The best things come in pairs: peanut butter and jelly, wine and cheese, sweet and salty popcorn, BANT and context. Wait...why are we talking about BANT? Is BANT even still relevant?
The discussion about BANT (budget, authority, need and timeframe) has been coming up a lot, and our clients have been asking great questions: Is BANT still relevant? Is BANT realistic? As you can imagine, these questions have resulted in some lively discussions, and the answer always leads back to “it depends.”
Traditionally, BANT has been used to define a set of criteria that, if identified by the selling organization, implies the existence of an opportunity. At SiriusDecisions, we would argue that BANT is indeed still alive and well, but the way it is used largely depends on context.
What do I mean by context? To assess how BANT may be applied, you first need to understand the type of demand your organization is creating. For example, if your organization is selling a solution that addresses a problem that most of your target buyers are not aware of, we consider this to be “new concept” demand. If your solution solves a known problem more effectively, we consider this “new paradigm” demand, and if your solution is being purchased by virtually all buyers, we consider this “established market” demand. Let’s go a bit deeper into the specific scenario of a new concept solution as it pertains to BANT.
The implications of bringing a new concept solution to market are widespread and affect decisions on lead qualification criteria, messaging and tactics. The organization must agree on the relative importance of the criteria associated with BANT combined with the expectations on who should obtain this information and when. Specific considerations include:
We recommend that organizations assess the type of demand they are creating for their various solutions and markets. Once this is understood, it’s possible to determine how different demand types map to different qualification criteria and requirements across the stages of the Demand Waterfall®. BANT continues to influence these criteria, but expectations by marketing, lead development and sales need to be aligned for lead delivery and handoff requirements.
In my next blog posts, I will address the role of BANT as it pertains to new paradigm and established market demand types.