How to Use BANT Sales Techniques to Identify Qualified Leads

The BANT sales framework is a well-established way for businesses to better identify and qualify their leads – here’s how to put it to work in your business.

4 min read

A sales rep using BANT sales techniques to identify qualified leads

Generating leads is vital for sales, but qualifying those leads is equally important. You could have all the leads in the world, but if they’re a poor match for the products and services your business sells, you’ll struggle to close new business. 

Without lead qualification techniques like the BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) framework, your sales team has no way to prioritize different opportunities that come across their desk. Qualifying leads allows sales teams to allocate their time to the opportunities with the greatest potential. 

When qualifying leads, sales teams should leverage a proven and reliable framework such as BANT. It’s a fantastic tool that, when used appropriately, can supercharge the effectiveness of your sales team. Businesses can use the BANT framework in many ways, and today, we’re going to explain three of the most impactful.  

What is the BANT Sales Method?

The BANT framework is a popular lead qualification system that has existed since the 1950s. By using the BANT sales method, sales teams can qualify leads during discovery calls, allowing sales reps to better understand a potential customer’s ability to purchase from your brand. 

As sales processes have developed, many sales automation tools have incorporated the key elements of BANT, making it easier than ever for ambitious sales teams to adopt this tried-and-tested strategy. 

The core components of the BANT sales method include:

  • Budget: If a potential buyer can’t afford your product or service, they aren’t a qualified lead. Understanding the lead’s budget during the discovery call can save time in the long run. Pro tip: don’t just think about budget through the lens of upfront onboarding costs. Consider all of the costs associated with purchasing your product from internal resources to implement new solutions, to monthly subscription fees. 
  • Authority: Sometimes, sales reps reach out to the wrong contact at a company. If the person you are talking to on the discovery call doesn’t have the authority to make the purchase decision, the lead is less qualified. Be clear on who has decision-making authority and involve these people in the sales process. 
  • Need: Is there an urgent need for the product or service? If a lead is just in the early browsing stages and exploring several solutions, sales reps should treat them differently than those under pressure to make a quick decision. Considering the sales lifecycle stages is part of BANT.
  • Timeline: Even if a company knows it needs to adopt a product or service, the sales representatives must understand the company’s timeline. For example, a lead that wants a new service implemented within the month differs significantly from a lead looking to slowly migrate to another service within the year.

The Benefits of BANT Sales

BANT is far from the only sales framework, but it’s an extremely popular lead qualification method that has stood the test of time. Here are some of the key reasons why many top businesses are still using the BANT sales method: 

  • Resource Allocation: Determining which resources to direct towards each lead is crucial for enhancing the way you manage the finite time and resources of your sales team. BANT allows sales reps to ask questions early on to gauge the level and type of resources to allot to a qualified lead.
  • Efficiency: By asking the right questions early on in the discovery process, sales representatives gain relevant information and can make educated decisions about how to most efficiently manage the lead.
  • Flexibility: One of the most significant benefits of the BANT sales framework is its flexibility. It can be applied to a wide range of B2B sales processes, from software to professional services.

3 Ways to Use BANT to Identify Qualified Leads

Now that we know how and why BANT works, let’s dive into some actionable strategies that your team can adopt to start using it to identify qualified leads.

1. Create an Ideal Customer Profile

Consider factors that would make a qualified lead for your product or service, such as the size of the company, the industry, its budget, problems, and ideal solutions. By defining the ideal customer, you can develop frameworks for discovery calls that help identify those types of customers. With today’s technology, generative AI technologies can help develop this profile.

This isn’t to say that every customer will fit your Ideal Customer Profile, but having a clear, shared understanding of the types of customers your team is targeting helps you take a more efficient approach to managing sales processes. 

2. Ask the Right Questions 

As we discussed, a key benefit of the BANT framework is its flexibility. Your sales team should embrace this, taking a flexible approach to developing the right types of questions to ask different types of prospects. 

Be careful that the questions you ask don’t come off as too pushy. Remember to listen to the prospect's needs instead of treating every call like a sales pitch – a bad sales practice that many teams are guilty of falling into. During the discovery call you want to gather information and meet the lead where they are in the buying process. 

Here are some example questions for qualifying a prospect using the BANT sales framework.

  • Budget: How much is your company currently spending on [pain point]?
    What is your intended budget to allocate towards [pain point]?
  • Authority: Who typically decides whether to implement these solutions at your company? 
  • Need: Can you provide some examples of the day-to-day challenges [pain point] poses?What are you doing now to address these challenges?
  • Timeline: How severely is this problem negatively impacting the business? How much time do you think you have to implement a proper solution?

3. Leverage Digital Tools to Track Progress

Finding the right CRM software and analytics tools to track progress is key to achieving your sales goals. Set SMART goals for sales that are tied to KPIs that you can use to measure your success objectively. 

One KPI to consider is the Customer Acquisition Cost or CAC. If using the BANT sales method makes the lead qualification process more efficient, you’d expect your efforts to decrease CAC: an improvement in the efficiency of your sales and marketing processes. Another thing to consider is the lead value and quality score, which the following formula can estimate.

Lead Value Formula:

Lead value = total sales value/total leads

As you implement the BANT framework, your goal should be for the value of a qualified lead to grow significantly. By adopting the BANT method, you’re empowering your sales team to spend more time on higher ROI opportunities. 

Improve Your Lead Qualification Process

In 2023, one of the top challenges that sales professionals faced was a lack of high-quality leads. Generating leads is a costly business – often requiring investments in digital marketing, outbound sales, content creation, and more. By utilizing the BANT sales framework, you can improve the efficiency and output of your sales team while continuing to generate qualified leads. 

If you need support building and executing a comprehensive plan to attract more traffic and generate more leads, contact GoDelta. Our results-driven digital marketing experts will partner closely with you to build and execute digital marketing strategies customized to your business. 

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