BANT … why it stopped working!

Outreach TargetsFor decades, budget, authority, need and time (BANT) has served as an excellent framework for qualifying opportunities. But it’s less useful than in the past.

BUDGET
Unless your outreach target is already purchasing what you sell, they aren’t likely to have budget set aside for what you sell. This doesn’t mean they don’t have the money. It also doesn’t mean that they won’t spend the money. The companies you are calling on have the money they need for anything they believe is a priority. If it’s tied to their strategic objectives, they’ll find the money.

You must show your outreach target that what your product or service is what they need to achieve their goals and objectives?

AUTHORITY
The idea of authority was used to help business seekers to find the one person they need with the formal authority to bind their organization to a deal. This was useful before companies started buying on consensus. Now, there may not be a single decision-maker. Instead, there are decision-makers or stakeholders, all of whom could say no to a deal individually, but none who can or will say yes individually.

You will still need executive sponsorship and consensus.

NEED
Your outreach targets are not desperately waiting for you to call them. Your outreach target will still continue operations with or without your solution.
Many of your outreach targets aren’t dissatisfied enough to change. Your challenge is to create a need where none exists. Unless your outreach target already buys what you sell, you need to create and develop the need.

You must now generate your own leads.

TIME
Time may not be a compelling factor for your outreach targets. Time horizons are flexible, so today, tomorrow, or next quarter will work for you. Your outreach target can change today, but tomorrow works too. Yes, they may be leaving money on the table, but they’ve lived with their problems for so long they trust them more than they trust your solution. Realize that your solution means change. Unless you can tie your product or service to your outreach target’s strategic objective, and the value proposition is compelling, they will not be motivated to change.

The more you can prove that change is necessary and that sooner is better than later, the more urgency you create.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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