How To Use The BANT Strategy To Qualify Prospects In 2024  

There are many well-respected and successful strategies and sales processes to follow, but one style is often mentioned as one of the best – BANT.

The perception of sales in 2024, is likely to be one that is more automated and, to a lesser extent, easier than it was in the past. However, this isn’t actually the true story. Despite there being more opportunities and more products to purchase and sell, selling is harder now because the traditional buying behaviors have shifted exponentially in recent years.

Being able to qualify a prospect effectively is still a really key part of being a good sales professional. And in a world where a customer’s expectations are higher than ever, and competition is fiercer than ever – be that in B2B and B2C – it’s even more important.

Prospects were once reliant on what a salesperson told them but data and information is now readily available at the touch of a button. Prospects are better informed, and often have made many decisions in the purchase process before the sales representative even speaks to them. There’s also a whole overflow of information that can impact choice. Websites, social media, and a whole heap of various buying channels, so even in a traditionally long lead time, speed is still of the utmost importance.

In this guide, you’ll find out what exactly the BANT framework is, how it can be implemented into your sales team’s processes, why it’s efficient to do so, and some helpful criteria to assess if it’s relevant for your sales team or not.

What Is The BANT Framework?

The BANT framework is a tried and tested approach to sales. It stands for Budget, Authority, Need & Timeline. Each section plays a critical part in deciding whether your potential customer is likely to make a purchase, and is in the position to do so. The framework switches between the individual prospect and the business, allowing for a well-rounded picture of the potential customer and if it’s worth pursuing.

BANT source LucidChart

Breaking down each section is key and cannot be skipped:

Budget

Understanding a prospect’s budget is one of utmost importance in this qualification process. It involves assessing whether the prospect has the financial resources allocated or available to invest in your product or service. This prevents a prospect from progressing too far, taking up time and resources from the sales team, and then being found as being unable to afford the products or service.

Authority

When dealing with someone it is incredibly important to identify if the person hat you are speaking to is the decision maker, or is part of the decision making process. Without this step, a prospect may go all the way to the bottom of the funnel and then lack the authority to sign off a purchase. This could be because of internal hierarchy or sometimes an individual may just end up finding it too awkward to admit they are not the person to make the decision. By ensuring that you have not only a decision maker, but at least some idea of any additional decision makers, then you are far more likely to have a seamless closing process. Even if the company will purchase, not dealing directly with a decision maker is likely to encounter delays.

Need

Being able to qualify that there is a need is key. Without knowing for certain that there is a genuine need, or perceived need, it can make it harder to emphasize the value to them. Also, if you are looking for a customer-centric approach, the customer’s need should be at the forefront of your pitching. Being able to solve a potential problem clears the way for the likelihood of a successful sale.

Timeline

Where many reps and sales teams fall down is taking the above and not trying to ascertain what the timeline is. By qualifying using the above criteria, a rep may still identify a need, the authority, the budget, but if they are 6 months, 12 months etc away from purchase, this can waste time. You may find that when they are ready to buy the circumstances have changed and the previous qualifications are no longer valid. It’s also important to get this to make sure that you are tightening and optimizing the sales cycle and resource allocation.

How To Integrate Bant Into Your Sales Process

There are numerous ways that you can incorporate BANT into your sales process, including using AI-driven sales coaching and templates. This can be done slowly, or very rapidly. The steps remain the same, but the way they are executed can be very different.

The first example is by covering all of the steps in the initial touchpoint with a prospect. This may not suit every business, but if you are selling at volume and with quick timeframes this could be a good approach to include BANT. BANT could then be repeated along the way.

EXAMPLE 1 – The “Quick” SaaS Cycle

A new business executive working at a SaaS company that sells b2b tracking software could be making outbound cold calls for the sales team to book demos. Before the executive can book a meeting they would need to ask some qualifying questions before they could firm up the booking to a diary.

This could include questions such as:

Does your company deal with business-to-business?

(NEED – The product is b2b only, if they are b2c there is no need.)

