If you’re on the hunt for ways your sales team can improve efficiency, you’ve likely already come across sales methodologies like BANT and MEDDIC. But what are they exactly, and how can they help your sales team close more sales?
Why You Should Implement a Sales Methodology
Sales is a challenging process, and even the best salespeople can find themselves hitting brick walls during the sales process without understanding the reasons why. Sometimes you make a great pitch, but the customer isn’t convinced. Other times, you keep getting blown off or ignored altogether.
So what’s happening? Are your reps dropping the ball, or were they doomed from the beginning?
In order to have a successful sales team that’s focused on prospecting good-fit leads and hitting quota, you should have a solid sales methodology in place. These tactics help you qualify your leads so time isn’t being wasted and your pipeline is more accurate.
With so many different sales methodologies out there, it can be difficult for managers to pick just one. This article will compare two popular methodologies for lead qualifying and deal forecasting, BANT and MEDDIC, and help you figure out which one might work best for your team.
Now let’s review what these acronyms mean…
What is The MEDDIC Sales Methodology?
The MEDDIC sales methodology uses six concurrent steps to qualify new leads, which are:
Metrics: What quantifiable gains is a potential lead looking to generate from your solution?
Economic buyer: Who at this company has the power to make purchasing decisions?
Decision criteria: What decision criteria does this company use to choose new vendors and products?
Decision process: What is the internal structure and workflow that needs to happen for this company to make a decision?
Identify pain: What is the problem this company wants to solve?
Champion: Who inside this company can advocate for our product or service (usually the people who will benefit from it the most)?
The MEDDIC methodology provides sales reps with a lead qualification checklist that covers not only some of the basic information you need to qualify a lead but also insight into the inner workings of a company. This additional insight can help you increase your chances of a sale and improve your forecasting accuracy throughout the deal's lifecycle.
It's that second point that has made MEDDIC so popular. MEDDIC goes beyond more basic lead qualification strategies and digs into data that can inform not just if you should pitch but how and to whom.
What is The BANT Sales Methodology?
BANT is another sales methodology that uses just four criteria to qualify a lead, which are:
Budget: Does the prospect have the budget available to purchase the product or service?
Authority: Does the prospect have the authority to make the purchase decision?
Need: Does the prospect have a need or reason to buy the product or service?
Timing: Is the prospect ready to buy now or soon?
With BANT, a salesperson can quickly gauge whether a prospect is a good fit for their product or service based on whether they meet all four criteria. BANT is most commonly deployed at the very first point of contact with a new lead to decide if there’s any value in investing more effort into them.
As you’ve probably noticed, this is a much slimmer qualification strategy than MEDDIC, as we’ll highlight in a moment. BANT cuts right to the heart of what every salesperson wants to know- Is this customer able and ready to buy?
The Primary Differences Between MEDDIC and BANT
Both MEDDIC and BANT help you to qualify which leads are worth pursuing, but BANT very specifically focuses on the questions you ask to figure out the quality of a lead.
MEDDIC, on the other hand, is not just a lead qualifying checklist but a framework you can follow throughout the lifetime of a lead converting into a sale. With MEDDIC, sales reps can not only assess the quality of a lead but also where they are in the deal process and adjust their forecasts accordingly. MEDDIC also requires a more thorough examination of the company you’re pitching.
So, Which Sales Methodology Makes More Sense for Your Sales Org?
Both BANT and MEDDIC can be effective strategies for qualifying leads, but many sales leaders spar over which one is the “best” for their sales team.
The truth is, BANT and MEDDIC aren’t necessarily exclusive techniques. Depending on your sales workflow, you can employ one or both in your sales strategy.
BANT is by far the easier strategy to implement. It’s simpler and has less complex data to collect in order to fulfill its requirements. This makes BANT an excellent methodology to utilize when your focus is to qualify leads as quickly as possible from the first interaction or when you’re pitching a product that has a very simple value proposition.
MEDDIC is much more complex, but that complexity provides a much richer understanding of the company you’re qualifying and its more nuanced internal structures. This can be especially true when you’re selling to enterprise companies, where more red tape and internal hierarchies exist. MEDDIC can help you sort through these roadblocks and improve your odds of landing a deal.
Some questions you can ask yourself to help you choose which methodology might work best for your team include:
Is my aim to qualify leads as quickly as possible, or do I have more time to do a more thorough examination during the deal process?
Is your primary pain point a high volume of leads with very few indicators as to their quality? You might lean more towards BANT.
If you’re finding your reps are regularly ending up several meetings in before a client ghosts them or declines, you’ll probably benefit more from the deeper data of MEDDIC.
Do my sales typically happen within the first one or two customer interactions, or is it a more protracted process of meetings and pitches?
Again, BANT is a great way to vet leads fast. If you have a relatively short pipeline, it may help you cull through leads and get to the better ones faster. Conversely, MEDDIC helps you throughout a longer deal process to hone in on additional opportunities for wins with additional stakeholders inside a company.
Is our ideal sales structure high volume or high value?
If you’re looking to qualify leads quickly so you can quickly ramp up your sales volume, your team may benefit more from BANT. On the other hand, if you’re looking to help your sales reps hone in on the highest value clients so you can improve your success rate and forecasting accuracy, MEDDIC may be the better structure.
You can also use these techniques together, utilizing BANT first to gather the most basic qualifications and then diving deeper with MEDDIC once you’ve honed in on a smaller batch of pre-qualified leads.
How to Enforce MEDDIC or BANT Across Your Team
#1: Provide all your sales reps with a qualification checklist
Whether you decide to implement MEDDIC or BANT (or both), the best way to ensure a seamless transition and consistent usage is to provide your reps with a checklist of qualification and data collection steps for every lead. This serves as a constant reminder of what information they need to collect.
#2: Utilize automation to alert reps and managers when BANT or MEDDIC information is missing from a customer record
Tools like Rattle can help you here. Rattle is a Slack/Salesforce integration tool that can automatically alert sales reps and managers inside of Slack when information fields are missing on a prospect. For example, you can create workflows that scan for missing BANT or MEDDIC data and then immediately alert the rep and/or sales manager so they can gather or input this data.
Automation like this is the perfect intersection of accountability and speed. Your sales reps can stay focused on working with their clients while still being regularly reminded to capture and input this critical data.
#3: Organize 1:1 and team training sessions to identify process pain points and refresh knowledge
Any new process implementation takes time, so scheduling time to talk with your reps and equip them with additional support and tools can help improve the overall implementation of any new sales methodology.
We also recommend gathering them together before implementation to get a pulse on your current pipeline issues and identify common roadblocks among your reps. This can help you identify which methodology might work best for your team and give you precise information to set improvement goals around.
As with any new implementation, the method that works best is the one that your team actually follows. So it’s not only important to choose a methodology that works for your goals and types of customers, but to also prep your team on why these steps are important and incentivize them to follow them.
Part of those incentives should include making the process as easy as possible. By utilizing automation tools that make it easy to remember and input the data you need for each methodology, you take some of the stress and pressure off your reps and allow them to continue doing what they do best: working with customers until they close the deal.
It may be tricky to get everyone on board at first, but it won’t stay that way once they start seeing results. So which one will you be trying?