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Is BANT Dead?

We are trying to define whether our SDR's should be an appointment setting team or a BANT-criteria qualifying team. We've found it difficult to BANT when outbound prospecting, especially when settings appointments via email or LinkedIn. Do you think BANT is dead? What other methodologies are your teams using? What is the definition of the SDR team at your company?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!

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    • 1
      Profile picture of Asa Hochhauser
      @asa-hochhausergmail-com
      ( 900 POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      What I have found to work the for appointment qualification is that the person/company matches your persona/ideal company profile and they are interested in learning more. Once they commit to an appointment I have found it is easier to ask them a few more follow up questions to better understand their current state so that the conversation with the AE is more productive. You just have to make sure the handoff is strong and that your AEs understand how to handle the call.

      If you focus on BANT you are going to miss out on a ton of opportunities so, in my opinion, it is not a good criterion for appointment setting.

    • 1
      Profile picture of Macky Bradley
      @mackybradley
      ( 15.6k POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Hi @tinath Tina!
      I think that BANT, if used properly, can of course be helpful.
      However, I have seen organizations use “BANT” as an enforcement tool .
      Like this, the “SDR must complete ALL sections on the BANT Form to get compensated for the lead/opportunity.” This is the wrong way to use this.
      I say I love data and if the SDR can get all of the information accurately, then by all means, use it to move the lead along.
      Never use it like I stated in the above scenario. Yes, use a form to collect information, however, do not make it a tool to discourage your SDR team from reaching out to build honest, caring relationships.
      When it is enforced like that, your SDR’s will be focused on one thing only, and that is their paycheck.
      I have heard SDR’s on recorded calls, “I can let you talk with a sales person, as soon as I get the BANT form completed.” That only creates an angry customer, and then your SDR id reduced to a form filler.
      Some of the information will come out naturally during their conversation, and the rest can be filled in at a later time, either by the SDR or the Sales Rep. And in some situations, I have seen certain sales people accept the lead, and then 30 days later it is changed to bad lead, and the reason given is simply, “BANT was not completed.”
      The SDR should be your first line in the Sales Org, they are the people that are representing your company, your product and your culture. Treat the SDR’s like gold, pay them well. This leads to a strong sales org and then you always have a pipeline of people wanting to move into sales that you have home grown and helped cultivate their methodology.

      Hope this helps, thanks for the question!

      Macky

    • 0
      Profile picture of Matt Cameron
      @mattcameron
      ( 620 POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Tina, I would reframe the question as: “What is the criteria that demonstrates an account and their current context is a good opportunity for us to pursue?”

      Many VPs come to an organization with a sales methodology bias, which is inherently problematic.

      Getting to the foundational questions:
      Context A: [BUYER+SDR = CREDIBLE MATCH ] AND [UNKNOWN PROBLEM] = Some form of qualification that may not need budget, but validates soution (The A.N.) form BANT… Timeframe may be uncertain because there isn’t an existing budget.

      The solution and buyer persona is sufficiently matched to the skill/experience/credibility level of an SDR that they can fully determine whether we have a solution fit AND motivate the prospect to take the next action.

      In this context the second questions is whether it is a provocative sale? IE Buyer didn’t know that had a problem and we teach them that they do have a problem.

      Context B: [SDR is not credible/ considered a peer] AND [UNKNOWN PROBLEM]

      Here the SDR needs to have a little interaction as possible whilst securing a QUAL meeting for an AE. The rationale is that an SDR will lose the prospect because they can’t talk the talk of the buyer persona. So the qual would be likely just Authority, with the firmagraphic profile fitting the ICP. IE Only let SDRs go after companies we know fit our profile for buyers.

      Context C: …. I could go on, but you get the idea… There are many permutations and the key here is that you need to make a decision based on the following:
      – Is this a provocative sale (No budget to start)
      – Does the SDR have credibility with the buyer persona?
      – Can we identify by firmagraphic profile whether the company is a fit?

      There is no right/wrong default answer for BANT.

