What Is BANT, and How to Use the Framework for Lead Qualification

BANT framework for qualifying leads

The BANT framework was created by IBM in the 1950s, to help with qualifying leads. The BANT framework is a sales qualification framework that helps to identify qualified leads by focusing on only four important factors.

In this article, we will look at what the BANT framework stands for, how to use the BANT framework for qualifying leads, and how to implement it in the lead lifecycle.

What is BANT?

BANT stands for budget, authority, need, and timing. The BANT framework is used to determine whether a lead can be qualified based on their budget, authority/ability to buy, need for the product, and purchase timeline. 

Using the BANT framework for qualifying leads

IBM used BANT to qualify leads more efficiently, opening up more of their time for selling to these newly qualified prospects. So, what is BANT?

This is how IBM defined the framework:

Budget – What is the lead’s budget for this product or service?

Authority – Does the lead have decision-making authority?

Need – Does the lead have a true need for the product or service?

Time frame – What timeframe does the lead need to make a purchasing decision?

The BANT framework is useful because it speeds up the process of qualifying your leads, which can help you move them more quickly through the rest of the sales funnel to eventually convert them into clients. It also helps you to determine whether a lead can be qualified, and if not, it saves you time and resources that you would have used pursuing them.

How to Use the BANT Framework to Qualify Your Leads

Determine the Lead’s Budget

BANT Framework - Budget

The first letter in the BANT framework stands for budget. This does not only include the lead’s monetary budget for the product or service; it also includes the ROI that it may bring for your lead. If their budget allows for what you want to sell them, it is more likely that you will be able to qualify them as prospects.

Here are a few questions to ask to help you get the conversation started:

  1. “How much are you willing to spend on [your product/service]?”
  2. “What is your budget for [your product/service]?”
  3. “What return on investment are you looking to get from [your product/service]?”
  4. “How do you determine your budget when looking for [your product/service]?” 

Determine the Lead’s Purchasing Authority

BANT Framework - Authority

Is this lead authorized to make a purchasing decision within their company? Do they have the ability to make the purchase? According to some data, upwards of 80% of sales that fail are directed at a person without buying authority. Essentially, make sure that you are communicating with a decision-maker and not someone without the authority or ability to make a purchasing decision. 

Here are a few questions to ask to help you get the conversation started:

  1. “Who needs to sign off on this purchase?”
  2. “Do you need to get approval from others before making this purchase?”
  3. “Who else needs to be involved in the decision-making process?”

Determine Whether Your Solution Addresses Their Needs

BANT Framework - Need

Consider your lead’s specific needs. Does your product or service fit in with their needs? Try only to target an audience that may have a need for your product or service and optimize the content to appeal to that specific audience. If your product or service is the potential solution to the lead’s problem, then you have a higher chance of qualifying them.

Here are a few questions to ask to help you get the conversation started:

  1. “What problems are you looking to solve?”
  2. “Is solving this problem a priority?”

Determine Their Timeline for the Purchase

BANT Framework - Time-frame

If the lead is prioritizing solving their problem, then the timeline is likely to be shorter before they decide to make a purchasing decision. However, if solving the problem is last on their list of priorities, it is doubtful that you will qualify them in the foreseeable future. This question will help you to determine whether they are ready to make a decision, or if they are just researching and are not ready to make the purchase yet. Sales are all about timing, so knowing when your leads plan to purchase is vital to closing the deal

Here are a few questions to ask to help you get the conversation started:

  1. “How soon are you looking to make a purchasing decision?”
  2. “Are you currently prioritizing finding the solution to this problem?”
  3. “What is the urgency for making a decision?”

Common Challenges When Using the BANT Framework for Qualifying Leads

According to a report by Verse, only 39% of companies use lead qualification criteria. That within itself is an issue, but challenges may arise even when using a framework.

While the BANT framework can be an incredibly useful tool, there are also some common complications that can arise when using it to qualify leads. It is important to be aware of these potential challenges before implementing this framework to best prepare for them if they arise.

⚠️ Limited Information

If you do not have access to enough information about the potential customer to determine whether they meet all the criteria of the BANT framework. For example, you may not know their specific budget, and finding this information is not always possible.

⚠️ Changing Circumstances

The BANT framework works on the assumption that a lead’s circumstances will remain constant over time. However, circumstances can change, and the customer’s budget, authority, need, or timeline may no longer align with your product or service.

⚠️ Lack of Alignment

The BANT framework may not be a good fit for all types of products or services. For example, for some products or services, the customer’s need may be far more important than their budget or timeline. 

⚠️ Accuracy

The framework assumes that the lead will be honest and forthcoming about their budget, authority, need, and timeline. However, people may not always be truthful, or they may not be aware of all the factors that influence their decision-making process. 


The BANT framework is a powerful tool that can help you to qualify leads more accurately and efficiently. By focusing on the lead’s budget, authority, need, and timeline, you can more quickly determine whether they are a good fit for your product or service. 

However, there are also some challenges that can arise when using this framework. To overcome these challenges, it is important to use additional information sources, build a relationship with the lead, and modify the framework to better align with your specific product or service. By implementing the BANT framework effectively, you can streamline your lead qualification process and improve your overall sales success.

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What Is BANT, and How to Use the Framework for Lead Qualification

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