An Inside Look at SNAP Selling: The Four Basics (+Checklist)
While SNAP’s acronym is a bit of a stretch, it’s a solid methodology. It’s designed to help overwhelmed buyers navigate a complex B2B landscape with too many options, distractions, and conflicting ideas.
Instead, it’s on sellers to serve up the right information–at the right time–so buyers can make an informed decision they feel good about.
In this article, we’ll break down the four basics of SNAP, the three critical decisions, and from there, share some tips for making the methodology work for your sales team.
So, What, Exactly, is SNAP Selling?
SNAP selling is a methodology developed by sales guru, Jill Konrath and the basis of her best-selling book, ‘SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business With Today’s Frazzled Customers’.
Essentially, it’s a strategy that helps sellers win deals in today’s modern sales landscape.
Per Konrath, SNAP is an antidote to the “too much information problem,” where buyers have too many resources and too little time to interpret or make sense of it all.
SNAP breaks into two main parts, the four basics and the three decisions. Here’s a bit more about each of those core components:
The four basics of SNAP
The four basics of SNAP are the source of its clunky acronym, with each “letter” representing a core principle that guides the sales process.
The four basics of SNAP are the source of its clunky acronym, and break down as follows:
1. Keep It Simple
Make things clear & transparent for buyers. A key theme throughout Konrath’s book is that you’re dealing with “frazzled customers” who are juggling too many priorities. Konrath says that showing buyers everything that your solution can do can overwhelm them — even if they truly stand to benefit from what you’re selling.
Instead of trying to do too much at once, you’ll want to feed buyers the right answers at the right time — and avoid giving more than they asked for.
- Aim for fewer higher-quality, hyper-personalized meetings
- Propose fewer options to simplify the decision-making process
- Keep presentations/content short and to-the-point
- Set an agenda for each meeting
- End meetings by going over next steps–ie: confirming the next appointment, explaining when/why you’ll follow-up
- Map out each touchpoint in the sales process
2. Be iNvaluable
Stand out by positioning yourself as a go-to expert. In SNAP Selling, the salesperson must embody the role of “trusted partner.” So here, the goal is connecting the value of your solution to the problem the buyer wants to solve but doesn’t have the time or mental bandwidth to tackle on their own.
- Think about what can you do to add value to every buyer interaction
- Avoid debating with buyers or using overt persuasion tactics
- Instead, engage buyers on “equal footing” – you’re aiming for an intelligent conversation between peers
- Present data-driven, well-researched insights/solutions – you want to come across as confident and prepared
3. Always Align
Align your business goals with buyers’ needs, priorities, and beliefs. You’ll need to develop a clear understanding of what matters to buyers and keep their goals front and center throughout the sales cycle. Ultimately, it’s not worth bringing up goals they’re not focused on right now — even if you think they need to shift their priorities.
- Align with your audience
- Understand their needs/concerns
- Identify organization-wide goals and the goals of individual decision-makers
- Align your solution with goals/pain points/concerns
4. Raise Priorities
Keep important decisions top of mind. Frazzled customers are typically juggling multiple priorities at any given moment. As such, you’ll want to make sure you align your products/services/messaging around the priorities that matter most.
- Create a quantified gap between the status quo and the ideal future state
- Leverage trigger events (acquisitions, IPOs, a global pandemic, etc.) to shift prospect priorities
- Focus on presenting a vision of a better future
- Emphasize business drivers and metrics in your presentations
We’ve put together a SNAP selling checklist to help reps keep “the basics” top of mind.
The three decisions
The three decisions represent this understanding that there are three unique stages–or decisions–that need to happen before a buyer decides whether to buy–or not.
Konrath asserts that buyers actually work through the following three decisions before making the final call:
- Allowing access. The first decision the buyer makes is whether or not they should let you in–or hear what you have to say.
- Moving away from the status quo. Whether they realize it or not, people tend to lean into the status quo. At a certain point, the prospect needs to decide if they’re willing to change – whether that means switching vendors, embracing something new, or updating a legacy solution. If you’re going to close the deal, you’ll need to convince prospects that making a change is worth the effort and expense.
- Changing resources. The last decision the prospect makes before committing to a vendor is making sure they choose the right solution. At this stage, your goal is convincing the buyer that your solution is the best solution. With that in mind, you’ll need to provide tangible evidence that you’re prepared to solve their problems and help them achieve the desired outcome.
SNAP Selling: Key Terms
Konrath introduces several terms in her SNAP Selling book.
While this isn’t a comprehensive glossary, the following terms come up on repeat and play a central role in helping sellers understand the methodology:
Frazzled Customer Syndrome
Frazzled customer syndrome is a “condition” among modern buyers where they’re impatient, distracted, demanding, and super busy.
SNAP Factors are a series of four questions that “frazzled” buyers will be asking themselves about your solution.
- Is the solution simple—and will it require significant time/effort/resources to implement?
- Does this company/solution/sales rep provide value?
- Does the solution align our goals/challenges/pain points?
- Is solving this problem a priority or can it wait?
Konrath defines the Buyer’s Matrix as the “core foundation” for your sales strategy. It’s designed to help sellers get inside the heads of decision-makers so they can better address their needs and achieve their goals. Like the Sandler Selling System, the goal is to match buyers with the ideal solution. It’s important to note, however, that Sandler breaks the sales process into a sequence of seven steps, while SNAP goes broader – you’re kind of on your own when it comes to figuring out timing or what kinds of questions to ask.