      The SDR questions we need to answer are:
      – Do we want to sell to this company?
      – Are we selling to the right person?
      – Are they in a position to buy our solution (AE job is to determine if they can be successful with it)

    • 0
      Profile picture of William Falandays
      @oldschoolsalesguy
      ( 275 POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      BANT is not dead. Here’s the deal..All sales conversations are unique. They have their own DNA. We only have so much time, whether a SDR, AE etc. I qualify/disqualify with an emphasis on the timeframe (T in BANT) first. Is there urgency? Big deal issue(s) they want fixed…NOW? If urgent I qualify them to the next steps. If not, I move to end the discussion. If qualified then I ask for the other letters in BANT if we have the time. When they already bought the next steps then it is easier to get the rest of the data. Make sense?

      Best to you all.

    • 0
      Profile picture of kengoldenberg
      @keng
      ( 830 POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Agree w @oldschoolsalesguy. Regardless of your definition of the SDR role, the goal is to engage in active conversations to help identify the right opportunities to pursue. As SDR’s typically get early opportunities to engage, they must be prepared to have effective conversations that deliver real value and provide keen feedback to the rest of their team.

      Today, buyers are less patient and more concerned about getting help to meet their challenges and goals. Sure, SDR’s can set appointments,. but, how is that helping them develop and you build a better sales organization? My first acronym was MANID, money, authority, need, implementation (time) and D=decision process. With today’s committees, better know the D!
      To your question, consider working backwards and pick a methodology that supports your sales goals and roles that produce better conversions and outcomes.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Colin Campbell
      @colin-campbell
      ( 10.4k POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      For what it’s worth, @rharris415 put together a great article on the evolution of qualification. He’s got a NEAT selling framework that I believe is a good sight better than BANT:

      https://www.saleshacker.com/evolution-sales-welcome-neat-selling/

    • 0
      Profile picture of AJ Alonzo
      @ajalonzo
      ( 4.3k POINTS )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      “It’s been a good run, but like the Walkman or driving to a store to rent a movie, BANT is a thing of the past.”

      I stole that quote from my boss 😂

      But in all seriousness, I do think BANT as we know it isn’t effective in qualifying a prospect anymore. Sure it can be useful (love what @mackybradley said in his response), but using it as an enforcement tool won’t work.

      Example: Timeframe seems to be the qualifier that always tripped up our SDRs. They would find prospects with Authority and Need (sometimes even Budget), but the project wasn’t set to happen for a few months (or years). Instead of dumping those prospects into our marketing sequences, we let SDRs loop in AEs for a preliminary discovery call. Engaging with prospects early (and often) allowed us to create a relationship, shape business needs, and in some cases tailor the RFP process. When the timing was right, they converted at a much higher rate than standard BANT qualified leads. AND these prospects end up being bigger evangelists for our brand because of the rapport we were able to build.

      That’s just one situation, but in my opinion, the most important thing you can do is build a relationship with your prospect that illuminates:

      – Why they would ever consider your product/solution?
      – Who would be involved in the decision-making process?
      – What are their main challenges, and how can you overcome them?

    • 0
      Profile picture of Becc Holland
      @beccholland
      ( 1k POINT )
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Great question @tinath!

      From my perspective, BANT as an evaluation metric that you are comparing your buyer too to see if they’re qualified in the back of your mind… is not dead.

      Asking your prospect BANT questions, when you’re first interacting with them (Do you have Budget? Are you the Decision Maker? etc.)…. is dead. Or it should be.

      In my experience, if you ask these questions to your buyer right up front as a qualifying metric to understand whether you should spend more time on them, you can turn off your buyer, in some cases offend them, and very rarely do you actually get the answer you’re after.

      These are important questions, but not questions you ask right off that bat, especially in that order and manner, and ESPECIALLY on outbound.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

    • 0
      Profile picture of Bob Apollo
      @bobapollo
      ( 200 POINTS )
      1 year, 1 month ago

      At some point in the evolution of an opportunity, it will need to satisfy the BANT criteria. But insisting on all four factors are present at the start of your pursuit of a potential prospect will disqualify a bunch of otherwise closable opportunities. It’s far more important to determine whether the prospect has an issue that is important to them and which you are really good at addressing.

    • 0
      Profile picture of Steve Weinberg
      @steveweinberg
      ( 730 POINTS )
      1 year, 1 month ago

      I do not believe BANT is dead. It is a useful qualification tool. If it is not used then something else should be used in its place to qualify all leads.
      Steve

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