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  • Writer's pictureJon Mazza

Using BANT During the Sales and Discovery Processes to Qualify Leads and Increase Sales

Updated: Mar 16

What is BANT?

The BANT sales methodology is one of the oldest and most widely used frameworks in the sales industry. It was first introduced by IBM in the 1960s and has since been adopted by countless sales teams around the world.

BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline, and it is a structured approach to qualifying leads and identifying potential customers who are likely to buy. In this post, we’ll explore how to use BANT during your prospecting and deal cycles, while giving specific and general examples of situations and things to say. We’ll also discuss how to avoid losing deals by using BANT incorrectly.

The Controversy Surrounding BANT

While BANT is a widely used sales methodology, it's not without its controversies. Some critics argue that BANT is outdated and doesn't take into account the changing nature of the buyer's journey. They argue that buyers today are more informed and have more control over the sales process, which means that a methodology like BANT may not be as effective as it once was.

However, proponents of BANT argue that it's still a useful framework for qualifying prospects and that it can (and should) be adapted to the changing nature of the buyer's journey.

Why Use BANT During Your Sales Cycle?

BANT helps sales teams to identify and prioritize high-quality leads. It provides a structured approach to sales, enabling sales reps to understand the prospect's needs and qualify leads more effectively.

By using the BANT framework, you can filter out leads that are not a good fit and focus on those that are more likely to convert into paying customers. Reps can save time and resources by focusing their efforts on leads that are most likely to convert.

Additionally, using BANT can help you prioritize your sales efforts and allocate resources more efficiently. By understanding the prospect's budget, authority, need, and timeline, you can determine which leads are worth pursuing and which should be deprioritized or disqualified.

According to research conducted by InsideSales, BANT is a highly effective method for qualifying leads. The research found that leads that meet the BANT criteria have a 34% higher win rate and a 37% higher average deal size than leads that do not meet the criteria.

The BANT Methodology


Determine if the prospect has the financial resources to make a purchase. This involves asking questions about the prospect's budget and understanding the financial limitations that may affect the sale.


Identify the decision-makers who will be involved in the buying process. This includes understanding who has the authority to make a purchase and the level of influence they have over the final decision.


Establish the prospect's needs and pain points. This involves asking questions about their current situation and identifying the areas where your product or service can help them improve.


Understand the prospect's timeline for making a purchase. This involves asking questions about when they want to implement the solution and understanding any external factors that may affect their decision-making process.

4 Ways to Practice BANT

To effectively implement BANT, you need to understand the importance of each step and how to use it in your sales process. Here are four best practices to follow:

1. Use open-ended questions

To uncover the prospect's needs and pain points, use open-ended questions that encourage them to provide detailed responses. This will help you understand their situation better and identify areas where your product or service can help.

2. Identify decision-makers early

It is essential to identify decision-makers early in the sales process so that you can tailor your approach to their needs and concerns. By understanding their level of authority, you can make sure that you are talking to the right people and avoid wasting time on leads that are not a good fit.

3. Build rapport

Building rapport with the prospect is essential to establish trust and credibility. By showing interest in their needs and taking the time to understand their situation, you can build a relationship that will make it easier to close the sale.

4. Address objections

Addressing objections is a crucial part of the sales process. By understanding the prospect's concerns and providing compelling answers, you can overcome objections and move the sale forward.

Examples of BANT in Action

Budget: "What is your budget for this project? Are there any financial limitations that we need to be aware of?"

Authority: "Who will be involved in the buying process? Who has the final say in the purchasing decision?"

Need: "What challenges are you currently facing? How do you think our product/service can help you overcome these challenges?"

Timeline: "When do you plan to implement the solution? Are there any external factors that may affect your decision-making process?"

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Use BANT

When used correctly, the BANT methodology can be an effective tool for qualifying leads and closing sales. However, like any sales methodology, BANT can be used incorrectly, which can lead to missed opportunities and lost sales. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using BANT:

Don't focus solely on budget

While budget is an important factor to consider, it's not the only thing that matters. It's important to ask about the prospect's needs and pain points to determine whether your company can provide a solution that meets their needs.

Don't be too rigid

BANT is a framework, not a script. It's important to be flexible and adapt your questions and approach based on the prospect's responses.

Don't use it as a checklist

BANT is a methodology that helps you qualify prospects, but it shouldn't be used as a checklist. It's important to have a conversation with the prospect and ask follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and pain points.

3 reasons to choose BANT over other methodologies?

So why would you choose BANT over another sales methodology? Here are a few reasons:

1. It will help sales reps prioritize their efforts and focus on leads that are most likely to convert.

BANT focuses on key buying criteria, it’s a simple and effective way to quickly assess whether a prospect is likely to buy a product or service.

According to a survey by Salesforce, 62% of high-performing sales teams use a formal sales process that includes qualifying leads based on BANT criteria.

2. Sales and marketing teams can more effectively work together to target and convert high-quality leads.

BANT will also help align sales and marketing around a common language and framework for lead qualification. By using BANT as qualification criteria

According to a survey by Demand Gen Report, companies that have strong alignment between sales and marketing teams are 67% better at closing deals.

3. It will increase the ROI of sales and marketing activities.

By qualifying leads based on BANT criteria, sales reps can avoid spending time and resources on prospects that are unlikely to convert.

According to a study by HubSpot, companies that focus on lead quality over lead quantity are more likely to see a positive ROI on their marketing activities.

Bonus reasons to use BANT

BANT is a useful sales methodology that can help companies improve their lead qualification process, align sales and marketing teams, improve sales productivity, and reduce wasted time and resources. By focusing on key buying criteria, BANT can help sales reps identify high-quality leads and prioritize their efforts, leading to increased sales success.

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