An Improved BANT Sales Process for the New-Age Buyers

min read
April 3, 2024

Modern buyers are more informed. Their needs are more complex, and they expect a personalized approach. Sticking to a rigid BANT script might help you tick some boxes, but it won't unlock the insights that lead to winning deals in 2024.

Let’s explore a contemporary version of the BANT process designed to meet the needs of new-age buyers.

The BANT Sales Process 2.0 + Key Questions for Today’s Buyers

The BANT sales framework is evolving. The new approach is not merely a checklist for the sales qualification process but a tool for deeper insight into what buyers really want.

Element 1: Budget ❌ (Value ✅)

Switching focus from how much money is in the pot to the real worth your solution brings to the table changes everything. It turns chat about costs into conversations about value, perfectly aligning with what your buyer actually cares about.

Make It About More Than Just Money

Asking, "What’s your budget?" tends to put people in a tight spot. It can limit the conversation, possibly preventing them from experiencing the full spectrum of what your product can do.

Let’s Talk Impact Instead

Why not start the conversation around the broader impact? Try asking, "How does [the issue your product addresses] affect your bottom line?" It’s a way to shift from talking about cost to exploring value and investment.

The Value Talk Pays Off

This shift can really highlight what your solution brings to the table in terms of ROI. By focusing on the financial benefits, your product goes from being seen as just another expense to a smart investment.

💡Pro Tip: Mind the Total Cost of Ownership
Gartner notes that in subscription models, while the upfront cost seems lower, unexpected total cost of ownership is a common regret among software buyers. A whopping 33% of buyers have been stung by higher-than-anticipated operating costs. 
So, discussing and aligning your solution's total cost of ownership with a prospect’s budget expectations is a savvy move for qualifying leads.

Element 2: Authority ❌ (Buying Group ✅)

Gone are the days of hunting down that one decision-maker. Now, it’s all about embracing the collective—acknowledging the mix of stakeholders steering the purchasing ship.

Who’s Calling the Shots?

Asking "Who’s the decision-maker?" is a bit old school. Today’s buying process is a team sport, with decisions made by a diverse group, not just one VIP.

Get to Know the Whole Crew

Dive into the ecosystem of decision influencers. Try asking, "Who’s part of the solution-seeking squad?" or "Which departments stand to win with our solution?" It’s about spotting the champions and the curious within the company.

See the Bigger Picture

This strategy brings every voice to the table, ensuring the solution fits everyone involved. It’s a smarter, more inclusive way to sell, aligning closely with the buying group’s varied needs.

Imagine This…💭

You're pitching to a tech startup. Instead of zeroing in on the CEO alone, you discover the CTO is keen on tech specs, while the Marketing Head is all about user experience. 
Tailoring your pitch to address both angles elevates your chances, making your solution resonate on multiple levels.

Element 3: Need ❌ (Pain points ✅)

Digging deeper than just surface needs reveals the true challenges buyers face—shifting the focus to understanding and solving their real problems.

Needs vs. Reality

Asking about needs often misses the mark. It's the deeper pain points that reveal the true challenges buyers are trying to solve.

Dive Deeper with "Why"

Instead of "What are your needs?", probe with questions like "How is this challenge affecting your productivity?" or "What's stopping you from achieving your goals?" It's about getting to the heart of the issue.

The Real Deal with Deeper Insights

This strategy not only identifies the critical challenges but also customizes your solution as a targeted, effective response. 

It builds trust and positions you as a partner committed to their success, focusing on long-term growth and mutual benefit.

Capterra's Take on Modern Needs🔦

Capterra highlights a key shift: buyers now research for about six months before engaging with sellers, arriving well-informed and ready with alternatives. This change underscores the necessity of focusing on specific pain points over generic needs, ensuring your solution genuinely resonates with their informed requirements.

Helpful Read: Solve Customer Pain Points — SaaS B2B Sales

Element 4: Timeframe ❌ (Buyer Journey ✅)

Shifting from strict timelines to embracing the entirety of the buyer's journey reflects a more dynamic approach to sales, recognizing that decisions follow varied paths influenced by multiple factors.

