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How Technology Has Changed the Buyer's Journey


Hubspot’s 2016 Inbound Sales Day featured Sandler Training’s CEO, Dave Mattson, to explain how the buying process has changed throughout the decades. In the video The New Psychology Behind the Sale,” Mattson explained the power shift between buyers and sales personnel.

“Technology has changed everything for us as sellers,” explained Mattson. “We can no longer show up and throw up all of our product knowledge. The psychology behind the sales process and the buying process has changed.”

This shift from the traditional buying process to the modern buyer’s journey is one that businesses must adopt to remain relevant.

In Mattson’s seminar, he explains how the recent influx of technology has shifted the way consumers make purchases today and how to tackle common obstacles found in today’s buyer’s journey

The Traditional Buying Process

Initially, the buyer’s process allowed the seller to control most of the sales process. In this traditional model, the seller initiated the process, controlled the price, and was the source of all product information.  

The seller would simply contact their prospect, explain to them why they needed a product, and would convince them there would be no better offer. Today, this model no longer stands.

The New Psychology Behind the Sale

In this new tech-driven world, consumers have access to any information they desire. Prospects can compare prices online, research companies to see if their values align, and obtain any product information they need to make a purchase decision.

In fact, most prospects are 70% through their buyer’s journey before even beginning contact with a salesperson. According to Mattson, the new buyer’s journey has four steps any sales professional would recognize. The steps include:

  • Keeping their cards close to themselves
  • Gathering as much as possible—without committing
  • Stringing you along with a compliment or vague response
  • Disappearing

The modern customer does not want to give their salesperson any important information. They will not disclose details of what they are looking for, what their budget is, and how soon they need it because they feel it gives the sales professional leverage over their buying process. This modern prospect also does not want to set any commitments.

Prospects are more than happy to collect free services such as quotes, proposals, and presentations—they will even thank you for it! They might tell you things like, “Thank you so much! I will get back to you soon,” or “I have to go over it with my boss but I will let you know next week,” before disappearing into thin air. This new process allows prospects to have total control of the sales exchange.

Create Your Own Process

When a sales division does not have its own personalized process implemented, it can easily get sucked into the modern buyer’s sales model. Creating a sales process will help sales personnel compensate for this power shift.

In their process, the sales division should focus on closing first before presenting their product/service, not the other way around.

Flipping this sales model will help weed out clients who are not a good match or are not serious prospects. Without a personalized sales process, sales personnel are forced to follow the modern buyer’s process.

Have a “Cookbook”

Mattson describes a “cookbook” as a daily process or checklist one must follow every day to be successful. Having the sales division create a cookbook helps them map out the steps they need to take to become profitable and flourish as a team.

Effective cookbooks allow teams to delegate tasks and are revisable as necessary.


Roleplaying with your team is an essential part of achieving success. Role-playing allows your sales team to step outside of themselves and observe what others hear, say, and think when observing their typical sales strategy.

Mattson describes the steps to roleplaying as:

  1. Exemplifying the correct process as a leader
  2. After exemplifying the correct process, asking for feedback
  3. Have them model your practice to you

Mattson says, “As a manager, you show them the right way to do it.”

When roleplaying with your sales team, show them the correct way to approach clients and have them give feedback on your presentation; allowing them to modify your exemplified process lets sales personnel take ownership of your sales strategy and apply it to their prospects.

Once the process is complete, have them model your pitch back to you to reinforce the strategy.

Have you noticed changes in the way buyers approach your business? Let us know in the Comments below.


To learn more about how the inbound sales process works,  enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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