How to use the Sandler Submarine Sales System

The Sandler sales methodology has been around for decades and is a tried and tested system for sales professionals to use for an effective sales process.

The Sandler Submarine Sales System (SSS) is an extension of the traditional Sandler system, designed to create a deeper and more meaningful customer experience.

The Sandler Sales methodology works because there is a focus on qualifying prospects, rather than selling to them.

The Sandler selling system is about actually listening to the buyers pains and leading them though a sales process that really covers all potential sticking points in the sales process.

In this post, I’ll outline the popular Sandler Sales Methodology and the Sandler submarine system to help you understand the basics and equip you with the necessary tools to start using the system in your sales process.

The Sandler Selling System Explained

The Sandler Sales Method was first developed in 1967 by David Sandler and is based on a three-step selling methodology.

At the time, the sales process was unique in the fact that the process was consultative in nature. The sales rep was tasked with establishing a dialogue to build trust with the prospect to truly understand their pain points, budget and decision-making process to then either qualify or disqualify the buyer.

The Sandler selling system comprised of a total of seven steps comprising three major phases. These sales strategy phases are:

  1. Build and sustain the relationship
  2. Qualify the opportunity
  3. Close the sale

Before the Sandler sales process, sales reps often used high-pressure sales strategies with the buyer and psychology-based sales tricks – all things that gave salespeople a bad name.

Rather than promoting the ‘hard sell’, Sandler’s selling system focused on building a relationship and trust with buyers, understanding their needs and then helping them make the right decision.

According to David Sandler, the push and pull often experienced as part of the sales process was called the “buyer-seller dance”. This is where the buyers’ wants and needs are working against the seller’s wants and needs.

This back and forth created tension between the buyer and seller, and Sandler’s system reduced this tension by truly allowing salespeople to truly understand their buyers’ needs.

Under the Sandler selling system, salespeople take on the role of the dance partner rather than a pushy salesperson and lead the prospect through the sales process.

All this being said, the Sandler selling system made one strong assumption – the buyer is highly motivated to purchase. If this is true, getting a deal closed should only be about listening enough to know that you have found the right buyer.

The Sandler sales process leans on three major principles:

  1. Selling is a noble profession: This goes against the often bad reputation of sales and emphasizes that a good salesperson is a value-adding partner.
  2. The prospect must be qualified: The buyer should qualify for the sales rep’s time, this means sales reps no longer need to chase leads that won’t go anywhere.
  3. The Sandler sales method is exactly that, a method. Salespeople must clearly know where a prospect is in the sales process and the next steps.

Finally, the Sandler selling system is about getting to know the buyer, the decision-makers, their pains and motivations.

How will the Sandler selling system help sales reps sell more?

The Sandler selling system is better for the buyer because they don’t have to deal with a sales rep that is always pushing to close the deal.

But how does it benefit the sales reps?

When implementing the Sandler sales model, 88% of sales reps reported an improvement in their sales strategy, and 50% more reps hit their sales targets than those that didn’t have the Sandler selling system in place.

This is mainly due to sales teams placing more emphasis on qualification early in the selling process, meaning reps no longer waste time on a sales call that won’t go anywhere.

If the prospect doesn’t seem like a good fit when running the Sandler selling system, it is advised to move on.

This approach results in many other benefits for sales teams using the David Sandler sales methodology, including increased confidence, shorter sales cycles and less stress.

By establishing strong relationships with prospects, reps can build trust and get more valuable insights into the buyer’s needs. This also allows sales reps to provide better solutions that fit their customer’s budgets.

Establishing if the Sandler sales system might be a good fit for your sales team.

There are many different sales methodologies, and it can be difficult to decide which is best for your team.

The Sandler selling system might be a good fit if you’re looking for a sales system that emphasizes building relationships and understanding buyers’ needs.

The Sandler sales process encourages reps to understand their buyer’s motivations and objectives before pushing any product.

The Sandler system also places emphasis on qualification, so reps can focus their time and energy on having quality conversations with prospects that are likely to convert.

For this reason, the Sandler sales system will be a good fit for those businesses that rely on high-touch sales engagement.

With the Sandler system, you will benefit from only working with clients with a higher probability of converting into closed opportunities, giving your sales team more time to have open and honest communication to understand the buyer and their qualification process.

The Sandler Submarine: A Visual Representation of the Sandler System

The Sandler Submarine is a great visual representation of the Sandler sales method. It consists of 6 stages, with each stage representing a part of the buyer’s journey.

First, the sales rep must qualify the prospect and determine if they are a good fit for their product or service. If they are not viable, the rep must politely move on.

Next, salespeople must provide value by demonstrating how their product or service can solve the buyer’s problem. A discussion on price and terms follows this, and then reps must work to close the deal.

Finally, it is important for sales reps to follow up with customers to ensure that customer satisfaction is maintained after the sale.

The Sandler Submarine is a great way to represent the entire sales process visually and can be used to teach new reps about the different stages of the Sandler method.

Check out more about the seven steps to implement the Sandler selling system below.

The Seven Steps of the Sandler Method

As mentioned earlier, there are three main phases to the Sandler method. The seven steps that make up these phases are as follows:

1. Establish rapport and build trust

2. Qualify the buyer

3. Demonstrate value

4. Uncover needs

5. Develop solutions

6. Present proposals

7. Close the sale and follow-up

These seven steps are essential for sales reps to follow when using the Sandler selling system.

It is important to note that the seven steps should be followed in this exact order, as each step builds upon the one before it in order to qualify prospects and close deals effectively.

By following these steps, sales teams can ensure that they are having quality conversations with buyers and converting them into closed opportunities.

Using the David Sandler Selling System can be a great way to increase success rates within your organization. With its focus on relationships, qualification and value, the Sandler system can give your sales team the tools they need to close more deals with less effort and less stress.

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