Another Alternative to BANT


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A SQL is a prospect that meets the sales team’s minimum requirements for engagement. While BANT is the best known SQL definition, 38% of companies have moved to AN (authority and need) and 35% have moved to ANUM (authority, need, urgency and money). Whatever SQL definition you use, it should closely align with your prospective buyers and sales process. Below is an alternative to AN, ANUM and BANT. It is called ISCAP and was developed at LiquidPlanner. ISCAP stands for issue, severity, capabilities, authority and plan.

Issue – What is the critical business issue (CBI) the prospect is working to address? CBIs represent 20% of an organization’s challenges or opportunities that impact 80% of its immediate future. A well understood CBI is both quantified and implicated. Quantified means there is a number attached to the CBI (e.g., the number of hours lost and their associated value). Implicated means that the impact of not addressing the CBI is fully understood; i.e., the organization will continue to lose $X per month.

Severity – Based on the quantification of the CBI, how severe is the prospect’s “hurt” on the pain scale? That is, is it no pain (0-1), moderate pain (4-6) or severe pain (9-10)? Is the pain significant enough to cause the prospect’s to change? If so, how soon (i.e., what is the prospect’s sense of urgency?)? Or, can they maintain the status quo? Prospects often view change as a threat, not an opportunity. The higher the prospect is on the pain scale, the greater the probability of them taking action. “No pain, no change.”

Capabilities – What capabilities does the prospect need to address the CBI? A capability is the ability to achieve a specific outcome or perform a specific action with the product, service or solution. If the prospect knows how to address the CBI, they will tell the seller what capabilities they need. If they do not know how to address the CBI, the seller must collaborate with the prospect to create a vision of a solution. For example, to solve the CBI, what if you (prospect) had the ability to do X, Y and Z?

Authority – Is the prospect the economic buyer (EB)? The EB has authority to release funds to purchase the product or service. They are primarily concerned with organizational impact and ROI. If the prospect is not the EB, who is within the organization? How are new technology decisions made? Who is involved?

Plan – What is the prospect’s plan to evaluate the product or service? What other products or services are they currently evaluating? How have similar product or services been evaluated in the past? Who was involved? Who needs to be involved? Are there any challenges that would prevent us (prospect and seller) from moving forward?

All contents copyright © 2015, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

Josh Lowry
Vice President of Sales at LiquidPlanner. Startup advisor and investor for cloud and SaaS companies. Coach and student of business and leadership. 10X disciple.


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