What is BANT & How Can Chatbots Leverage This?

Stefan van der VlagBest Practice, Guides & Resources, Qualifying Leads

The BANT Lead Qualification Framework

What is this BANT Lead Qualification Framework? Let me explain it this way… wouldn’t it be nice if you find your sales pipeline filled with interested buyers every day? What about buyers who have the means to buy your product or service… To top that, buyers that want to buy right away? That would be great, right? Well, it is. But, unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most salespeople and businesses. They rush from ineffective unsuccessful methods and sales calls to appointments all day. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the way for you! Because you can qualify your leads through a simple system called BANT! This lead qualification framework ensures higher conversion rates and consistent sales each month. That said. Be sure to read this entire article, and stick to the end as we’re gifting you a FREE Lead Qualification BANT Chatbot Flow!

If you’re still wondering: “What on earth is BANT?” Then, don’t worry! 

We’re going to dive deep into exactly what BANT stands for. We give you some applications you can use in your modern-day business. As well as how to use this lead qualification framework with bots. BANT was created a long time ago, this doesn’t mean it’s outdated and not working. Quite the contrary! The principles still apply in today’s digital marketing world. And it’s these principles that help you fill your sales funnel with qualified leads.

So, What Is BANT exactly?

Sales gurus will all tell you that you must qualify your leads. But what do they mean by this? This simply means that you want to move away from mass cold calling for your sales appointments. And savvy as you are, you know that you will have much more success as a salesperson if you schedule your sales calls with warm prospects… rather than cold leadsSo, a lead is a name and number you may have gotten from a paid calling list or a simple form on your website. But, you want to move these leads from cold calls to warm prospects. And you do this by qualifying them. Now, there are several ways you can qualify your lead, and we will cover most of these ways. But, in this article, we will focus on the BANT lead qualification framework.

The BANT Lead Qualification Framework Explained

The BANT Lead Qualification Framework Explained

So, what is the BANT lead qualification framework? 

BANT is a lead qualification process created by IBM several decades ago. Their salesmen recognized they were selling an expensive product. And they realized they needed to pitch their computers to organizations that meet specific criteria. Not only did they need to have the budget to buy expensive IBM computers. But, the person you’re meeting must have the authority to make such a budget decision. The company they were selling too must need their computers. And there also needed to be a specific timeline for the purchasing decision.

Let’s dive in a bit deeper into each of these segments:

B – Know Their Budget

First, you must ask yourself, can your prospect afford your product? If you’re advertising $10 t-shirts on Facebook, you will not have to worry about your prospects’ budget. But, if you’re selling antique Persian rugs, people must be prepared to reach deep. Second, you need to consider other budgetary concerns outside of the price tag. These additional concerns will come up in the next three sections. But, for now… Consider that if there is a perceived need for something, even an expensive item can be sold.

Also, don’t discount the power of a person wanting to solve a large problem. If you’re selling a coaching service to business owners with failing businesses… your target market might not have a large budget, but they have a tremendous desire for your product. This can counteract any shortfallings in their current budget. So you must know your target audience while you’re also qualifying your leads.

A – Do They Have Authority?

The second thing you consider when qualifying leads is if they have the authority. Do they have the authority to make this type of buying decision? If you’re selling an expensive piece of equipment to a large company… you might need to wade through many layers of low-level employees. But, keep going, and you will be connected to someone who can make the final decision. 

Now, before you spend an hour with someone pitching your product… find out if they have the purchasing power to make a final decision at the end of your appointment. If not, cut short, and try to get in contact with a decision-maker if possible. Look, it doesn’t matter how much a buyer loves your product; if they have to speak to someone else afterward… you’ve wasted your precious time. 

N – Know Their Need

The third thing you will need to qualify in all your leads is whether they need your product. Don’t try to sell shirts to someone who already has too many and want to start minimizing their closets. That’s right, don’t sell snow and ice to Eskimos. To do this well, you must know your target audience. And you must have identified the specific pain point that your product is filling. By doing this work before you start filling your funnel, you make it a lot easier on yourself to qualify your leads.

Don’t worry if your prospect isn’t aware of their need for your product yet. That is your job, or the expert salesperson’s job, to help guide buyers to this conclusion. Persuasion, baby!

Ask questions such as “What do you struggle with most when it comes to following up with your customers?” or “How often are you behind on completing your customer’s orders?”

In the case of selling a CRM system, you can ask, “What is your biggest complaint about your current CRM?” Now, you have the information you need to show how superior your CRM is to their current system! You then hone in on the benefits. Benefits like how you can save them time and money by helping to improve their follow-up systems.

T – What Is Their Timeline?

Look, you could have the perfect product for your client. And perhaps, they need what you have to offer. Plus, you’ve secured a meeting with the CEO, so you know they have the authority to make the decision… It still can fail. Because if you’re pitching a solution to a problem, their company isn’t interested in solving right now… none of the rest (B, A, and N) of it matters. That’s right. Your timeliness is just as important as any other factor when qualifying the sale. In this case, you can always rest assured that their “No” doesn’t mean “no forever” it just means “no for right now.”

