This week I was privileged to be invited to speak at a Sales Kick Off in Chicago and to spend time with a wonderful sales team. As we were reviewing qualification criteria from the sales rep’s perspective, a question was asked about BUDGET which is the B of BANT. My response was different than what most people expect, so I thought I should share it here.
Budget should not be a sales criterion of qualification.
Why? Because of Metrics, the M of MEDDIC. If you have Metrics, or can obtain and document them, then those of you who know MEDDIC know how to transform it into ROI and take it to the EB. Buying from you becomes an act of saving or revenu boosting. Since when does an EB need to have budgeted anything to save money or to increase revenue? The beauty of MEDDIC is that it transforms the urgency of sales into an urgency from the prospect to buy in order to save costs or to increase revenue. You don’t need to have a budget for any of these. Any EB is able to prioritize expenditures so that they can achieve and observe those savings ASAP.
Neither should Timing
Since the MEDDIC approach creates the urgency thanks to the economic impact, even a non scheduled purchase becomes possible. So Timing should not be a qualification criterion either. A convinced EB will always accelerate a project, in their own benefit, to start seeing gains sooner.
For those of you who are not familiar with BANT, it is a classic sales qualification acronym which served a lot of companies in the past. The acronym stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing. BANT does not work any more. It was actually never agressive enough for any company offering a product or service which brings measurable gains. The success of MEDDIC proves that neither the budget nor the timing should be in your qualification criteria. Also MEDDIC proves that there are a lot more to qualify than just the need and the authority.
Since budgets are typically annual, when they exist it means that a pain has been expressed at least a year ago, decision criteria have been defined and sometimes even a RFP has been written. Experience shows that your chance of qualifying such a deal or winning it are always much lower than when you get into an account sooner, identify pain, get metrics, help writing decision criteria and sell without a preexisting budget.
Don’t know how to do all that? Learn it here!