In This Article You’ll Get A Brief BANT Overview,The Most Missed Step In BANT Qualification, Example BANT Qualification Questions, And What 8 Experts From B2B Lead Generation Companies Said When Asked “Is BANT Dead?”
The BANT lead qualification framework was created in the 1960’s by IBM. Using the BANT framework, your revenue teams follow a standardized process for filtering out leads that are less likely to buy and/or more likely to churn after they buy based on four key categories of information: Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
If a Sales Qualified Lead meets the criteria for three or more BANT categories, it’s considered qualified and moves to the next stage of your sales pipeline. If a Sales Qualified Lead falls short of matching the criteria for 3 of the BANT categories, it should be disqualified and put back into nurture until they’re more ready to buy.
The objective of any lead qualification framework, including BANT, is to help Account Executives avoid spending weeks or even months following-up and having meetings with leads that just aren’t “ready” to buy. However, though BANT is arguably the oldest and most frequently referenced of the lead qualification frameworks, some contest that BANT is no longer relevant because…
- It is slow and not suitable for fast-moving organizations.
- It cannot handle clients who have an unknown need.
- It cannot tackle multiple stakeholders.
- It’s scrambled and outdated
So, we asked 8 lead generation experts from B2B lead generation companies: Is BANT Lead Qualification Dead? Why or Why Not?
We’ve shared their answers with you below…but, before we get to those, let’s cover some examples…
BANT Lead Qualification Tips
Whether you believe BANT is dead or not, it definitely won’t deliver results for you effectively if you don’t define the Budget, Authority, Need, and Timelines you are looking for in the first place.
Sure, every customer and every sale is different, but, when all closed-won deals share commonalities. Moreover, when investing in an outbound strategy, you’ll get a much higher ROI from your efforts if you are more selective about the types of deals you will pursue — ideally a deal profile that leverages demand from a segment of your Total Addressable Market that, if won, will deliver the most strategic value for your brand.
You’ve got to distill those shared characteristics into general traits for each BANT category so that Sales Development Reps or Account Executives, whichever you have running Discovery Calls, know exactly what they’re looking for and how to talk about it with their managers and peers.
In addition to some examples of questions reps can use in sales conversations to uncover how well Sales Qualified Leads meet the criteria, we have provided some hypothetical examples of how to set your BANT Lead Qualification criteria below.
“Don’t forget BANT is a tool for the master to use. Take your emotions out of the evaluation and look at the facts alone. So many young reps get caught up in the emotions that it blinds them from the money.”
Matt Witte, Abstrakt Marketing
Budget – Will They Be Able To Pay For The Product?
Budget Question Examples
- Do you currently have a budget allocated for this solution, or will you have to make the case for one?
- Have you tried any similar SaaS products? How much did they cost?
- Is this an important enough priority to allocate funds toward?
- Is [price range] within your budget?
- Based on how much you’ve spent to get results in the past, does purchasing sound feasible if you all decide that my product can indeed deliver the results you seek?
- How much do you expect to spend on a solution?
Budget Qualification Criteria Examples
|Target Annual Contract Value
|Go To Market Model
|$5,000 – $15,000
|Less than $5,000
|$15,000 – $50,000
|Less than $15,000
|$50,000 – $150,000
|Less than $50,000
|$150,000 – $500,000
|Less than $150,000
Authority – Does Anyone Else Need To Be Involved In The Purchase Decision?
Authority Qualification Question Examples
- Is there anyone else in your company you’d like or need to include in these purchase conversations?
- Do you anticipate any pushback from your colleagues or superiors against this solution? What objections to this purchase do you anticipate encountering? How do you think we can best handle them?
- Are you sharing your budget with any other departments that we should include in these purchase conversations?
- Is there anyone else involved in the purchasing decision that we should invite into our next meeting
- Is there anyone who would feel left out if they weren’t a part of these purchase conversations that we should add?
Authority Qualification Criteria Examples
|Target Seniority Level
|Managers and above
|If contact’s title is lower than Manager
|Directors and above
|If contact’s title is lower than Directors and above
|VPs and above
|If contact’s title is lower than VP and above
|If contact’s title is lower than C-Suite
Need – Will Your Product Deliver A Significant Impact For Them?
Need Qualification Question Examples
- One of the most common issues we keep hearing about [pain] is [symptom]. Is this an issue for you?
- What is the one thing that, if we could solve it quickly, would have the most impact?
- What happens if you do or don’t reach your goals?
- Would you lose responsibility or be demoted if you don’t solve the problem?”
