BANT and Beyond Advanced

Sales Qualification

While the purpose of this post is not to provide any insight on advanced sales qualification certificates, as many of our readers don’t have the skills to sell, I thought it would be helpful to include a blog tour of a typical SDR&AE day.

The BANT Process is an interactive, dynamic and rigorous qualification system that includes written exams, inter-personal challenges, and case studies. For the SDR and AE trainee positions at Green Business Only, the BANT Process is required. The new standard for SDRs and AEs is the BANT Process. SDRs and AEs must pass the BANT Process to keep their roles active.

 t’s a brand new year. Your BANT training is complete. You have passed the BANT certification exam. Now you are a sales qualified. You’ve been promoted to sales qualification. Why not use these new skills to help you prepare for your next promotion. This article will show you how to go from qualified sales professional to qualified professional and how to use those new skills to prepare to promote your next product. 

BANT (Budget Authority, Needs and Timeline) is a framework to identify and pursue the most qualified prospects. It’s based on the prospect’s Budget, Authority and Needs. Everyone has probably heard of the BANT qualification. 

Are high-volume, recurring sales still possible with BANT? Or does BANT need to be updated? 

This post will provide an updated version BANT for Inside Sales Teams that deal with recurring income transactions (Sales Development Reps and Account Executives).  It’s BANT sales qualification for a new era, if you will. 

What is the BANT Qualification?

IBM developed BANT to help you spot opportunities. According to IBM guidelines, a prospect will be considered validated if all four elements of BANT are met. As a team, the ISR and sales representative may agree on a tighter version or looser of BANT. 

  • Is the prospect able to afford the product?
  • Is the prospect able to make decisions or is she a mere influencer?
  • Is the prospect obligated to sell the product?
  • Timeframe – Can the prospect develop a solution within a reasonable time frame?

Modern Challenges in SaaS sales using BANT

  • Budget — SaaS today is a subscription model that utilizes OpEx budgets instead of CapEx budgets to finance purchases… Is this a difference? 
  • Are companies still influenced by one senior authority voice when making purchasing decisions? 
  • What is the difference between a necessity, a must and a wish? Are the majority of SaaS services really fulfilling a need or just a nice-to-have? 
  • Is the concept of timeline different for SaaS transactions with a sales cycle that is defined in days and a one-click implementation? 
  • Are we still living in a sales-driven society that seeks out customers with a reasonable budget to purchase a solution?
  • Are things changing to the point where customers are able to solve their problems, or do they?
  • What modifications are possible? What modifications can I make to my SaaS contract to reflect this shift? 

What are the downsides to BANT?

  • We’ve noticed a few problems when we apply BANT to traditional SaaS sales qualification. 
  • SDRs have a problem when they use BANT to qualify transactions. This is because SDRs are selling while the customer is still “educational”. 
  • The problem for AEs is that they can use BANT to qualifie a transaction but still get negative responses. 
  • Let’s take a typical discussion about BANT as an illustration, but we will exaggerate the effect. 

Mike is a SaaS Salesperson. Jennifer, the Customer 

Jennifer To sum up your problems, you need to address problems X andY. Jennifer Is that what you said? 

This seems like a very important requirement.

  • We were inspired to attend the Sales Hacker Conference. There, we learned about your business.
  • Awesome. It seems like you have received funding for your project. 
  • Awesome. Awesome. Could you please inquire about who makes these decisions? 
  • I make the decisions. Buying will also be my responsibility. 
  • Please complete the following eight weeks but not later than July 1, 2005
  • It seems like we would be a good match. Do I need to arrange a demonstration with a professional 
  • Maybe. Let me speak with my team. I will get back to your email later in the week. 
  • Sure. Your response is highly appreciated. 
  • Mike recently completed his BANT Training and reported to Nicole, his supervisor. 

 

Nicole, I just finished a telephone conversation with Jennifer. You might remember her from the Sales Hacker conference when she was looking for solutions to problems X and Y. She stated that she was in charge of the “Improvement” initiative. Jennifer is looking for a solution before July 1st and has confirmed that she has a budget. 

Isn’t this ideal? But what if the transaction fails? Why? Mike didn’t pose the right questions, because he wasn’t asking the right ones. Mike didn’t ask Jennifer about her requirements. He simply asked for the information he needed. 

Jennifer returned to her team to talk with them, but her employees who had used the software interacted and told her there were better SaaS solutions. The project was stopped in favor of products that address a pressing need. 

Relying too heavily on BANT to make sales calls can lead to poor-quality SQLs, or worse, to low-quality deals within the qualified sales pipeline that will be completed in the next 8 weeks. 

Although I have simplified the example, it is very similar to how a bad deal enters the funnel in most cases as a qualifying offer.

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