We get it…you gotta qualify 🙄
The BANT sales framework is very, very old.
Not many people alive today remember a time before it (talking circa 1950s).
“But I’m one of the lucky sellers who hasn't heard of BANT. What does it mean?”
BANT is an acronym standing for:
- Budget: How much budget does the buyer have?
- Authority: Does the buyer have the authority to sign the deal?
- Need: Does the buyer have a strong need for your solution?
- Timeline: Is the timing right?
Created to help sales teams qualify & prioritize leads. Today, it’s gone stale.
So why does BANT sales suck?
If you BANT someone, you’re making it all about you (the seller), not about them (the buyer).
Mentally checking the above boxes only benefits your side of the table. Doing nothing for them.
I don’t know how your sales process works, but sales = solving your buyer's problem…
So naturally BANTing too much will get you fired.
BANT sales alternatives
Here are a few ways you can ask the box-checking questions while getting to real pain-centric discovery conversations:
In yesteryear, budget was a major factor in making a business decision.
But with the rise of subscription-based SaaS & flexible payments, budget can take a back seat.
Would they take a meeting they don’t think they can create a budget for? Probably not.
- Don’t ask: “Have you set funds aside for this?”
- Instead, ask: “Is your team committed to solving this problem?”
Allows for an open-ended conversation that addresses budget and helps you understand additional priorities.
BANTer’s make the assumption that a true decision-maker is easily identifiable.
Today’s buying decisions are a bit more complex & distributed across multiple stakeholders.
Asking if they have the authority to buy is another way of saying, “are you important?”
Harsh stuff. It’s our job as the seller to navigate this.
- Don’t ask: “Are you the typical buyer on your team?”
- Instead, ask: “Who else would want to get eyes on this before moving forward?”
Empowers your buyer to state they’re the sole decision maker confidently but also creates a soft landing spot to identify anyone else who needs to be folded in.
Most Buyers don’t know what they need especially if the meeting came from cold outreach.
Your job is to help them uncover & explore their needs.
And if you do a better job at this process, they will buy from you, not your competitor.
- Don’t want this response: “Yes, I need a Mutual Action Plan.”
- Aim for this: “This Mutual Action Plan solves the issue that’s been costing us $20K a month”.
Demonstrates a holistic understanding of buyer pain & root causes. Not just what they ‘need.’
Similar to Needs, timelines are fluid & can change in an instant. Focus on static problems & goals.
Also, similar to Budget, why would they take the meeting if the timing was completely off?
- Don’t ask: “Is your X contract up for renewal?”
- Instead, ask: “When do you expect to purchase and roll out this type of software?”
While both variations can surface a short answer, one is clearly more nuanced than the other.
💡Pro Tip💡: BANT Sucks Discovery Template
Create in-meeting templates with Pickle so you never forget the better ‘Budget’ question to ask. Try free today!
Don’t BANT people; just do better sales discovery.
Next article: Discovery Stakeholder Mapping