Do you have a current website?

(NEED – If they don’t have a website, the tool is useless to them.)

Are you able to add javascript code to your website? Or do you have someone internally that can do this?

(AUTHORITY – Can they make changes to a site? Or do they have the authority to make someone do it for them.)

Are you able to make a decision on purchasing software? And if so, is there anybody else who needs to be involved within the decision making process that we can also invite to the demo?

(AUTHORITY – Do they have the authority? And if so, is there anybody else? This prevents a deal getting to a point of close and then a new person needing to be looped in at a later point and brought up to speed.)

What sort of marketing do you currently do?

(BUDGET – If they invest in marketing already then this qualifies them. If they don’t, again this isn’t a deal breaker but in the notes the sale rep could probe this further to get an idea of their budget and why this is different.)

Is this something that you would be interested in implementing within this quarter?

(TIMELINE – Identifying and flushing out if they are ready to purchase now, or if they are checking for later. This doesn’t need to be a dealbreaker, but the executive can then put in the notes for the sales rep to push on this further to get a solid timeline.)

While these questions are fairly detailed, and many may feel like they could lose a potential lead by asking them, it does uncover any potential problems before too much time has been spent on a demonstration for example. These are also good talking points for the sales executive to discuss in the upcoming conversation as well, confirming and firming these up.

This is just one way you can incorporate the BANT framework into your sales process but there are several more ways that this can be done.

EXAMPLE 2 – Extended BANT Integration for High-Value Equipment Sales

Imagine a company that specializes in selling advanced diamond drilling systems, used primarily in large-scale geological survey projects and mining operations. These systems represent a significant investment and require a detailed, extended sales process that can span several months or even years.


Initial Research and Identification

The sales team begins by identifying potential customers through mining industry reports, trade shows, and strategic partnerships with geological survey companies. They target companies that have recently secured mining rights or have announced expansion plans—key indicators of a potential budget and need.

Initial Outreach and Engagement

The sales representative reaches out via a personalized email campaign, focusing on recent industry developments and innovations in diamond drilling technology. The initial communication is designed to pique interest and lay the groundwork for deeper engagement.

Educational Webinar Invitation

To engage the prospects further and provide value upfront, the company invites them to an exclusive webinar that discusses the latest trends in diamond drilling and how advanced technology can drastically reduce operational costs and increase efficiency.

Detailed Discovery Call

After the webinar, interested prospects are invited to a discovery call where the sales representative employs the BANT framework:

Budget: The representative asks, “Based on your current expansion plans, have you allocated a budget for upgrading or acquiring new drilling systems?”
Authority: During the conversation, they identify key stakeholders, asking, “Who else in your team should join our next discussion to help evaluate this technology?”
Need: They explore specific operational challenges the prospect faces, such as “What limitations are you encountering with your current drilling equipment?”
Timeline: The timeline is crucial, so they probe, “When are you planning to begin your next major drilling project?”

Solution Demonstration and Site Visit

Interested prospects are offered a live demonstration at an existing customer site. This allows them to see the diamond drilling system in action and understand its operational benefits firsthand. Tailored presentations show how the technology can integrate with their current operations, meet their needs, and stay within their budget.

Proposal Customization and Negotiation

Based on the insights gathered during previous interactions, a detailed proposal is crafted. This proposal aligns the product’s capabilities with the prospect’s specific requirements and budget. Negotiations may involve several rounds, focusing on payment terms, training, and after-sales support, ensuring all decision-makers are onboard.

Closing and Implementation Planning

Upon agreement, the sales process moves to closing, with detailed plans for delivery, installation, and on-site training. The sales team remains actively involved, ensuring a smooth transition and addressing any post-sale concerns.

Ongoing Relationship and Support

Post-sale, the company maintains a strong relationship with the customer, providing regular updates on new enhancements and proactive maintenance support. This continuous engagement paves the way for future upgrades and referrals within the industry.

This example illustrates a much more detailed approach to integrating the BANT framework in high-value sales situations, ensuring that each interaction adds value and builds towards a successful, long-term partnership.

