IBM developed the BANT framework in the 1950s to help salespeople qualify leads. This old-school method of lead qualification stands for budget, authority, need and timeframe. Going through the BANT process will reveal whether the prospect has the budget to buy from you, whether the prospect has the authority to buy from you, whether your offering fills a need and when the prospect is looking to buy.

Whether your leads come from display ads, email capture, referral or some other source, they’re not all going to be quality leads. By qualifying leads quickly, you and your sales team can spend your time pursuing the best opportunities. Sujan Patel, a managing partner at Ramp Ventures, likes the BANT method because it’s so flexible. He says you can tailor questions at each stage to get the specific answers you need.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’re sharing Patel’s jumping-off questions you can use for each BANT category.


  • How much do you currently spend in this area?
  • Have you already set a budget for this purchase?
  • How much will price factor into your decision?
  • What ROI would you like to see with this solution?


  • Who is involved in making the purchasing decision?
  • Which team or department will primarily be using this product or service?
  • When did you last buy a similar product or service? What did that buying process look like?
  • Who will decide what success looks like with this purchase?


  • How big of a priority is it for your company to solve this issue?
  • What have you done so far to solve this issue?
  • Outside of this issue, what are your biggest priorities?
  • What will be the business consequences of not solving this issue right now?


  • When would you realistically like this problem to be solved?
  • Do you have the budget and capacity to get started next week?
  • What events are impacting your timeline?
  • When do you expect to make a decision?

Remember that BANT is just an acronym. You don’t need to follow the process in a specific order. For example, if you know that timeframe is an issue with your prospect, bring it up sooner in the conversation. Patel recommends having a list of BANT questions to start with but staying flexible with the framework. If you notice an opportunity to dig deeper in one of the areas, ask more detailed questions. Also, don’t be afraid to repeat or reframe questions if you need more details he adds.

Salespeople have used the BANT framework for decades—and for good reason. It’s a straightforward way to discern whether a prosect is the right fit. Your sales team can decide what the best leads look like based on BANT. For example, maybe sales leads only need to fit three of the four BANT criteria. Keep refining as you go along, and your team will become experts at sorting through leads to find the very best ones.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Sujan Patel is a managing partner at Ramp Ventures and a leading expert in digital marketing.