But, you still need some sort of follow up system. This way, you know when to come back and pitch your product again when they are ready to solve them. Because regardless of the rest of the criteria that have been filled, if the company isn’t planning to fix their problem until next year, you’re still going to meet defeat at the end of your sales appointment. So, find out before you spend an hour showcasing how brilliant your product is and save yourself the time. You want to work smarter, not harder.

A smart salesperson knows they want to have a full sales funnel for weeks out on their schedule. When you find the timeline for your prospect’s company, set up a follow-up ticket and be sure to follow up with them when they’re ready. You also want to have a system in place to keep your prospects warm through the waiting process. Perhaps you send them short emails regularly. Or you can offer to email them a white paper outlining how much their company might be losing in profit each month… when they put off the solution to their problem… Again, persuasion, baby! 

Examples of Questions to Ask while in BANT

Now you know what the qualifications are you want to use to find the best prospects for your sales funnel… let’s talk about how to actually go about this system, shall we?

As you’re talking with your prospects. Here are some questions you can ask BEFORE you schedule the actual sales appointment.

  • Budget – What is your plan to tackle this pain point? Have you decided on a budget to solve this problem?
  • Authority – Who in your company will be solving this problem? Are they available to meet with us as well?
  • Need – Do you think this problem will be hard or easy to solve? What is your boss’s biggest gripe with this problem?
  • Timeliness – When is your deadline to solve this problem?

As you find out the answers to these questions… you have responses and solutions to any objections and questions they might ask.

Follow up is key in sales, also with BANT. 

Rarely do people make purchasing decisions on the first contact with your product. If they do, congrats, you’re a sales Jedi! Ask yourself the question, though… Are you, or is your sales department, currently set up to follow up with each interested buyer right away?

If you’re not timely reaching out to your prospects, like within five minutes of their first contact with your company or product… you’re already missing out on sales. 

“Sure! But, how can our sales department possibly follow-up that quickly?” 

Well, through automated chatbots on Facebook Messenger!

You can create a system that automatically reaches out to your leads from your site through direct messaging. And to be frank, with this, you set yourself apart from your competition. Because you create an automated (and immediate) follow-up system via chatbots. We do this over at Clepher too. 

What’s cool is that you can set up your chatbot to ask the questions above in a friendly manner. This helps you narrow down your targeting immediately. Helping you focus on the hottest leads! Again, we do this with Clepher too. If you enter our chatbot for the first time, you’re first hit with some questions. And we do so in a fun and funky way (if I say so my self, lol)

Time to Use This Acronym to Improve Sales (Through Chatbots)

If you reached this point you know that you need to improve your sales numbers. At the very least you want to improve them. And with a lead qualification system like BANT, you can do just that. You’re no longer asking, “What is BANT?” you should now be asking, “how can a chatbot system help me implement BANT?” 

And here at Clepher, that is precisely one of the things we do best… Creating Done For Systems that make your business thrive.

Here’s what you can expect: 

We’ve created a Lead Qualification BANT Flow for you. Respectively Lead Qualification BANT Flow #1.

Lead Qualification BANT Flow: 

The BANT Lead Qualification Flow in Clepher

The BANT Lead Qualification Flow in Clepher

>> Demo the BANT Lead Qualification Flow here! <<

Here’s how to install this Flow on your Chatbot:

  • Get access to Clepher (if you didn’t already)
  • Log in to Clepher.
  • Navigate to your desired page
  • Hover over the Automation Tab, and click “Flows”
  • Then, click on “Create New”. Give your Flow a name and Select the Type Promotional.
    • You’re redirected to the Composer.
  • A Window Pops-up asking if you would like to Import a Flow, Click “Import a Flow”.
    • If you want to Import a Flow in an existing Flow, click the 3 dots in the right upper corner.
  • A new Pop-ap appears the drop-down contains all your Flows you’ve cross pages but also contains Premium Flows
  • Search for “Lead Qualification BANT”, or “Premium – Lead Qualification BANT Flow #1”, and it should show the Flow!
  • Click on Premium – Lead Qualification BANT Flow #1 to import the Flow!

Pro Tip #1: Add your third-party tool card at the end to siphon the data to your CRM. You can also use Zapier or Webhook Cards! Or the Google Sheets integration to add data directly to a spreadsheet. This way you get a nice overview of your leads.

Pro Tip #2: Be creative with your questions, the questions inside the Flow are there for demonstration purposes only. There are other questions you can ask to get to the answer you want. Also, make sure you customize the Flow so it speaks on behalf of your brand. Mucho Importante!

Pro Tip #3: When it comes to chatbots on Messenger, if you can skip certain questions, to create a path of lesser resistance… it’s definitely recommended to do so. If you’re using a targeting system as comprehensive as Facebook Ads targeting system, you can get away by not asking certain questions. For example, with the incredibly accurate audience demographics, the Facebook Ad service allows you to tap into, do you really need to ask the Budget question! Because you can ensure your ads are only seen by certain business owners with certain sized businesses! In some cases, you can also target decision-makers… Which helps you get rid of another question. In that case, simply remove the questions from the Flow and you’re good to go.

In Conclusion

You can sign up for a Clepher account here. See how we can help you create a simple follow-up system to narrow your field of cold leads. And then use your messages to turn these cold leads into warm prospects ready to buy your product or service. The future is yours!

Click Here to Discover how to use BANT with Facebook Messenger Chatbots


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