BANT: What It Is And How to Use It When Qualifying Leads

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Your brain is probably full of endless industry jargon, including various acronyms to remember strategies and methodologies. One of those might be BANT; sound familiar? BANT is an acronym for a common sales method, standing for:

Budget: How much is the prospect able and willing to spend?

Authority: Who is the ultimate decision maker?

Need: Does the prospect have a problem your product can solve?

Timing: Is there urgency?

It helps sales reps qualify leads, determining if they are worth pursuing or better left alone. While BANT has fallen out of favor among some salespeople, HubSpot’s Aja Frost believes it's due to reps’ misuse of it rather than a lack of efficacy. “[BANT] fails when salespeople use it like a checklist, meaning they ask prospects a series of rote questions without truly listening to their response or attempting to add value,” she explains.

When utilized properly, BANT can save you both money and time by effectively qualifying every lead that comes your way.

Frost advises reps not to use BANT as an interrogation. Instead, think of it as concept rather than a checklist. You should be creating a two-way dialogue with prospects and taking every opportunity to dig a bit deeper with each question. Also, BANT questions don’t need to be asked in order, so feel free to sprinkle them throughout your conversation so it flows more naturally.   

Still not sure about using BANT? No worries, as Frost shares a list of excellent questions for each category (budget, authority, need, timing) that will get the prospect talking. Also, make sure to read the potential challenges she includes as well, which will help you prepare for potential roadblocks or issues along the way. As she points out, “BANT has lasted through the ages because it’s effective (when used correctly), memorable, and applicable to a range of products, price points, and sales processes. Adapt it to your situation, then ruthlessly target the best fits.”

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.
Jessica Helinski

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