Rethinking the Timeline Question

Asking "When do you plan to decide?" simplifies what is often a complex customer journey. It's time to look beyond a single decision point to understand the full process.

Delving into the Journey

Focus on understanding the journey by exploring, "What milestones are you considering in your evaluation?" or "Are there upcoming events influencing your timeline?" This uncovers the broader context and motivations behind a decision.

Tailored Strategies for Real Journeys

This approach respects the unique ways buyers come to decisions, allowing for strategies that adapt to their specific needs and timelines, making your proposals more impactful and timely.

🗣️Ted Fluck Adds a New Perspective
Ted Fluck, author and member of Dynamic Sales Team, suggests, "Instead of zeroing in on a timeframe, delve into factors that could sway the prospect's decision-making process, like key company events or budget cycles." This insight encourages a deeper connection with the prospect's reality, ensuring your engagement is as relevant and impactful as possible.

3 Core Principles Making This BANT Sales Process Unique

1. Buyer Centricity: BANT’s New Pulse

At the heart of BANT’s makeover is putting the buyer first, tailoring strategies to their unique journey. Here’s how to make it work:

  • Get to What Matters: Uncover the real drivers behind your buyers’ decisions for a tailored approach.
  • Speak Their Language: Customize your pitch to meet each buyer's needs.
  • Earn Trust: Show buyers you're in it for their success, not just the sale.

Short, sweet, and to the point—this is how we do BANT now…✅

2. Enhanced Qualification: Sharpening BANT's Edge

BANT's got an upgrade with a focus on not just who fits now but who'll stick around. Here's the playbook:

  • Dig into the Past: Use behavioral questions to see if they're really a match.
  • Look Ahead: Check if they can grow with you. Adaptability is key.
  • Align Values: Make sure what you offer hits what they need right on the mark.

It's about getting smart with who you spend your time on…✅

3. Efficient Process: Where BANT Meets Tech

BANT isn't just about who anymore—it's about how smartly we can find them. Here's the deal:

  • Tech Up the Qualification: Bring in the bots to handle the first round. More time for the real talk.
  • Data is King: Use the numbers to spot your future VIPs.
  • Filter Like a Boss: Craft filters that catch the winners based on what's worked before.

Tech's the secret sauce in making BANT slicker and quicker…✅

Complete Your BANT Puzzle with Storylane’s Interactive Demos

Step into discussions with leads who are already leaning towards "yes," with Storylane's interactive demos. It's not just about checking off BANT boxes; it's about empowering prospects to explore your product at their own pace and self-qualify based on their specific needs.

Storylane demos also free up valuable call time for sales reps, allowing them to ditch the generic walkthroughs and dive straight into strategic conversations. No more basic feature explanations – just targeted discussions that address individual challenges and unlock the full potential of your offering. It’s a win-win.

Discover Storylane's impact—book a demo today!


Q. Who developed BANT?

IBM created the BANT framework to help sales teams identify promising leads by assessing Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe.

Q. What are alternatives to the BANT process?

Alternatives include:

  • CHAMP (Challenges, Authority, Money, Prioritization): Focuses on identifying challenges first, then verifying authority, budget, and the prospect's prioritization of the solution.
  • ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, Money): Puts authority first, aiming to ensure that discussions are with decision-makers early in the process.
  • FAINT (Funds, Authority, Interest, Need, Timing): Recognizes that not all prospects have a budget allocated but may still find funds for a compelling solution.
  • MEDDIC (Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion): A more detail-oriented approach that is specifically helpful when dealing with complex sales.

Q. What is the BANT scoring system?

The BANT scoring system ranks leads from 1 to 10 across budget, authority, need, and time frame to prioritize those most likely to convert.

Q. What is the BANT deal qualification?

BANT deal qualification assesses a lead's potential for a successful sale by questioning their budget, authority, need, and time frame, identifying leads worth further pursuit.

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
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"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."


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