The Go Zone refers to the space where SNAP Factors have been addressed and the buyer has responded to your outreach efforts.
The D-Zone represents the space where sales outreach/communications are ignored or deleted.
Tips for successful SNAP selling
Here are a few ways you can successfully apply SNAP selling within your existing sales strategy:
Tap into the “frazzled customer” mentality
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the “frazzled customer” is the focus of the SNAP methodology.
As such the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you understand what buyers are experiencing. Now, again, B2B decision-makers are busy people. They’re always looking for ways to do more in less time — which contributes to both productivity gains and total burnout.
According to Konrath, frazzled customers share the following characteristics:
- Anxious. Buyers want to immediately understand whether your solution is worth their time. That means, upfront, you’ll want to be clear about who you serve, what you do, and how you can help. Don’t make people book a call or even download a bunch of whitepapers to figure out if your solution is a fit.
- Wary of complexity. People tend to avoid anything they perceive to be overly complex, time-consuming, or risky. Sellers can combat this by helping buyers understand the implementation process, what they stand to gain, and the risks/missed opportunities of not taking action.
- Distracted. Prospects are being pulled in a million directions. They’re dealing with demands from colleagues, clients, and their day-to-day work—and on top of that, fielding offers from competing sellers.
- Demanding. Finally, these buyers have high expectations. People don’t want to waste their time dealing with sellers who can’t offer unique, personalized solutions and expertise beyond what a basic Google search might turn up.
Bottom line: prospects want to work with smart reps that will serve up out-of-the-box ideas, relevant insights, and most importantly, Information about how to achieve critical business objectives.
With that in mind, your approach should focus on helping frazzled customers overcome these “barriers” by addressing them head-on in your messaging. For more on breaking down barriers, check out our guides to Triangle Sales and the SPICED methodology–both of which focus on closing deals by tapping into the customer’s mindset.
Dig into Your Buyer Personas
While frazzled customers might share some common traits, they’re not experiencing the same problems or challenges.
You’ll want to analyze your most “common” customer types, then create a profile of each decision-maker within those accounts—which essentially acts as a template you can use to guide each conversation.
That way, you can come up with relevant discovery questions for each decision-maker/customer type and develop content, educational materials, and solutions to common problems.
Now, it’s also important to understand that every customer is unique.
The persona templates are more of a shortcut to personalization—aimed at helping you serve up answers/solutions on the fly — and move deals through the pipeline faster.
Use the Buyer’s Matrix
According to Benchmark International, 87% of high-growth companies use a value-based sales approach—which focuses on showing buyers the direct benefits of using their product or service.
Accenture research found that roughly 75% of consumers find very-detailed (or “living”) customer profiles appealing—if brands can use them to create valuable experiences.
And—per SmarterHQ, 72% of customers say they only engage with messaging that speaks to their individual interests. But that report also revealed that 86% are concerned about how brands use their data.
The Buyer’s Matrix is a low-tech, but effective tool for personalizing the sales process—without crossing a line.
As mentioned, the Buyer’s Matrix is a tool that helps you better understand the customer. That, in turn, makes it easier to personalize your message based on what the individual considers “valuable.”
The matrix essentially looks like a worksheet or a self-evaluation (here’s the Buyer’s Matrix featured in Jill Konrath’s book as an example).
You can design a Buyer’s Matrix that better aligns with your sales process and using Weflow’s Notes function. But, you’ll want to include a section for each of the following variables:
- Position. Who is the buyer/decision-maker and how do they fit into the bigger picture?
- Role & responsibilities. What is this person’s job? What do they manage?
- Business objectives & KPIs. What does the buyer hope to achieve
- External challenges. What external forces/industry trends might make it harder to achieve specific business goals?
- Strategies & initiatives. What strategies/initiatives need to be in place to help the buyer achieve their goals?
- Internal issues. What internal barriers might prevent buyer/organization from achieving their goals (think—data silos or a lack of executive sponsorship).
- Primary interfaces. Who does this person interact with? Think—superiors, peers, subordinates, clients, external partners, suppliers, etc.
- Status quo. What solution/process is the buyer currently using?
- Change drivers. What would it take for this person to make a change?
- Change inhibitors. Why might this person stick with the status quo—even if they know it’s not working?
Ultimately, this worksheet allows sellers to really put themselves in the shoes of each decision-maker associated with each persona.
The more time you spend filling out the matrix, the easier it will be to understand the unique pressures they face on the job—and during the buying process.
As a result, sellers can align their strategies and messaging around critical business objectives—and individual needs and challenges.
To uncover these answers, you might incorporate the MEDDIC framework into the SNAP process by attaching a template from Weflow to a specific Salesforce record.
SNAP Selling is best used in situations where you need to connect with busy prospects on their level and make it easier for them to buy.
The methodology helps sellers understand their prospects and the sales landscape so that they can directly address needs and pain points — and ideally, exceed expectations.
It also requires reps to become experts in the nuances and trends shaping their target market – and human behavior. So, as you might imagine, it’s not exactly something reps can pick up in a day.
Use Weflow’s powerful notepad tool to create SNAP Selling templates to help your reps become confident advisors. Once you’re signed up, head to the “Notes” section and follow the step-by-step guide to get started.