Tips on maintaining consistency in using BANT across different sales teams


As you can see BANT is pretty universal and can even be applied to B2C sales, for example someone looking to purchase a new kitchen. So, where it is obviously so key to making sure that your sales process is moving along as it should, there are some key ideas on how to maintain that consistency.

Regular Training and Refreshers: Conduct sales training sessions for new hires and refresher courses for existing team members to ensure everyone understands and can effectively apply the BANT framework.
Use CRM Tools: Make sure that you implement CRM tools to track and record BANT criteria for each prospect. This helps maintain consistency in how information is collected and utilized across different sales teams.
Role-Playing Exercises: Implement role-playing scenarios that allow sales teams to practice using BANT in various selling situations. This builds confidence and helps in applying the framework more effectively.
Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Regularly collect feedback from the sales team on the application of the BANT framework and make adjustments to the process as necessary. This helps in refining the approach and improving sales outcomes.

BANT in Enhancing Sales Efficiency

We have learned that BANT is a fantastic way to make sure that pipelines are full of well-qualified leads that are showing at least some signals to purchase. There are many reasons why we want to make sure that our sales teams are working at maximum efficiency and productivity. Here are a few examples of just how it can make sales more efficient and productive.

Focused Lead Qualification

By applying the BANT criteria sales teams can quickly discern the prospects most likely to convert. This focus ensures that sales efforts are concentrated on leads that are not only interested but are also in a position to make purchasing decisions, which saves time and increases conversion rates.

Optimized Resource Allocation

Understanding the specific needs and timelines of potential customers allows sales managers to allocate resources more strategically. Teams can prioritize high-potential leads that require immediate attention while scheduling follow-ups for long-term opportunities, ensuring that every lead is nurtured according to its potential value.

Enhanced Sales Metrics

Implementing BANT helps in tracking and improving essential sales metrics such as lead conversion rates, sales cycle lengths, and deal sizes. When teams concentrate on well-qualified leads, the likelihood of closing increases, which in turn boosts overall sales performance and efficiency.

Consistency Across Teams

Consistency in lead qualification across different sales teams is vital for scalable success. BANT provides a clear, standardized framework that all team members can follow, which helps in maintaining a uniform approach to assessing and engaging prospects. This standardization is particularly beneficial in larger organizations where multiple teams or departments handle different stages of the sales process.

Adopting BANT not only sharpens the focus of sales teams but also enhances overall productivity by ensuring that each interaction is strategically aligned with the company’s sales objectives. This methodical approach to lead qualification proves indispensable for driving better sales results and achieving higher operational efficiency.

Challenges and Limitations of BANT in Modern Sales

However, while it may be easy to assume that BANT is the answer to all your sales needs, it does come with some limiting factors. These are some of the things to be aware of when deciding to use the BANT framework.

The Buyers Journey Is Changing

Quite simply that since the rise of the Internet the traditional sales cycle that has been theorised for many years has shifted. It’s now not a case of simple research and then purchase, but the sales loop starts both further along and further back at the same time. Below you’ll see a graphic that illustrates just how different it is now.

Image illusrating a striaght road for the old way and a windy road for the new Buyers Journey Source Gemini

The Budget Element Can Be Misinterpreted

Some buyers don’t want to give their budget away at the first instance which could unqualify them. Equally, a buyer could give a false impression that they have budget. While this is certainly true for almost all sales, BANT method or not, because it’s such a key part of the framework it is susceptible to issues.

Authority Challenges

Equally, a sales rep or individual may ask for the decision maker to be involved and they simply don’t want to bother until the deal is nearly done. That’s why things such as using AI meeting assistants can help to loop people in and bring them up-to speed. Equally, there could be two decision makers that have opposing views.

Overemphasis on Needs, or Perceived Needs

Concentrating heavily on presumed customer needs can cause sales reps to overlook their true requirements, resulting in proposals that fail to align with their priorities. There is often a feeling in sales that customers lie, not intentionally, but they will get hung up on a single problem rather than their true pain points. BANT, while great for discerning issues, can sometimes create a false answer.

