The Challenger Sale:

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WHAT´s ABOUT

Research supports the fact that customer decision makers want to be served by the Challenger because of their unique perspective on the customer’s business.

The challenge for the challengers is to teach the customer something new. And connect the insights we teach our customers back to capabilities only we can offer.

Challenger reps aren’t focused on what they are selling, but on what the person they’re speaking to is trying to accomplish. The product is the tool to achieve the goal.

Whatever insight we provide must change their perspective- when that happens is what I call the AHA moment, when they get it

One of the biggest obstacles is how to tailor the sales message to different stakeholders to achieve maximum resonance.The vast majority of sales messaging being used in the market is not contextualized at any level, let alone at each of these levels - customer’s industry, the person’s role, and, finally, to that individual person- for each kind of stakeholder.

WHY IT MATTERS to Sales -

How to do it ?

The author suggest a 6 Step approach ; step 1 layout the challenges, step 2 connect them to a bigger problem / opportunity ( the big strategic WHY )

Step3 -facts and figures , Step 4 - cases and only in Steps 5 & 6 about your differentiation

So that means, we need prepare in advance messaging copy , insights , key challenges of similar companies, and new perspectives that connects those challenges to either a bigger problem or a bigger opportunity .

This flow requires to define a multi-dimensional messaging for each stakeholder and to make actionable you need a system like the SalesFlows.io program

KEY POINT/s

Lesson 1: Sales Reps R Us

  • Dixon and Adamson suggest that there are 5 types of sales reps.

Type 1 - Hard Workers: Hard workers show up early, stay late, and are always willing to go the extra mile. They have their nose to the grindstone, are self-motivated and don’t give up easily.

Type 2 - Relationship Builders: These reps focus on building and nurturing personal and professional customer advocates. A latte and a friendly chat is their bread and butter.

Type 3 are the Lone Wolves: Lone wolves are so self-confident they follow their own instincts and break every one of our rules. They bring in the sales, but not in a way we would be confident to repeat.

Type 4 are Reactive Solvers: These reps are highly reliable and detail focussed. They make sure all promises are kept once the deal is done.

Finally Type 5 – the Challengers: Dixon and Adamson identified Challengers as reps who understand the customer’s business and make them think deeper and differently. Challengers are not afraid to be controversial.

Lesson 2: “I’d like to teach the world to buy…”

Challengers win by actually knowing their customers’ world better than their customers know it themselves...teaching them what they don’t know but should.

Rule #1: Lead to Our Unique Strengths

Commercial teaching must tie directly back to something where we outperform our competitors.

Rule #2: Challenge Customers’ Assumptions

Whatever we teach our customers has to challenge their assumptions and speak directly to their world in ways they haven’t thought of before. Whatever insight we provide must change their perspective

Rule #3: Kick off Action

We’ve got to get them to act. Customers are easily distracted, so our message needs to be so compelling they remain focussed

Lesson 3: The End Solution - HOW TO DO THAT COMPELLING PITCH

Step 1: Tell and Show

Don´t ask ¿What’s keeping you up at night?”. We should tell them what we’re seeing and hearing as the key challenges of similar companies. It will feel to the customer much more like a “get” than a “give”—they get our informed perspective rather than having to educate us with information we should have been able to figure out on our own.

Step 2: Stir the Hornet’s Nest

Having made the customer sit up, and perhaps even nervous, given our insight, make the challenge even bigger by introducing a new perspective that connects those challenges to either a bigger problem or a bigger opportunity than they ever realized they had.

Step 3: The Evidence is Clear

The third step is where we lay out the business case for why the challenges of step 2 are worth our customer’s time and attention. This is the time for the facts and figures

Step 4: Make it Personal by painting a picture of how other companies just like theirs went down a painful path by engaging in behavior that they will immediately recognize as typical of their own company.

Step 5 & Step 6 are about demonstrate you are better than anyone else

Then you have to convince them of the solution. hey .. you are in sales right?

Lesson 4: We are one.

Support and ease of doing business is top of mind above all for the decision maker

It turns out that the path a sales rep needs to take to earn a decision maker’s support, is one via the customer’s team. One of the biggest obstacles is how to tailor the sales message to different stakeholders to achieve maximum resonance.

Dixon and Adamson suggest we should start at the broadest level—the customer’s industry—and work our way down, through the person’s company, the person’s role, and, finally, to that individual person.

Difficult? Yes. But the vast majority of sales messaging being used in the market is not contextualized at any level, let alone at each of these levels for each kind of stakeholder.

Lesson 5: Taking Control of the Sale

One of the prime opportunities for taking control is actually right at the beginning of the sale.

Qualification of a deal is paramount ; Do you have the confidence to say enough is enough?

Taking control means that we know the value of those resources and we don’t bring them to bear willy-nilly on a customer who isn’t serious about the decision. Before they buy our solution, the customer has to buy us and our perspective of the solution.