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Say "No" to BANT, & Take Your Prospect’s TEMP Instead

Since the beginning of time, the acronym BANT has been the basis for qualification of potential opportunities.

B – Budget
A – Authority
N – Needs
T – Timing
With the changing of the selling "era" comes the necessary change in the way we decide what opportunities to pursue. It's time to throw out BANT. In its place, I'm coining and proposing the creation of a new acronym. We should start taking the TEMP of our opportunities instead.
Waiting to check off all the boxes on BANT will inevitably either (a) cause you to pre-maturely decide not to work on / disqualify an opportunity, or (b) result in a highly competitive, highly discounted, low margin deal.

The primary issue with BANT is in terms of B – Budget. Let's think about "Challenger" selling for a moment:

  1. When a customer is already in-the-market (IMP) for our category of solution, they can find their way to just about any piece of information about us without ever talking to us. When we engage, our role is often to reframe and disrupt their thinking…to teach the customer that a potentially better solution exists versus the one they had in mind. By doing so, we often open the eyes and minds of the customer to a much bigger potential outcome, too. If we're working with or have access to the right people in the organization, the budget-creators versus the budget-spenders, budgets get created for high impact, high ROI projects attached to high priority business issues.
  2. When a customer is not in-the-market for our category of solution, and we're trying to teach them about an under-appreciated problem they don't even realize they have, they probably haven't created a budget for that unrecognized problem, right?
T-Timing is also an issue with BANT. In my opinion, it's a senseless metric in analyzing whether a potential opportunity is "qualified". Timing changes. The timing identified at the beginning rarely matches the end result. Again, this is a senseless metric.
Thus, the creation of a new acronym…which should lead us to taking the TEMP of our customers and prospects regarding potential opportunities:
T – Trigger
E – Engagement
M – Mobilizer
P - Profile
T – Trigger: Simply put, has something occurred in the buyer's world that has them looking for a change? Whether we've created that trigger or not, this is also known as the "compelling event" or the understanding of what happens if a change does not occur.
E – Engagement: Is the customer / prospect Engaged? Do we have a scheduled next step? Evidence of a qualified opportunity is shown in the customer's willingness to set aside time in their calendar and start to create a plan of the buying journey with you. If they say they'll "call you next week" or you have to chase them down, you don't have the customer's engagement.
M – Mobilizer: Have we connected with the individual or individuals capable of Mobilizing an organization to make a change? This is a big shift in the way customers buy. We can't always get to the executive suite, but if we find "mobilizers" within an organization that have the trust and confidence of the executive suite, and can make change happen within an organization, you have the makings for a strong opportunity.
P – Profile: Does this customer fit the ideal customer Profile within a standard deviation or two? For example, if you're selling to large retailers, one can assume that a senior leader from Wal-Mart if a fit. Sometimes this is a no-brainer, while other times it takes a question or two…but if you know where your solution has high impact and where it doesn't, then does this target fit the profile?
Like the new acronym for qualification? Make sense? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject…
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