The Sandler Sales Methodology: An Overview

The Sandler Sales methodology has been around for decades, and the approach, with its core principles and the pain funnel, remains as valid today as it did in the 1960s when David Sandler first created it.

The Sandler Sales methodology has been around for decades, and the approach, with its core principles and the pain funnel, remains as valid today as it did in the 1960s when David Sandler first created it.

What is the Sandler Sales Methodology?

The Sandler Sales methodology is focused on a customer-centric, relationship-based, selling approach — ideal for complex deals with long sales cycles.

Sandler codified what he viewed as the core principles of repeatable sales success in his 49 Sandler Rules. The rules provide guidance for all phases of sales, and the book titled The Sandler Rules: 49 Timeless Selling Principles and How to Apply Them, is recommended reading for anyone wanting to go deep in the process.

We are also including the 49 Sandler Rules in this article, with links to the individual blog posts on the Sandler website, we will not attempt to match the wisdom of the source.

We cannot say it enough. Listen to the podcast episodes on the Sandler sit to learn more about each rule.

What is the Sandler Pain Funnel?

The Sandler Pain Funnel

The Sandler Pain Funnel is a tool that helps sales professionals identify and qualify potential buyers. It does this by asking questions, in a specific order, about the buyer’s business pain and how they would go about solving it.

Here are the Sandler pain funnel questions.

  • “Tell me more about that …”
  • “Can you be more specific?”
  • “Give me an example … “
  • “How long has that been a problem?”
  • “What have you tried to do about that?”
  • “Has anything you’ve tried worked?”
  • “How much do you think this has cost you?”
  • “How do you feel about how much this has cost you?”
  • “What kind of trouble does that cause you?”
  • “Have you given up trying to deal with this problem?”

Note: You do not have to use the exact questions, but these provide guidance for the general approach.

The Sandler Pain Funnel is designed to uncover the buyer’s needs, of course, but also to help the rep build rapport and from that rapport a relationship, with the buyer.

The Sandler Sales Methodology takes, as you may recall, a customer-centric, relationship-based, approach.

Disclosure: We are reader-supported. If you click on a link and make a purchase of the items linked below we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Note: We created the Sandler funnel (on the right) with Lucidchart and we are happy to share the project with you directly, just reach out to us and we will share the project with you if that is of value.

What is the Sandler Success Triangle?

The Sandler Success Triangle is a tool that sales professionals can use to assess their sales process and performance. It is made up of three components:

  • Activity – How much work are you putting in? The number of calls, emails sent, and meetings booked/held.
  • Attitude – Bring the right attitude to work every day, every activity.
  • Technique – A measure of your skills. Improve and build your sales skills.

Supporting Technology

Learning any methodology takes work.

Incorporating it fully into your go-to-market approach — even more.

But the deeper you embed it into your work, the more powerful it can become.

Consider these key technologies are you work to do both.

Arm sellers with a personal CRM like Salesflare
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Ensure consistent cold/warm outreach with Autoklose
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Ensure consistency, and scale, in delivering proposals, QBRs, and other documents with PandaDoc

What is Sandler Sales Training?

Sandler Sales Training is a training program that helps sales professionals learn the Sandler Selling System. The training can be taken through Sandler directly or from certified Sandler Trainers across the globe.

What skills and lessons do you get through Sandler Training?

Sandler focuses on teaching:

  • How to better understand buyers and their businesses
  • Skills to more effectively sell to buyers
  • Developing relationships
  • Overcoming objections
  • Closing deals

Here is a wonderful example from Sandler on Prospecting, the Sandler Way. This will give you a sense of their approach.

To learn more about Sandler Sales Training, connect with them directly.

Sandler Downloadables

Review these and reach out to the Sandler team.

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Interested In Other Methodologies?

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The Sandler Sales Methodology has lasted so long for a reason – it works in a variety of sales situations.

If you sell complex solutions over the course of a long sales cycle, consider implementing it for your solution.

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