Rules for sales success: Successfully navigating 4 stages of buyer journey

Authored by David Mattson, President & CEO, Sandler

In a world where buyers are better informed, more insulated, and less willing to talk to salespeople than ever before, technique alone is not enough. To survive and thrive in today’s markets – to understand, map, and align with a given buyer’s journey –  attitude and behavior must support technique.

In HOW TO SELL TO THE MODERN BUYER: 52 Sandler Rules for Sales Success, veteran sales leader David Mattson, President and CEO of Sandler, empowers sales teams to become the best in class by putting transformational ideas into practice in today’s ever-changing selling environment. The book addresses:

What conversational selling means in an information-rich, multi-platform, globally-connected, hyper-competitive world

What philosophy makes enduring success in such an environment possible

How to avoid the most common pitfalls

Each of the 52 rules is reinforced with Key Takeaway highlights, a Quick Quiz, a ‘Do This’ note, which provide the answers to these important questions. The rules address each of the four stages of the buyer journey:

Engagement This is where buyers start talking about what they think they need. They may engage with others in the organization, or they may engage with external people, such as their current suppliers or prospective new suppliers. During this stage, buyers discuss what they believe to be the need.

Consideration In this stage, the brainstorming has percolated into a desire for information and insights that support some specific course of action. Three questions come to the forefront of the buyer’s mind during this stage: What is the real problem? What are our options for solving the problem? And who can we reach out to for a possible solution?

Decision In this stage, the buying team needs to arrive at a consensus on a number of important choices. Sales professionals must look for ways to better identify the various stakeholders in that discussion and what is likely to make consensus among them possible.

Advocacy Based on the experience they’ve had with an external person and/or institution they’ve bought from, the buyer becomes a fan and advocates on behalf of the selling party.

The book is structured to correspond with a powerful learning model called the Success Triangle:

-       Attitude What happens between the ears

-       Technique What people learn to do

-       Behavior What people do consistently and put into practice

“Technique alone will not set you apart from the competition in today’s markets. When it comes to understanding, mapping, and aligning with a given buyer’s journey, each of the corners of the Success Triangle is equally indispensable,” says Mattson.

The principles that make successful conversational sales and functional business relationships possible are proven and timeless. The book brings the guiding principles of conversational selling, originally developed by David Sandler, into the current moment.

The basic tenets that guided Sandler’s work and made his selling system legendary across all major industries have not changed, but the buyer journey has changed: buyers are more educated, there are likely to be more decision-makers involved in a given purchase, trends in digital buying have accelerated, and people at all levels of the buying organization are taking advantage of a dizzying array of communication platforms. “The technology has changed, the way we interact with our customers has changed, and the social and cultural norms have certainly changed,” says Mattson.

The three corners on the Success Triangle can drive a salesperson’s ascent to their fullest and highest potential. As readers make their way through the book, the triangle will help track and align with the four stages of the buyer’s journey.

By learning the Sandler Rules taught in HOW TO SELL TO THE MODERN BUYER and making them the basis for how the team and the organization does business, sales professionals will find selling easier, more strategic, and more lucrative.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it.


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