Are You Using BANT to Qualify Prospects?

Every lead is not a prospect and every prospect is not equally qualified. In your early days of running your business you, like many entrepreneurs, may consider every lead a “hot” lead. After all, business is business, right? Well, not exactly. The longer you’re in business, and the more successful your business becomes, the more selective you will need to be about which customers you decide to take on. What a great problem to have, right?

There are a variety of different ways that you might decide to evaluate or “score” your prospects. One commonly used approach, though, can be very helpful–BANT.

BANT stands for:

  • Budget
  • Authority
  • Need
  • Time

When considering the potential value of a prospect, BANT leads you to ask some important questions like:

  • Can this prospect afford what I have to offer?
  • Does this contact have the authority to make a purchase decision?
  • What is the pain point that my product/service will address for this prospect? The greater the pain, the more your potential gain!
  • What is the timeframe for making a decision?

Using this approach you might then “score” your prospects and rank them in terms of those that seem to represent the most, and the most immediate, potential. This can keep you–or your sales staff–from spending too much time chasing after no budget, no authority, no need and long purchase cycle prospects. You want to focus on those with ample budget, authority to act now, high level and immediate need.

How to determine where your prospects are at? Ask them! ┬áThere has been a very interesting and very positive change in the way sales take place these days. No longer is selling all about you, you, you. Instead, a consultative selling approach means that you, as Stephen Covey would advise: “seek first to understand.”

Taking a legitimate interest in the needs and interests of your prospects can lead to greater success for both you and them. Some of this discovery can be done through online forms that might be used to qualify recipients of a white paper, or attendees at a webinar, for instance. In other cases, the discovery might occur during phone calls, via teleconference or in person. The approach is really based on what is best for your prospects — and for you.

As you consider your prospects, and their potential value to your business, think about how you might use BANT to best leverage your time and future profitability.



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