The BANT framework for Lead Qualification in B2B Sales
In a typical B2B Sales process, post the prospecting and lead generation tasks, comes another step that is extremely necessary - that of Lead Qualification. Prospecting helps sales teams identify prospects that match their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and lead generation aids in generating leads according to the ICP. In order to focus on the right leads that are well-qualified and towards which time and efforts need to be effectively channelized, sales professionals need to understand and verify whether these leads generated are persons of authority or stakeholders, if they are decision makers, whether or not the product/service that is to be offered helps solve any of their business problem, if they have the budget to invest in the product, so on and so forth.
To assess these parameters, a lead-qualifying technique called the BANT framework is extensively used in the B2B sales circle. The BANT methodology helps sales teams gather more information about the prospects/leads to check how well-qualified they are.
In this blog, let us learn in depth about what the BANT framework is, how it helps in qualifying leads, its advantages in the structured information gathering process of lead qualification etc.
What is the BANT framework in B2B Sales and its role in lead qualification?
Budget, Authority, Need & Timeline, abbreviated as BANT, is a B2B sales lead qualification methodology that helps sales teams ascertain whether or not a prospect/lead is the best-fit for their product/service based on their,
- Budget - whether the lead has the budget to invest in the product and if they are ready to spend
- Authority - if the lead is a decision maker/stakeholder and has the authority and is in a position to buy the product
- Need - if the lead has any business problem that the product/service can solve
- Timeline - whether the lead has any buying timeline i.e. if there is an immediate requirement of the product
Let’s delve in this deeper and understand each factor one by one.
It is important to qualify leads based on their financial aspect and stability. So whether they can afford to pay for the product, if the cost of the product aligns with their budget criteria, their readiness to pay for the product are some of the questions that should be asked according to the BANT technique. Furthermore, if these leads have the financial flexibility in terms of cost changes, if they consider the product worthy of investment, their expected return on investment etc are some of the other factors that should be considered while qualifying a lead. If the answer to any of the above questions is a NO, then there is no point in pursuing the lead further.
Quite often, people who end up as leads via your lead generation process are somebody who are not directly involved in the decision making processes of their company. They simply may be subordinates who have been assigned the task of searching for desired products or gathering quotations etc. A lot of back and forth between these people and their senior authorities can cost a lot of precious time. The BANT framework advises sales teams to properly map decision makers and stakeholders who are responsible for taking important decisions of the company. Direct control and communication with the stakeholders not only saves time but also increases the chances of sealing the deal as people on a higher level are already convinced and happy with the interaction.
The BANT technique emphasizes on solving a lead’s business problem. Therefore, it is necessary for sales teams to understand the pain areas leads have, if there are any obstacles and challenges that they face, if the problem is genuinely grave and important enough that it needs immediate attention and solution, whether the product is capable of solving or reducing that problem etc. If the product does not align with their problem statements and cannot offer much in providing a solution, then it is better to not push the sales process any further. Also important is to verify if the lead, their team, stakeholders - all are on the same page when it comes to defining the problem statement.
According to BANT, asking questions like whether the leads want to address and eliminate their problems as soon as possible, if they are ready to invest in the product almost immediately, whether they are interested in a one-pitch-and-a-close kind of deal etc, might help sales team understand the gravity and urgency of the situation better. If there is going to be a lot of back and forth for discussions, approvals that are going to cost too much time, then sales teams should give it some serious thought and conclude that letting go off the lead is probably a better decision. If the problem is somewhere down in the pipeline for the leads and their business, sales teams can as well keep it as an after priority to follow up with them at a later stage.
Read more about the BANT framework in this blog
(Visit https://zebrista.com/ to know more about Zebrista, a Sales acceleration tool.)
Advantages of the BANT framework
- Ofcourse, one of the most important benefits of using the BANT methodology is that it saves significant time by compressing the sales cycle. It does so by eliminating unqualified leads who are not fit to convert into potential customers.
- BANT increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the B2B sales process by structuring and streamlining the lead/prospect information gathering process.
- Not limited to any particular industry or for that matter only B2B, BANT is applicable to a wide array of industries that may benefit from its reliable techniques.
How does Zebrista use the BANT framework to qualify leads in a B2B sales cycle?
A sales acceleration tool, Zebrista, is a Sales automation tool that automates your end-to-end sales cycle by implementing prospecting, contact discovery, lead generation, email marketing, appointment generation, and much more.
- Based on the criteria and filters selected, Zebrista helps you identify your target audience from 25+ sources like LinkedIn/angel/crunchbase etc.
- After identifying the correct audience, data of prospective clients like their contact information and email addresses is mined and the contact information of these clients is extracted from the system.
- Zebrista uses the BANT methodology post lead generation to execute the lead qualification process to identify and collect qualified and best-fit leads.
- Scheduled and targeted email campaigns are executed to approach these clients and appointments are generated.
- Once appointments are generated, the Sales team can concentrate on strategizing and closing the client.
- Not only does Zebrista help companies build their own workflows depending on their criteria while searching the target audience but also provides a library of already existing workflows which companies can use, some examples of which are targeting recently funded companies, targeting actively hiring companies, etc.
- Zebrista doesn’t stop here, It does a whole lot of things - Connect with us now to see Zebrista in action and to ACCELERATE your SALES cycle.