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Series Title - INSIDE THE NUMBERS – Data Insights from the Sandler Research Center

“If you don't know where you are going, any road can take you there.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Some businesses and leaders act like trail leaders. They research their maps and information about an area they plan to explore. They plan their travels well when hiking a path through the wilderness.

In the world of professional selling, trail leaders are those who have invested the time and effort to well identify their client’s ideal experience. They identify all the possible interaction points between buyers and sellers, end-user and vendors. Trail leaders are a minority. Most sellers are not as invested in understanding their client’s experience. They allow their interactions with their clients to wander more randomly, and do less to understand what a client is actually experiencing.

The Sandler Research Center survey “The Client Experience” recently asked respondents about their Client’s Experience. 49% of respondents replied that they were among the trail leaders – those who best understood their typical client’s journey once they engaged with their company. Conversely, 4% of respondents identified as wanderers, with little understanding of the client journey.

According to Jonathan Farrington, director of the survey, “The Client Journey map is the key to knowing what is involved in a customer’s purchasing decisions. The who, what, where, when, why, and how that derived them to select one product over the other.”

During the Client Journey, there will be many Critical Moments. Critical Moments, Farrington points out, are “the points in the client relationship with a client where you have the opportunity to earn their true loyalty by engaging with them.” These points prompt you to focus on the client’s experience, both actual and desired. Such an approach stands in sharp contrast to the transactional relationship, which may be mundane and may take the client for granted.


The challenge for salespeople and marketers is to lead the way, having recognized those Critical Moments ahead of time … and having identified the places where your organization may not be meeting the requirements of the Critical Moment.

Much has been written about the customer experience. But how much action have we taken on what we’ve read? Just how important is it to us to invest the time and resources necessary to truly understand the client journey?

The Sandler Research Center survey reveals that when comparing the trail leaders and the wonderers, those who best understand their client’s journey versus those who least understand their client journey, several important distinctions emerge. Trail leaders are:

  • 6.5x more likely to say that from their client’s perspective, their customers feel satisfied about the customer journey.
  • 5.4x more likely to transform Critical Moments of weakness into Critical Moments of strength.
  • 3.7x more likely to be adept at building on to their Critical Moment strengths.
  • 2.1x more likely to have started to identify, or to have completely identified, their organization’s Critical Moments.
  • 1.5x more likely to identify their weaknesses regarding Critical Moments.

The Sandler Research Center data further demonstrates that properly identifying the client journey affects the client relationship in a positive way.

This is because trail leaders are:

  • 7.1x more likely to regularly monitor the value and objectives of their clients.
  • 2x more likely to rate the trust with their most important clients highly or very highly.
  • 1.9x more likely to be committed to continually earning the right to their most important client’s business.

The benefits of client journey and Critical Moment identification are clearly demonstrated in these results.

So become a trail leader!

Invest the time and resources to thoroughly identify your client’s journey and the Critical Moments that they will encounter along the way. Delve into those critical moments to discover strengths and weaknesses. Find out how those strengths and weaknesses affect customer interactions.

Click here to learn more about the Sandler Research Center and download the results of “The Client Experience.”


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