BANT has been around for years, we still hear from companies that are looking for programs that deliver BANT qualified leads. We agree that qualifying criteria is important when it comes to ranking opportunities, for a number of reasons. A couple of those are:

  1. Having defined criteria surfaces the short-term opportunities so you are in the right place at the right time with the right resources
  2. Avoid wasted effort and resources being deployed on wrong prospects at the wrong time

Something to be careful of though is downgrading something that would be a strategic entry into an account or dismissing access to stakeholders and influencers in key accounts early in a buy-cycle because other aspects of the deal aren't fully baked yet. 

More often than not, vendor preferences are established well before the budget or timing is clear, and to miss that early window of engagement, which is also a window of influence, could mean missing the deal altogether. 

I have known of situations where a prospect's willingness to talk to a vendor wasn't pursued because it didn't meet BANT criteria (BUDGET - AUTHORITY - NEED - TIMELINE) and later when the account was revisited thinking everything would be aligned by then,  discovered another vendor got the business. What happened? Many times it was because the investment wasn't made in the relationship at an earlier stage, and when the deal materialized another vendor was well established in the account.

So before using BANT to determine your actions in an account, first look at your prospects and clients and determine what makes the most sense for YOUR actual sales cycle and sales environment.  

Ask yourself:

  • How long is our sales cycle?
  • When we engage at a later stage, are other vendors already influencing an outcome?
  • If we were in there earlier, would the outcome have been different?
  • WHEN do my prospects want to engage? Do we get gets calls and inquiries early in their planning cycle?
  • Is there generally a lot of white space between the time we know a deal is brewing, and when we start taking action to get it because of BANT?

Looking at the dynamics of the deals you close, will help you better position yourself both in effort and timing to make sure you have the highest possible chance of influencing early preferences and later decisions. 

Use BANT to help understand a prospect, but don't let it downgrade an opportunity unnecessarily and especially to a point of not engaging. Early engagement is highly valuable in today's market; examining multiple areas of your buyers' behavior will help you make intelligent decisions on how to build your pipeline. 

Happy Selling!