other aspects of BANT). So, instead of interrogating the customer, you rely on data. Salespanel provides you firmographic information of your leads. This will help you guess if the company has the budget to buy your product. You can also use a product like Builtwith to find out how much money they are spending on other products.
The next important thing is authority. Does the person you are talking to have the power to make the purchase for the company? An intern at a large company will probably not have the decision making power to authorize a decision for the company. A C-level executive, on the other hand, will, however, have the authority to purchase your product. If your lead has the decision making power for the company, he passes the Authority test. Now, how do you find out? You can ask them in your forms or have your sales team ask them or you can rely on a data provider to give you the information. Salespanel automatically enriches your leads and you can use our lead qualification tools to prioritize decision-makers.
Does your lead really have a need for the product? Are they trying to get a job done that needs your product? Are they seriously having buying intent or they are just looking around? Is your product a “good to have” for them? These are the questions that arise and that you need answers for. Not all leads who show interest have a real need for your product. Those who don’t, might end up wasting your time. The way to understand their need is to analyze their behavior and ask them meaningful questions if they are in conversation with you. Again, do not go into interrogation mode and instead ask questions that actually helps your lead. You can also judge need based on their behavior. How much time have they spent on your website? Have they seen your pricing page? Did they activate their account or invite team members? Have they messaged your support to ask questions? Have they added a payment method? All of these behavioral attributes can paint a picture about the need of the lead. After the initial check, sales can ask relevant questions to confirm the behavior.
How long will it take your lead to buy your product and implement your solution? That’s what Time in BANT stands for ‘timeframe’. Salespeople will recall experiences where a lead would take forever to commit or they would simply say that they would consider it after X months. Now the timeframe would defer from business to business. For SAAS companies, timeframes are usually shorter as most qualified leads would complete the trial and then pay for the subscription if they decide to continue. If a lead does not have a real adoption time in his/her mind, he/she fails the qualification. Prioritize leads who have a clear goal and a clear timeline to implement your solution.
Now that you know what BANT is, you can start using it for your qualification process. Things have changed in the last decade but the basics remain the same. Salespanel will help you BANT qualify your leads without you needing to aggressively interrogate your leads. The sales and marketing teams come together and qualify leads to be more productive and create a better lead management workflow.