Budget, authority, need, and timeline – that used to be the old way to qualify leads. IBM developed it, and it worked well because in their heyday, no one had answers to prospect questions except the salespeople.

Now, your prospects get many of the answers and research they need through social media, blogs, white papers, and all sorts of free information on the web.

Specifically, here’s where BANT falls short these days:

1. BANT Isn’t the way People Buy All the Time

“I have completed my research and have both the budget necessary, as well as the decision-making power to buy from you.”

Have you ever heard a prospect say anything remotely along those lines?

Here’s the thing: the buying process at any business is far from a linear, logical set of steps.

So how can you try to force clients into a box when they don’t even follow the same process you’re thinking of?

2. Rarely Does a Single Person Make the Entire Decision

So says this post at Forbes. While the person you talk to makes the final decision, the reality of how decisions get made in today’s business environment is through building consensus with the entire team.

That means that as this decision-maker talks with their team, a powerful person in the group may be able to talk everyone else out of buying from you.

3. Your Prospects Have Needs, But What Are They Really?

Of all the parts of BANT, this one stays the most relevant. Prospects typically don’t come to you with a knowledge that you have what they need.

However, they do have problems. It’s up to you to see how their needs align with their company’s objections, and whether the solutions you have available are a good fit.

4. Timeframe: It’s Just an Excuse Not to Buy!

Seriously…this is the truth. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get around it.

If you do get this as the reason not to buy, remind your client of the value they’re missing out on, and then ask to schedule a follow up call in a couple months.

So If BANT Doesn’t Work, Then What Does?

One website says to just use, “ACNE.” Another says “CHAMP” now works best. Hubspot says to use GBCTBA/C&I. They’re all sort of long and drawn out.

But here’s the point they get to: most prospects have completed 50-60% of the sales process by the time they talk to you. So, add value to their decision-making process as best you can.

To sell to today’s prospect, you need to know:

  • The challenges your client faces
  • Their authority, as well as some of the dynamics of the team behind the scenes
  • What budget/money they have available
  • Finally, the priority this problem has for them

If you do that in today’s sales world, you’ll be just fine.