What's the ANUM Sales Framework and When Do I Use It?

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Sales Tactics : 7 min read

What's the ANUM Sales Framework and When Do I Use It?

Frameworks are a beautiful thing. They provide us with structure and a repeatable process that we can observe and tweak over time to consistently improve our results.

However, not all frameworks are created equal. Like the framing of a home, a solid sales framework will weather any storm and allow you to focus your precious time and attention elsewhere. A poorly constructed framework, on the other hand, will have you making constant repairs, drawing your attention away from other important matters.

So how do you tell different sales frameworks apart? And how to know which one is best for you?

Along with this handy overview of the most common sales frameworks, we’re digging deeper into each framework to help you identify the best one for your needs and team.

And there’s a good chance it’s ANUM...

What is the ANUM sales framework?

Developed by Ken Krogue, the ANUM sales framework takes the principles from the previously championed BANT framework and scrambles them to prioritize Authority over Budget (or Money).

ANUM breaks down into the following stages:

anum sales framework

If you’re familiar with BANT or CHAMP, you’ll notice the principles are very similar to ANUM. And in fact, the one principle all three frameworks share is Authority.

This piece is important, because it allows you to qualify (or disqualify) a lead based on if they’re the decision-maker or not. Whereas other frameworks prioritize budget or challenges, ANUM focuses on authority (and thus lead qualification) right off the bat before digging in any further.

Rather than nurturing a bad lead, sales reps can quickly determine if they need to shift their efforts toward making contact with the decision-maker in the company or department.

By taking this approach, salespeople avoid wasting their own time with unqualified leads, as well as their contact’s time, who in reality might not be able to push the sale forward.

However, before we break the ANUM framework down further, let’s consider the prep work you should be doing before you even consider outreach.

Before you ANUM, pre-qualify

Because ANUM is so focused on lead qualification early on, it’s important that you do some pre-qualification before you do any outreach. That means ensuring they fit your ideal customer profile (ICP).

ICP goes beyond “target customer” territory by using a set of attributes to narrow down your desired customer base, including behaviors, milestones, and any other commonalities you define.

Identifying your ICP pool empowers you to prioritize some leads over others, since the ones who fit the ideal customer profile will be more likely to (1) convert, (2) find value in your product or service, and (3) make you the most revenue over time.

But that’s not all.

In addition to making sure the lead fits your ICP, you need to ask yourself if you can win the lead. Again, this question will help you prioritize leads so you can focus your energies on those with the best possible outcomes.

A step-by-step guide to the ANUM sales framework

Now that you’ve defined your ICP and made a comprehensive list of prospects you want to win, you can put the ANUM framework into play.

Authority

Pitching a new lead takes time and energy, and nothing is worse than finding out you’ve just pitched the wrong person.

By leading with Authority, sales reps using ANUM ensure this doesn’t happen—instead reserving their perfectly polished pitch for the decision-maker.

But who actually is the decision-maker? Is it the person who signs the check or is it the department head?

The answer to this question is “it depends.” In a smaller company it may be the chief financial officer. In a big conglomerate, on the other hand, it may be several people—or at least, several people may need to be kept in the loop throughout the process.

The key is reaching out to several potential decision-makers and then asking the right questions and going from there.

Here are a few to get started with:

  • Tell me about your role and your responsibilities at the company.
  • Tell me about the organizational structure in your company.
  • How are purchasing decisions typically made in your company, specifically with products/services like ours?
  • I’d like to talk about how our product/service can help your business—who might be the best person to speak with?
  • Should anyone else be involved in these conversations?
  • Are you comfortable with me reaching out to them to set up a call for all of us to discuss?
  • Can you think of any reason why they would be opposed to implementing a new solution?

A word of caution: Don’t immediately disqualify someone as a lead just because they aren't a decision-maker. They can provide you with valuable insight into company structure and the decision-making process.

Not only that, they may put you in contact with the decision-maker, which can be more effective than cold outreach.

Need

Once you’ve identified the decision-maker and have their ear, it’s important to dig into their needs and challenges.

Keep in mind their role and key responsibilities when working through this stage, since a solutions-based pitch tailored to their specific challenges will resonate far more than a generic one.

Taking a consultative sales approach during this stage can be super effective, since it focuses on understanding the prospect’s needs and challenges and building deep, solutions-based relationships with them.

According to Mack Hanan, who first coined consultative selling, the approach is not about selling a product or service, but rather about “selling the impact they can make on customer businesses.” That is, demonstrating exactly how your product or service will positively impact the customer’s bottom line.

Some questions to ask during this stage may include:

  • Tell me about the most pressing problem your company/department/team is facing right now.
  • How long have you been facing this problem?
  • What led you to seek out a solution now?
  • Can you take me through your current process?
  • What are your company/department/team goals?
  • What’s preventing you from achieving your goals?
  • What’s getting in the way of you doing it faster or more efficiently?
  • What would your process look like if the problem were solved today?

Urgency

Some sales frameworks call this stage Timing while others call it Prioritization; however, with ANUM this stage is referred to as Urgency.

This stage is all about determining how important it is to the prospect to solve their problem. In an ideal world, this stage is easy, since you would have already uncovered the prospect’s underlying needs and presented them with tailored solutions.

However, as we know, these conversations don’t often happen in a vacuum.

That’s why it’s important to discover what else is going on in the company that could either help or inhibit your ability to win the sale.

You can do this in a few ways, but a great place to start is by keeping up with the news. Press releases may reveal the company is going through structural changes, mergers and acquisitions, and more.

On the other hand, new regulations may come into effect, impacting how the company operates in the future.

Another way to identify urgency and potential blockers is to ask probing questions, like:

  • How important is it for you to solve this issue?
  • What is your timeframe for getting this done?
  • Where does this stack up against other departmental/company priorities?
  • What are the consequences of this not getting solved?
  • Are you currently looking at other solutions to tackle this problem?
  • When is the latest you’d like to make a decision by?

Money

Money (a.k.a. budget) is of course an important stage in the sales process, but if you’re sure you’re communicating with the decision-maker, it takes a backseat to the other stages.

This is because many companies don’t have a fixed budget for a specific product or service—or if they do, the decision-maker may have enough sway to secure additional budget.

Not only that, by this time you will have developed some rapport with the lead, and they’ve (ideally) developed some trust in you. This can influence their willingness to spend money on your solution, making the money discussion a lot less difficult than it has to be.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, this should also help inform the Money stage, since you might discover they recently secured funding or incurred budget cuts. However, it’s important to not make assumptions.

The following questions will help to provide clarity:

  • Do you have a budget allocated for a solution?
  • If you don’t mind me asking, what is it?
  • What is solving your current problem worth to you?
  • Who else needs to be involved in approving a purchase?
  • What is the process for getting approval for purchases beyond the original budget?

Authority? Figures!

While it might seem strange kicking off your sales pitch asking if you’re speaking with the right person, it’s a heck of a lot less forward than leading with money (like with BANT).

By starting with Authority, you learn really quickly whether the lead you have is truly qualified. Not only that, you respect your lead’s time, as well as your own—by saving the full pitch for those who can push a sale forward.

Of course, the ANUM model might not work for everyone. Take enterprise companies, for example, who may require more precise metrics around return on investment. In these cases, your team might want to approach them with MEDDIC.

If you’re using the BANT sales framework (or no framework at all) it’s worth giving ANUM a shot. Just make sure to do some benchmarking ahead of time so you see the impact ANUM makes on your sales metrics.