- How is this challenge affecting the overall success of the business?
Need Qualification Criteria Examples
Based on the audience you are targeting, what quantifiable problem do they need to have in order for your product to have a quantifiable impact in a specific time period? The most common types of impact products can quantify and deliver relate to Quality, Time and Cost. Below, we’ve shared some hypothetical examples for each of the three.
|Chatbot Software promises it can increase sales rep’s selling time by 20-30%
|Contact states that company’s sales reps work 8 hour days and current average selling time is 5+ hours
|Analytics Software promises it can improve sales forecast accuracy to within +/- 5% of actual performance
|Contact states that company has never missed forecast by more than 6%
|Customer Rewards & Incentives Software promises it reduces customer churn rate by 10%
|Contact states that company needs to reduce customer churn rate by 18%
|Insurance Claims Management Software promises it reduces claim adjustment time by 50%
|Contact states that the company does not know its average claim adjustment time
|Education Assessment Software promises to reduce the amount of time it takes for teachers to grade papers from 180 minutes to 30 minutes
|Contact states that the organization would not know how to leverage their teachers spending 150 minutes less grading papers
|Payment Gateway Software promises to reduce the time to deposit funds from purchases processed using ACH from 5 days to 24 hours
|Contact states that the company only accepts credit card payments
|Hotel Catering Software specializing in the boutique hotel market promises better allocation and management of personnel during events reducing the average number of employees staffed at events from 30 to 25
|Contact states that the company’s average staff size for events is 50 or more
|Enterprise Asset Management Software promises that its new just in time maintenance notification feature avoids unnecessary scheduled maintenance, reducing maintenance costs by 35%
|Contact states that the company’s legal department mandates a maintenance schedule for compliance purposes.
|Autodialer Software promises to eliminate travel expenses for sales reps by enabling them to connect with 10x more prospects by phone than in a single day than they could in the field.
|Contact states that the company’s travel expenses for sales reps are less than 10x your target Annual Contract Value
Timeline – Is the SQL in the Buying Window?
Timeline Qualification Question Examples
Based on your desired sales cycle, what’s the maximum amount of time to make a purchase decision that would disqualify them as a sales opportunity?
- How urgent is the issue?
- What is your timeline for making a purchase decision?
- How soon would you like to get started?
- Do you have the capacity to implement this product right now?
- How much longer can you afford to operate with this problem lingering?
- Are there any other high impact purchases that are a higher priority in the next 90 days?
- Are you evaluating any other similar products or services?
|Target Sales Cycle
|Less than 30 days
|Contact states that it will be more than 30 days before they’re ready to make a decision
|30 – 60 days
|Contact states that it will be more than 60 days before they’re ready to make a decision
|60 – 90 days
|Contact states that it will be more than 90 days before they’re ready to make a decision
|90 – 120 days
|Contact states that it will be more than 120 days before they’re ready to make a decision
Is BANT Lead Qualification Dead? Why Or Why Not?
8 Experts From B2B Lead Generation Companies Share Their Opinions
“It’s not dead, it’s just not the job of the SDR to qualify against BANT. At Least not on outbound campaigns. In our view a rep is responsible for qualifying against A and N. Does this person have the authority required to influence a purchasing decision / start a review process and N (need) is there a need in the organization for the solution (i.e do they have a problem you can help them to solve).”
– Matt Aird, Sales Science
“No, it’s not dead. It just doesn’t belong at the very top of the sales funnel. It does belong further down since you still need the elements of BANT to figure out if you’re missing something and if the deal is still alive.” – Jakob Thusgaard, YourSales
There are times when you’re breaking to a market that’s not used to a certain product, so the B doesn’t apply always, or in paradigm shifts are happening and nobody knows what’s the activity to attract business so budget allocation is hard to come by, might not be dead, but hard to come by. Qualification is relative.
– Chris Battis, Union Resolute
BANT is very much alive….however, use should not occur at time of cold outreach, but rather on the initial discovery call.
– Ben Goldberg, SalesGig
BANT isn’t dead – but, just like anything is fluid. In today’s competitive market, sellers – and leadership must be able to adapt to different sales situations and environments. Best sales people, best leaders can adapt.
– Jeff Courtney, Sales Gig
No, it’s a good basic qualification process. I prefer MEDDIC.
– Tom Birch, Outreachly
No, it is always critical to qualify leads one way or the other.
– Andres Conejo, Mutare
“No, but it should never be used during cold outreach and early qualification.”
– Blake Johnston, OutboundView