The qualifying acronym BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing) that IBM revolutionized sales with over ten years ago has fallen out of favor recently. A significant number of critics argue that BANT's time of greatness has passed as customers now have access to a never-ending amount of information online and often have thought about possible solutions to their problem(s) even before their first interaction with you as a salesperson.

At Vainu, we don't believe that this sales qualification methodology has to be entirely out of style, at least if you use it correctly. If you use BANT as a checklist to basically interrogate your prospect during an exploratory call, then yes, your sales method is too old-fashioned to cut it in today's hyper-competitive sales landscape. But, if you instead use the mindset of BANT during your sales prospecting with the guidance of a modern, dynamic B2B sales prospecting database, then the tried and tested qualifying method can help you determine what prospects to go after and when.

BANT will then provide you with valuable insights into a prospect’s daily business and current situation so that you can tailor your pitch and offer accordingly. After all, nothing is harder to sell around than a prospect being unwilling or not ready to buy, and those prospects you don't feel confident about will receive a precise value from your product or service you shouldn't even try selling to. This is not less true today than it was ten years ago. In fact, with an increasing number of rating tools online, this might even be truer today.

What does BANT stand for?

B – Budget: Does the prospect have the financial capacity to purchase what you offer and how much is the company willing to pay for your solution?

A – Authority: Who is the ultimate decision maker?

N – Need: Does the prospect have a problem that you can help them solve or an opportunity that you can help them seize?

T – Timing: Is there urgency? Has the prospect sent out buying signals recently that implies that a window of opportunity has opened up for you as a salesperson?

Use BANT to Qualify Sales Prospects Quickly

For the sake of simplicity, we'll go through this in order. But in reality, budget is rarely more important than need – rather the opposite. And timing should never stand underestimated in sales; it probably doesn't deserve to be last in the sales prospect qualifying acronym. But NTAB doesn't roll off the tongue.

BUDGET

Vainu lets you filter companies with a set of criteria that includes if they increased their revenue by X percent last year, had a revenue above Y dollars or an EBIT profit over Z percent. Thanks to our machine learning algorithms you can also find companies that tend to invest heavily in new technology or frequently recruit; for companies offering SaaS solutions or recruitment service, it's self-explanatory why this information is critical.

While you, of course, can't find out the exact amount on your prospects account or know how much they've budgeted for IT solutions this year, Vainu can give you an understanding of how a company that seems to match your Ideal Customer Profile is doing financially and what their current interest areas are.

Top sales pros are experts at creating urgency and then helping people get creative about coming up with the money.

But remember, it's not all about the price. Reading list after list of reasons why potential buyers back out – budget, or rather the lack of it, doesn't top any of them. Sure, in some cases the prospect just can't afford your offer. Then the sale is dead. But in most cases, the monetary resources are there. The problem is instead that no one wants to put their neck on the line for something they're not 100% confident about. Top sales pros are experts at creating urgency and then helping people get creative about coming up with the money when the product is genuinely beneficial for them.

AUTHORITY

This one is a bit trickier. In full transparency, we don't know who signs off on hiring a new recruitment company at company X. However, feeding in essential data about current employees and decision makers from LinkedIn, we have created a feature that makes it as easy as possible for you to find out if you're connected to anyone within a specific company.

Under the tab "Employees+LinkedIn" you can see both your first- and second-degree connections with employees at a specific company.

A personal relationship is always an advantage when you try to reach out and navigate the internal landscape at a company.

NEED

Knowing that a general or poorly tailored sales pitch is a recipe for little to no success for salespeople today, Vainu has created our sales intelligence platform on the idea of using machine learning and open data to help salespeople find the right accounts to target and the right time to reach out.

With our 100+ filters, you can filter out the companies in our 70+ million global company database to find the ones matching your Ideal Customer Prospect to the T. With Vainu Analyzer, you can feed in company lists to detect their shared characteristics. This helps you understand what type of companies you have the most and least success with.

Don't even try to sell to those prospects you don't feel confident about will receive a precise value from your product or service. Unsatisfied customers often cost way more than they pay. 

Vainu also allows you to filter companies based on both basic firmographic data, such as company size, location and industry, and more hidden traits, such as the web technologies they use and their level of activity on social media. In addition to that, you can follow a large number of buying signals sent out from your short-listed companies and get instant notifications when the timing is right for you to give them a call.

We recently released a 60-page ultimate guide to sales prospecting. And that's the length after we tried to keep it short! Giving you every sales prospecting trick in the book here in this blog post isn’t possible. Instead, we recommend you download the Ultimate Guide to Sales Prospecting here.

TIMING

We touched on this already under the headline above. Thanks to the fact that Vainu includes dynamic company data collected from millions of sources on a daily basis, the tool enables you to follow real-time changes in your target companies. After finding out what buying signals you should look for and include these in your Ideal Customer Profile, you can quickly set your notification settings in Vainu so that you get an email or in-app notification as soon as a significant change occurs within your existing customers or prospects. You'll also get notified once a new company fits your description of your Ideal Customer Profile and can then proactively reach out to this company to find out if, and then how, you can assist them.

Why should I use BANT to qualify prospects?

Time is one of the most valuable, precious things you as a salesperson have. Therefore, you continuously have to make sure you're spending it on the accounts most likely to convert. Using Vainu and the tested BANT method to qualify your sales prospects helps you do this in a scalable and efficient way.

Topics: Sales Prospecting

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