Lead Qualification Frameworks For SaaS: Is BANT Still Relevant In 2022?
What lead qualification framework is most effective to sell software: BANT, GPCT, and MEDDPICC
Sales methodologies and approaches have tremendously changed in the past few years. Most software businesses have switched to a remote-first model and conduct the majority of their sales processes digitally.
Additionally, prospects now have access to an array of information online, and markets are considerably more competitive than 50 years ago. By the time they reach out to your sales reps, most prospects will have already conducted extensive research about the solutions available to them.
Sales frameworks are used as guidelines to qualify prospects and determine their potential to become happy customers. But as ways of buying evolve, so should sales methodologies.
Time for an update on the best sales frameworks for SaaS so you can choose the one that best fits your business.
The BANT qualification framework: solid but limited
By now, everyone in sales has probably heard about the BANT framework to qualify prospects. Introduced by IBM in the 1960s, it has since become the go-to method to qualify prospects.
Using this framework, sales representatives discuss the following topics with prospects:
Budget: Can the prospect afford to purchase your solution?
Authority: Is your contact the final decision maker?
Need: Does your solution resolve a problem?
Time: When is the prospect planning to buy?
BANT did an excellent job standardizing lead qualification and filtering out prospects that do not fit your ideal customer. It helps sales prioritize leads and focus their effort on valuable deals.
However, sales reps often approach this methodology the wrong way. For instance, they might use BANT as a checklist of questions to ask, instead of a complete framework. Imagine having an affirmative response to the 4 questions above. Would it mean the prospect is correctly qualified? The answer is: no.
When misused, BANT takes away from having a real conversation with prospects. It can feel very linear and does not really dig into the reasons behind the purchase. Instead, sales reps should act as advisors and focus on customers’ pains and objectives to build trust.
Wrong use of the BANT framework in modern sales might make sales sound pushy. In SaaS sales, reps must adopt a problem-solving approach and keep the conversation flowing.
GPCT & BA (Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline & Budget, Authority)
The GPCT framework is an improved version of BANT, more relevant to modern selling methods. GPCT focuses on understanding the prospects’ needs and challenges to present a tailor-made solution.
Using the GPCT framework to guide discovery calls is a great way to uncover the many implications of implementing new software within your prospect’s ecosystem.
The GPCT & BA framework articulates in two phases. The first steps focus on ensuring that the prospect will truly benefit from the product or service offered. Second, the sales reps validate the financial capacity and clarify the decision process necessary to complete the project. This way, they can support prospects throughout the sales process.
Phase 1: GPCT (Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline)
What is the end goal, and how does it fit in the company’s greater plan?
The objective here is to identify precise and quantifiable objectives. If the company has not yet defined measurable goals, it’s an excellent opportunity for the sales rep to position himself as an advisor and help set realistic goals.
What is the master plan to achieve the goal?
In some cases, prospects might already have a plan of action in mind. Discuss how your software implementation fits in this scheme. If the prospect is looking for your input, it’s a chance for you to describe your implementation process, ROI timeline, and options to help the prospect achieve its objective.
What challenges might slow down or prevent the sale?
It’s essential to figure out why the prospect still hasn’t resolved their issue. They might have tried other solutions that didn’t work out or have a high resistance to change. Uncover the elements that might become issues down in the sales process. It’s also a good time to discuss their backup plan and competition.
Resistance to change.
How soon is the prospect planning to implement your solution?
This objective here is to determine how important the goal is and how it’s prioritized. Make sure the prospect has the capacity and resources available to handle the project. This is a critical factor for a salesperson: it will define whether it’s worth investing time and effort immediately with this prospect or nurturing until the prospect is ready for the project.
Phase 2: BA (Budget, Authority)
How will the project be funded?
Once you have determined that the prospect has an objective that you can help within the near future, you can start discussing the budget. Here, confirm the potential ROI of implementing your solution and validate the investment capacity to pursue the project.
Who are the decision-makers?
The final step is to unveil the company’s decision-making process and stakeholders. In B2B software sales, multiple people are involved in the purchase decision process. Therefore, you should get a clear understanding of the ecosystem and map out the decision-making process. Read more about how to sell to different audiences within a company.
The GPCT & BA framework is particularly effective in the software industry where sales representatives must act as consultants. Investing time and effort in understanding the customer’s challenges is the best way to help them achieve their goals and close the sale. This is a great place to start if you’re looking for a simple yet effective sales methodology for your software business.
MEDDPICC stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Paper Process, Implications of Pain, Champion, and Competition. In this sales framework, sales executives conduct an extensive assessment of a prospect’s purchase process.
This sales methodology is particularly appropriate for large, more complex, B2B deals where multiple stakeholders and entities influence the purchase process. This context requires a precise understanding of the organization’s ins and outs. Sales must adopt a strategic approach to uncover the business implications of purchasing and implementing your software.
Large B2B businesses have longer sales cycles. As a result, the following matters are discussed over the course of multiple sales conversations:
What is the benefit and ROI of your software? Discussing your prospect’s goals is always a great conversation opener. Here, determine the quantifiable benefits using real numbers. Think ROI
Who is the buyer? The economic buyer is the person who makes the decision to release the funds for your software implementation. It is best to meet this person early on in the buying process and start building trust in your solution.
What are the evaluation criteria? Identify the multiple factors involved in the prospect’s purchasing decision. Bear in mind that different stakeholders will have different criteria driving their choice.
What are the steps to the final decision? Map the people and buying process your prospect uses to make the final decision. What is the complete process of getting an order signed?
What problem needs to be resolved? First, make sure there is a true pain that the prospect is ready to solve.
Then, discover the implications and risks of not implementing a solution.
Who acts on your behalf within the prospect company? Empower the most influential character to represent your solution from the inside. This person might be an end-user of your software that will be relieved once the problem is solved.
What options are evaluated? Your prospect might be considering other alternatives to achieve their goals. Identify the competitors and study how they compare to you.
How to choose a sales framework for your SaaS business?
Finding the methodology that works best for your software business is the key to closing more deals faster. Sales frameworks work as a guideline to duplicate your successes. Using mapped-out processes and following specific steps to handle sales conversations will enable you to analyze and refine your strategies.
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