Are We Being BANTed? – Why BANT isn’t the best qualification method

Developed by IBM in the 1950s, BANT is a way of identifying qualified leads, an opportunity is considered valid if a prospect meets ¾ of the BANT acronym criteria [1].

B – Budget, does the prospect have the funds to purchase the product/ service?
A – Authority, does the prospect have the authority to make decisions or influence others?
N – Need, does the prospect have a use for the product/ service?
T – Timeline, will the prospect be needing your product/service urgently?

The whole process was successful for IBM’s sales development reps (SDRs) who no longer had to wait days or even weeks to qualify a lead, weeding out the prospects that weren’t a good fit and making the sales process more efficient.

But is it now an outdated phenomenon?

The creation of other lead qualification methods, such as PACTT, means that SDRs are no longer dependent on BANT alone, but is BANT really a thing of the past? And if so is PACTT going to be the one to dethrone it?

As Trish Bertuzzi, author of Sales Development Playbook, explains, PACTT is a different approach for super-qualifying leads. Trish describes the outdated BANT method as “going on a first date and asking for a credit report.” [2] PACTT allows us to treat our customers as individuals, not just put them into a neat BANT-shaped box.

P – Pain points, these are areas prospects struggle in, and they are important to understand. The ability to show empathy to a prospect is crucial to building a successful relationship. But, if the prospect has no need for what you are providing it is unlikely you’ll turn them into a qualified lead.

A – Authority, as with BANT, authority refers to whether or not the person you are speaking with has the authority to purchase your products/services or at least has the influence to persuade the person who does. Sales Development Reps want to be using every minute of time wisely, and this starts with making sure the conversation is with a decision maker.

C – Consequence, following on from pain points, the consequence is the result your product/service will have on a potential prospect. It could be simplifying a process so they don’t have to worry about the extra time spent. The results your product will generate are determined by many factors (such as the size of the organisation, industry, etc). If your service is unlikely to have a large consequence on the prospect’s pain points, it may be time to disqualify them as a lead.

T – Target Profile, having your ideal target prospect mapped out before you begin outreach is important, it will ensure you are targeting the people most likely to purchase your product/service. This supports consequences, as having an established idea of your best fit accounts and ideal customers means you can easily differentiate who fits the match and will take the most value from your product/service.

T – Timing, when it comes to closing a sale or gaining a new client, timing is everything. The key here is to know when to strike. Is your prospect nearing the end of a contract with a current supplier? Can they break away from their current suppliers? All of this will be considered in determining whether they are a good fit.

So, why should you use PACTT when prospecting?

2. PACTT identifies red flags

The whole point of a lead qualification process is to ensure the leads you have are qualified, the prospect must be as much of a good fit for you, as you are for them. The target profile in PACTT focuses on qualifying the potential for a good relationship and whether or not the lead is likely to become a sale.

2. Timing x2

 Yes, BANT does include elements of timing, but there is very little emphasis on this as a qualifier. In the PACTT model timing is taken into account when a prospect’s current contract is up with their current supplier, this is important to be able to engage with your prospect at the right time.

3. BANT doesn’t consider consequences

PACTT identifies consequences that are both beneficial and negative for you and the prospective prospect, knowing these ahead of time is crucial to helping qualify real leads and developing a good client relationship.

4. Pain points

One criterion that BANT misses out on completely is pain points, knowing the company’s point of contention is an important part of the sale, as this can guide how to help the prospect realise why your product/service is going to be of value to them, not just in a surface level way but how it will improve the way they operate and run their business.

5. Budget

 Back to the B in BANT, budget is an important qualifier when it comes to ensuring a lead is real, the last thing you want as a sales person/team is to be selling to a prospect that simply has no allocated budget for your product/service. However, making the budget a huge factor in your qualifying process is not a good idea. Most companies have adapted how they run their budgets since the creation of BANT, which makes this qualifier slightly outdated. Potential prospects often no longer have fixed budgets aside for solutions like yours, so, if you’re waiting around for the budget to become available you, may have already missed the opportunity.

To Conclude…

The PACTT framework has helped our team better qualify prospects for our clients. Punch!’s mission is to make our client’s pipeline grow, and we do this by constantly adapting our qualification criteria to result in a higher return on investment!

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