Why BANT Fails for Modern Enterprise Technology Demand Generation

Michael Box
Michael Box

Content Creator

BANTFor low-cost, commodity technology where the main differentiator is price, BANT (budget, authority, need, timing) can be a useful tool for qualifying leads. But for the majority of enterprise technology providers—especially enterprises offering a new concept or new paradigm—it is an inefficient and outdated way of establishing demand. It is time that B2B enterprise technology marketers retire this technique for good.

BANT—popularized by IBM—has been in use for decades. It was established when budget, authority, need and timing were easier to determine—a time before buyers had the luxury of tools like Google and online research and relied on your call to get to know your business.

3 primary reasons BANT no longer serves the needs of enterprise technology marketers

#1 – The single enterprise IT decision-maker is a unicorn

BANT seeks to establish whether a lead—a single individual— has authority. Enterprise IT buying is a team sport and authority and influence are distributed across several roles in a buying committee that consists of 7 or more buyers on average.

#2 – BANT is blind to buying behavior

BANT relies on static questions and point-in-time interactions to establish buying intent. However, by the time you get the “buyer” on the phone, it may already be too late. That is because buying teams will demonstrate purchase intent behavior in multiple environments throughout the buying cycle before they ever end up with you. Topics and content your prospects are accessing in third-party environments are far more indicative of interest in solutions like yours. More precisely, accessing this type of data will allow you to understand what they are interested in and when they are interested—without having to ask.

#3 – It’s four “yeses” or broke

BANT essentially amounts to four yeses in a call. Those four yeses could mean they are ready to buy or it could mean they just wanted to get you off the phone. In contrast, if they say “no” to any of the requirements, it doesn’t mean they won’t be ready to talk in the near future or that another member of the buying team may be a more appropriate contact.

To illustrate where this breaks down, Budget and Timing won’t be there unless there’s a Need. Need cannot always be established right away—especially if your technology is a new concept or paradigm, in which case your sales teams must educate prospective buyers. Authority no longer resides in a single individual. Timing is not set in stone.

Attempting to “qualify” buyers through this flawed process essentially amounts to cutting off your best salespeople at the knees. By depending on third-party BANT qualification, sales are not able to get in early and shape the deals as they’re happening.

For a more detailed analysis of the weakness of BANT—and an alternative—download the new white paper Is BANT Killing Your Business?

Learn more: 4 additional resources on the shortcomings of BANT

1) BANT Isn’t Enough Anymore: A New Framework for Qualifying Prospects—Pete Caputa—HubSpot

This article examines why this strategy no longer works like it used to.

2) BANT and Beyond: Advanced Sales Qualification for SDRs & AEs—Jacco Van der Kooij—Sales Hacker

Jacco addresses the challenges of BANT for SaaS sales and proposes a modernized version.

3) Why It’s Time For B.A.N.T. To Go—Jim Keenan—Forbes

According to Jim Keenan, the biggest problem with BANT is that it’s extremely seller-focused, not prospect-focused.

4) Why BANT No Longer Applies for B2B Lead Qualification—Carlos Hidalgo—ANNUITAS

According to one study, only 29% of B2B buyers said they “always” supply accurate information on custom questions—in other words, buyers lie. Another failure point for BANT.

BANT, demand generation, lead generation, lead qualification

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