Cultural and Market Differences

BANT’s effectiveness can vary significantly across different cultures and markets. In some cultures, direct questions about budget and decision-making authority might be seen as impolite or aggressive, potentially harming the relationship.

While BANT remains a valuable tool for qualifying prospects, these challenges highlight the importance of using it flexibly and in conjunction with other strategies that consider the broader context of modern sales environments. Tailoring the application of BANT to fit the specific business context and the evolving landscape of customer relationships can help mitigate these.

Is BANT Right for Your Business?

Determining whether the BANT framework is a good fit for your sales strategy involves assessing various aspects of your sales process, market conditions, and customer behavior.

Before deciding to switch to this approach then it’s worth consider a few key questions:

  1. Does your business involve complex sales cycles that require thorough lead qualification? BANT is especially useful in environments where distinguishing serious buyers early on can save significant time and resources.
  2. Are your buyer personas well-defined and do they typically have clear budgets, authority, needs, and timelines? BANT works best where these factors are identifiable and influence the buying decision.
  3. Is your average deal size large enough to warrant an intensive qualification process? For high-value transactions, ensuring that all BANT criteria are met can be crucial for a successful sale.
  4. Are you focused on building long-term relationships with clients rather than single transactions? If so, ensure BANT is used flexibly to not miss out on nurturing leads that could be valuable over time.
  5. Do sales often hinge on accessing and influencing top decision-makers? BANT helps identify whether your contact has the authority or if additional stakeholders need to be engaged.
  6. Does your sales team have limited resources that need to be carefully allocated to the most promising leads? BANT can help prioritize efforts based on the potential of each prospect.
  7. Is your market well-understood and relatively stable? In such markets, BANT can be effective because customer needs and timelines are clearer and more predictable.
  8. Is the direct questioning approach of BANT appropriate and effective within your business culture and the wider market culture?
  9. Does BANT align with your overall sales strategy and goals? While BANT works well with other sales approaches such as SPIN selling, make sure that it will support rather than conflict with your strategic objectives.

Using BANT Successfully

If you have decided that BANT could be of great use to you and your company goals, then you join a long-line of businesses that think so as well. The beauty of the BANT strategy is that it is pretty universal. As we have seen in this guide it can be used to sell software and diamond drilling, and can even be used in B2C as well.

So whether you’re dealing with fast-paced SaaS cycles or extended high-value transactions, BANT provides a structured approach to navigate the intricacies of modern sales and foster long-term client relationships.

tl;dv for Sales
Spend your time where it matters most. Uncover Sales intelligence and track how well your team follows your Playbooks. tl;dv is an AI Meeting Assistant that helps you (finally) get insights from all your meetings, right in your team's favorite tools.
Recordings & Transcripts (+30 languages)
Onboard new reps with ease
Evaluate your meetings against popular frameworks like MEDDIC, BANT and more
Create your own framework
Automatically push your meeting notes to your favourite CRM
Speaker insights to help you keep control of your meetings
tl;dv Blog
Subscribe to our Blog

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest tips and news on Meetings, Sales, Customer Success, Productivity, and Work Culture.

To use reCAPTCHA V3, you need to add the API Key and complete the setup process in Dashboard > Elementor > Settings > Integrations > reCAPTCHA V3.

Image Issues

The images listed below are being resized to fit a container. To avoid serving oversized or blurry images, try to match the images to their container sizes.

Oversized
Undersized

All images are properly sized

Note: It’s not always easy to make this happen, fix up what you can.

  • Joins your meetings, even if you don’t.
  • Records and transcribes in +30 languages.
  • Takes notes in your preferred structure.
  • Summarize one or multiple meetings.
  • Auto updates your favourite tools (Slack, Notion, CRM, etc).
  • Provides coaching insights on your meeting style.
Running late to your next meeting?
Send tl;dv instead and get blown away!