I really liked Ardath Albee’s blog on July 9, 2013—Why BANT is Bunk for Today’s B2B Buyer and not just because I agree with most of what she says. The blog is painfully honest, insightful and substantiated by facts. Here is a quick recap if you don’t have time to read the whole article:
- Salespeople need to think differently. BANT is among the reasons leads passed by marketing are considered low quality. Buyers have changed. BANT hasn’t. "...SOME OF THE BANT CRITERIA FOR YOUR HOTTEST LEADS WILL LIKELY BE MISSING."
- Here are some reasons “why BANT needs a bit of renovation”:
- Budget: According to DemandGen Report, “48% of buyers surveyed say their purchase of complex B2B product/solution was initially unbudgeted.”
- Authority (this one makes Ardath want to grit her teeth): In most cases the C-level contact is not the person “building a relationship with your company, or reading your content, attending your webinars or sharing your infographics.”
- Need: “This one is probably the most valid of the BANT criteria for without it there’s no possibility of making a sale. But think carefully about how you define this; is it a need or really a want? How important is the problem that’s being solved in the scheme of things? For the buyer? In relation to the company objectives?”
- Timing: “Rather than relying on the prospect for urgency, perhaps that’s something we should be bringing to the table. No—not with desperate attempts to close a prospect that’s not ready, but by showing them the value of the impact they’re unable to have today—without our solution.”
- Ardath wraps up with her top three criteria which she refers to as “Dynamic Criteria”:
- Need: But with the caveat that work needs to take place to define the types of need that are sweet spots for your customer. I teach that there are three conditions of need. Fear of loss in your current situation, perceived risk of deterioration in your current situation and opportunity to improve your current situation. The third condition is what I call selling into the rainbow. Sure you will find an audience (what used to be called Seymour’s) but you can’t (usually) sell into an opportunity to improve condition. You hope for a fear of loss situation and sell to that condition differently than you would a perceived risk condition.
- Connections: Power or access to power—which person has the perspective that will allow for the most urgency to be recognized based on value add?
- Company: “Even if your contact is interactive, interested and highly engaged, if the company isn’t a good fit and won’t likely buy from you then you’re wasting your time, no matter how great the lead score is.”
I’ll close as Ardath did in her blog: What do you think? What would you add to this list?
By Dan McDade