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The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Conversation #Sales #Tips

by Employee on ‎06-06-2014 02:39 PM (28,429 Views)

“The history of sales has been one of steady progress interrupted by a few real breakthroughs that have changed the whole direction of the pro­fession. These breakthroughs, marked by radical new thinking and dra­matic improvements in sales results, have been rare. . . . Which brings me to The Challenger Sale and the work of the Sales Executive Council. . . . On the face of it, their research has all the initial signs that it may be game-changing. . . . My advice is this: Read it, think about it, implement it. You, and your organization, will be glad you did.”


—Professor Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling


The best salespeople don't just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.


Based on a study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board found that every sales rep falls into one of five distinct profiles, and only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.


Takeaways - inspired by Heinz Marketing’s summary of The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation.


  • 53% of B2B customer loyalty is a product of how you sell, not what you sell.
  • Teach customers about a problem they didn’t even know they had—one that you can solve better than your competitors.
  • Sales success today is much less about getting better at what you already know and much more about creating an ability to tackle what you don’t know.

The Challenger:

  • Defined by the ability to do three things: teach, tailor, and take control.
  • Builds consensus with control, diplomacy, and empathy.
  • Knows their customers’ world better than their customers know it themselves, teaching them what they don’t know but should.
  • Shows the customer something new, and then shows them why it matters.

The Coach:

  • Collaborates with reps to understand what’s holding up a deal, figuring out why and where a deal is running into trouble and then finding innovative ways to move it forward.
  • Teaches reps the importance of clarity of direction over quick closure
  • Research by Neil Rackham has shown that 87% of sales training content is forgotten by reps within 30 days.
  • Principal lever for boosting training stickiness.
  • Be memorable, not agreeable.

Do you agree with The Challenger approach? Share your thoughts below!