If you work with a multitude of brands and companies in a range of sectors, then the BANT method is for you. Read on to find out how one simple sales strategy can transform the way you work with B2B clients.
The BANT Method
If your business is anything like ours, then you’ll be working with a multitude of brands across a range of locations, sizes and sectors. With so many variables to consider, it’s fair to assume there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when deciding whether or not to work with a new client. Well, I have some good news – the BANT Method is a combination of measured variables that can quickly and easily determine whether a new client can benefit from your service.
Before you get started with the BANT Method, it’s important to establish the brand quality and legitimacy of your prospect. You can do this through basic research, ensuring the company has clear focus, a defined mission, a strong USP, identifiable key values and a stand-out brand identity. For more details on brand legitimacy, read “Brand Legitimacy: Definition, Concept, Theory“ on Place Brand Observer.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the method.
BANT is an acronym for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline.
Budget is the first step, and involves a simple discussion to understand how much money your potential new client can allocate to affiliate traffic. In this discussion, make sure to ask whether they’ve worked with affiliates before, and if they have an idea of the quantity of traffic they’re open to receive. This will give you and the potential client a clear idea of what to expect from your cooperation while clarifying benefits of using your product to generate high-quality leads.
Authority is step two, and a continuation of your initial discussions. Here you’ll find out more about the decision-making process and who calls the shots within your potential client’s organization. In smaller companies the decisions may come from the CEO, while larger companies might have the sales manager steer their affiliate-marketing ship. Either way, it’s good to find out this process early to ensure a smooth transition into your new partnership.
Need is the third step in the process. Here you’ll find out the problem your potential new client is looking to solve, and discuss how and why your company is able to solve it. Perhaps your potential client has launched a fantastic new product, but is struggling to revert clicks into sales. An affiliate partner can bring high-intent traffic to their product page by targeting their specific audience through well-placed advertising. For more information on establishing user-intent in relation to selling a product, check out this blog post.
Timeline is the final step of the BANT Method, and will help you establish compatibility with your potential new B2B partner. ryze has a large scope of partnerships, so we’re used to speedy turnarounds with fast results. It’s important to establish timeline expectations for both parties before you begin your project, so those fantastic results can be delivered right on time.
The BANT Method in action
Dashly is a conversational platform for B2B business that generates quality leads and sparks dialogue. They use the BANT method to ensure time efficiency when selecting which client to work with, and say it benefits everyone in the long-run.
Paul is head of Dashly’s sales team, and says the BANT Method is at the core of his team’s initial lead qualification process. On Dashly’s blog, Paul has broken down how he and his team execute the BANT Method when speaking with a potential new client.
First he introduces himself and the company, then asks what task they hope to solve with their tool. He’ll then schedule a short phone call to establish their budget, the position the client holds in the company and how quickly they hope to see results. If the client doesn’t meet Dashly’s requirements, Paul will send over self-service resources to end the discussion on a positive note.
Paul says he’s able to distinguish a potential need by understanding whether their tool can solve the client’s problem, and whether they have enough budget. If the client doesn’t have a deadline, then Paul will work to set one or direct them to their self-service resource. Once Paul’s established who calls the shots, he’ll then set up an in-depth hour-long interview to define the prospect’s pain-points and approval processes.
A flexible framework
The BANT Method doesn’t always fit every prospects needs, so it’s important to be flexible when having those initial discussions. For example, if your company sells software as a service, then the model of your business is to create a need that doesn’t yet exist. As a result, a different sales methodology could be better suited, like FAINT (Finance, Authority, Impact, Need, Timing) or CHAMP (Challenges, Authority, Money, Prioritisation).
However, it’s important to remember that BANT is just a framework, so each step can be tweaked to suit the sector and structure of the potential partner company.
BANT is a hugely popular selling technique for a reason. It saves your company and client time, and establishes expectations early on. This means your working relationship will be on the right track from the get-go, which guarantees faster results and a happier client.
I hope this breakdown inspires you to introduce the BANT Method to your sales team – and if you want to find out how ryze can help your business maximize your reach through affiliate marketing, then get in touch today.
Bar Elezra is a Business Development Manager at ryze.