It’s a no-brainer that sales methodologies help businesses sell better and choose better customers for life.
In our past articles, we have talked about some of the best sales methodologies in depth. This would be the last article in that series, and we’re talking about Sandler Sales Methodology.
But first, if you haven’t checked our detailed article on sales methodology, please check that out from here. You will also find individual articles on each methodology from the same source.
If you wish to know more about the Sandler sales model, keep scrolling.
What is the Sandler Sales Methodology?
Sandler sales methodology has a glorious past of more than 50 years. In this model, the typical sales process is extended to a certain extent.
Sandler sales methodology advises sales reps to act as a consultant rather than a typical sales rep whose main focus is to convince the prospect.
A normal salesperson will focus more on the closing stage of the sales process whereas the Sandler salesperson will concentrate most of his energy on the qualification process.
In the Sandler sales model, the seller and buyer both will be equally invested in the selling process.
This methodology is divided into 7 steps which differ from a usual 5-step sales process.
Here are the 7 steps of the Sandler sales method:
- Bonding and rapport
- Up-front contracts
You might have heard about the term called “Sandler Submarine”, associated with this methodology. This terminology is nothing but a representation of the Sandler sales process.
Now we’re going to understand each step of this methodology. These 7 steps are bifurcated into 3 stages of the methodology:
- Establishing the relationship
- Prospect qualification
- Sales closing
Sounds a bit confusing?
Don’t worry. We will take a conversational example of a sales rep and a prospect throughout these steps and understand the concept.
Let’s connect the dots.
1. Bonding and rapport
Bonding and rapport will come under the “Establishing the relationship” part.
In this stage, the sales rep will build a good base for current and further communication. The rep will ask a variety of questions about the prospect’s business and offer solutions. Basically, the sales rep will communicate to build a relationship, not to sell a product.
This bond will eventually lead the prospect to buy the product in the future.
Key: Hello John. This is Key from Salesmate. Is this a good time to chat?
John: Hey Key. Yes, I was waiting for our call.
Key: Great, let’s start with understanding your business a bit.
John: Well. We run a digital agency. So we provide a variety of solutions from product development to marketing solutions.
2. Up-front contracts
The second step of the Sandler sales model comes under “Establishing the relationship”.
After a healthy communication with the prospect, in this stage, the sales rep will define further communication. Basically, it will be the roadmap of all the future communications and the subjects of each talk.
Key: I learned a lot about your business from our conversation. In the next few calls, I would like to understand more about your sales process and how you handle leads. Would that be great?
John: That sounds perfect.
From this point, the stage of “Prospect Qualification” starts.
The Sandler sales model is highly focused on lead qualification. While other sales processes focus more on sales closing, this model makes sure the solution is the best fit for the prospect.
The lead qualification starts with finding the pain point. And this stage requires a lot of questions, a lot!
By asking the right questions, the sales rep will reach into the core of the problem. In many cases, the pain point of the problems may seem on the surface. But the real reason might need a little bit of digging.
And that’s the biggest part of being a Sandler sales rep – identifying the pain.
Key: John, I think the main reason why so many of your leads go unattended is that you can not visualize every deal, and where they stand. Because of that, some of the hot leads are left unattended while you might waste a lot of time on a deal that is not even qualified yet.
John: That sounds about right. In recent times, we missed 4 big deals that we could have cracked.
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The budget is also a big part of “Prospect Qualification”.
In this stage of the Sandler sales model, the sales rep will ask for a definite budget to the prospect. Rather than identifying if the solution is affordable to the prospect, this methodology focuses on clarifying this factor in the initial run.
Once the prospect comes with a number, the sales rep can either move ahead with the process or drop it. For businesses that provide custom solutions, this can be an important part.
Based on how much money the prospect wants to spend, the sales rep can design a custom solution.
Key: John, we have figured out what exactly is the root of your problem. And I have also explained how Salesmate CRM can help you manage your leads in an effective way. May I know what exactly is your budget?
John: We’re spending $29.99/user/month in our current CRM. We can afford the same rates.
Key: Well, in that case, you’re going to save some bucks. Salesmate Growth plan is perfect for you, and it will cost you $24/user/month.
Decision is the last stage of “Prospect Qualification”. By closely looking at all the factors, the sales rep will qualify the prospect.
In this process, the rep will scan every conversation from the top to bottom, and check every requirement. The rep will also cross-check if the tailored solution is the right fit for the prospect.
After the decision stage, the prospect is finally qualified and moves to the final stage of the deal closer.
Key: I think, Growth is the right plan for you because it can clearly solve your current problems. Also, it offers features like built-in calling, sequences, team inbox that can help you grow your business.
John: Yes Key, I think, Growth would be the best option for us.
Key: That’s great. I would suggest your team should also try Salesmate. I can offer a free trial for you and teammates. I believe this would help you make the right choice.
This is the starting stage of “Sales Closing”.
In this stage, the sales rep will make sure every decision-maker is happy with the decided solution. Once the approval comes, they can move ahead to sign the contract.
Key: Hey John, Has your team tried Salesmate yet?
John: Yes. We have taken your free trial and we’re ready to go onboard.
This is the last stage of the Sandler sales method where the rep will continue to provide the support and help to make sure the prospect has chosen the right product.
Post-sell is also an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell other products that might be helpful for the prospect.
Key: Thank you, John, for choosing Salesmate CRM. I am 100% sure our system is the best fit for your business. In case you feel stuck or need help, feel free to call me, you have my number.
John: Definitely Key. Thank you for all your help.
Key: Pleasure’s all mine. In our discussion, we also talked about your international calling. I want you to know that we also provide US virtual phone numbers at very affordable rates. I think that would be really helpful for your business.
John: Sure Key. I will consider that.
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Why is Sandler Sales Methodology different?
While other sales methodologies focus on closing more sales, the Sandler sales model focuses on qualifying the lead and making sure to unite the prospect with the right process.
This long process of lead qualification may also result in lesser sales closing. But if the prospect picks the wrong product, they will realize sooner or later and find something else.
I believe the Sandler sales methodology will help you pick the right customers. It can give you a strong base of loyal customers and significantly drop the churn rate.
I sincerely hope this article will provide enough information about Sandler sales. Again, we have covered 7 tried and tested sales methodologies in our previous articles. Be sure to check them out as well.
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