BANT isn’t sufficient: A new framework for qualifying your leads

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Are you still under the impression that Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe (BANT) lead qualification is the only way to go? Are you scared of making a change, as you’re unsure of which strategy could generate better results?

There used to be a time when BANT was the “be all, end all” in regards to lead qualification. However, there’s something you need to know: BANT is dying.

Today, prospects are more informed about your company and your competitor’s products and services. Furthermore, they’ve identified their own needs and have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish. And this is all done before they ever strike up a conversation with a salesperson.

Get this: buyers are 57 percent of the way toward making a buying decision when they make first contact with a salesperson.

With this approach, salespeople lose quite a bit of power. However, they can regain some control by figuring out how to add value to the prospect’s decision making process. This is why BANT is no longer good enough.

A New BANT

Although BANT may be a thing of the past, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Instead, you need to turn your attention to GROW: Goals, Roadmapping, Obstacles, and Widen.

Let’s examine what each one of these components means:

1. Goals

What does your product help your customers do? Why does is matter?

Continue to ask yourself these questions until you hit a wall. You should eventually find yourself with an answer as to what makes your product special. This could be something like: it helps people save time, it helps people save money, or it helps people make more money.

“Goals” related questions should be focused on the big picture, including how much money or savings the client will see within a particular period of time.

2. Roadmapping

Roadmap questions help you understand how your prospect plans on accomplishing their goals.

Many times, especially when you’re selling to a prospect in the market majority, their answer to how they’ll accomplish their goals has nothing to do with the solution you’re actually selling.

The reason for this is simple: most companies aren’t doing it today, which points your prospects toward “tried and true” methods that have worked for them in the past. It’s your job to get this point across: what worked in the past won’t necessary work today or in the future.

This is when you need to “teach, tailor, and take control” of the sale.

3. Obstacles

What challenges does your prospect anticipate facing when trying to reach their goals? What could stand in the way of your prospect and the finish line?

There’s a good chance your prospect has attempted to accomplish similar goals in the past. Find out what went wrong and which obstacles stood in the way, all so you can ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

4. Widen

The overall concept here is to help your prospects realize that they are not looking at the big picture. They need to know that there is more than what they see on the surface.

For example, a prospect may tell you they have the goal of running A/B tests with the idea of increasing conversion rates.

But is that really the answer? Probably not. When you force them to look at the whole picture, they realize that they want to increase conversation rates because they want to make more money.

It’s important to take a wide-angle view.

Overcoming the Status Quo

As a salesperson, the biggest challenge you face is overcoming the status quo. People don’t like to move outside their comfort zone, as they fear change.

The same holds true for companies that are dead-set on using BANT to qualify leads. They’re familiar with this approach, and worry that abandoning it – such as in favor of GROW – could lead to more harm than good.

However, here’s the one thing you need to remember: early adopters are the ones that often come out on top. So, getting on board with GROW, all the while leaving BANT in the past, could be the first step in outperforming the competition.