Download: Challenger Sale Control Customer Conversation eBook (ePub, KINDLE, PDF) + Audio Version

  • File Size: 11088 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (November 10, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 10, 2011
  • Language: English

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The great news about The Challenger Sale is the fact that Dixon and Adamson further the concept of consultative selling. Better still, in my estimation, is that the authors seemed to use some solid data on which to foundation their theories. I like some of their method such as, “Lead to your solution not with your solution, ” and “Differentiate yourself by displaying your customer something new about their industry that they didn't know or provide them with a different view. ” I believe the authors also get it right when they state, “In this world of dramatically changing customer buying behavior and quickly diverging sales talent, your sales approach must evolve or you will be left out. ”

However, they missed an chance to move complex sales to the next level. By intricate sales, I mean to segregate commodity sales from the intangible products and services that want trust. Plus by the next level, I am talking about a salesperson who authentically gets the customer’s best interest at heart and not just their own.

The particular subtitle of this book is “Taking control of the customer conversation. ” As though to inoculate themselves from criticism, the authors state that they know some people will understand this statement as being “arrogant” while stating that it isn't. They also communicate about “educating the customer” and recognize that the same interpretation may be made about that point as well. Indeed, this readers believes that the attitude of a salesperson who takes it upon by themselves to control the dialogue and educate the customer/client is absolutely being conceited. The authors appear to give short shrift to the human capacity to sense when they are being talked down to or manipulated. While you may be able to fool some of the people some of the time, most customers will sense when they are being altered.

Many consumers today are, for the most part, immune or at least becoming immune to advertising and sales tactics that are focused on attaining the salesperson’s goals. They may be skeptical. They listen to their friends and affiliates and rely on organic research results (not paid results) when researching a selection. Merchandise, solution and consultative promoting (which includes Challenger Sales) are all still centered on gaining the salesperson’s goal of selling a product. Yet, between all the self-serving tactics and training, this book does provide some nuggets of insight for the alert reader.

The particular authors have defined two types of sales people, core performers and high performers as well as several major “salesperson profiles”: The particular Hard Worker, The Opposition, The Relationship Builder, The particular Lone Wolf and The particular Reactive Problem Solver. Within their research, the authors found the Challenger was the person who carried on to make sales quotas even through tough times like the 2008 economic downturn. “The Challengers are the debaters on the team” and have a heavy understanding of the customer’s industry. [Debate: to engage in argument by talking about opposing views. ] They took control of the conversation, challenged the customer’s thinking and differentiated themselves by educated the customer on things about their industry/customers which were new to the customer. The particular Hard Workers are just that, they turn up earlier, stay late and are persistent. The Relationship Contractor is an unfortunate user profile title. A better user profile title would be “The Appeaser. ” In this profile, the salesperson believes the relationship is the most crucial aspect of their job and may do nothing to jeopardize that customer partnership. They appease the customer at any cost – including the cost of losing a sale. The Lone Hair is the prima donna of the salesforce. These people do things their way, AND, they are high performers despite being difficult if not impossible to manage. The Reactive Problem Solver is focused like a laser on solving the customer’s problem. They will sacrifice spending time generating new sales as soon as an existing customer calls with an issue or new problem.

According to the data presented by the authors, The Challengers are definitely the best salespeople in conditions of results with 39% of that profile in the “High Performer” category. The particular Lone Wolf (25%), Tough Worker (17%), Problem Solver (12%) and Relationship Constructors (7%) profiles follow so as.

A clearer and, i believe, better model for the “new” consumer driven market is that outlined by Tanker Lencione in his book Getting Naked and Charles Green in his book, Trust Based Selling. Within both of those publications, the authors make it clear that the proper mindset for sales is to authentically have the customer’s best interest at center, not just the salesperson’s best interest. Any model that incites a mindset or intention designed to sell instead than to allow consumer buy will eventually be a roadblock to success.

In my opinion, a closer reading of the data and parsing of the survey results will show that the so called Challenger Salesperson is someone who first builds a trusting relationship by displaying that they have the customer’s best interest at heart, not just their own, and then help their customer better serve the ending customers. They earn the right to discuss insights rather than simply build credibility from a position authority. They discuss rather than sell, tell or educate. They listen closely more rather than discussion. They recognize that by addressing a specific company with a specific set of companies services that they are already suspected of having a self-serving and highly biased point of view. Anything they say is suspect similar to the way that paid results in a Google search are suspect. They work hard to gain trust to counteract the natural skepticism.

When we take the author’s research and survey results to the logical summary and combine that with how people are skeptical of large companies and “vested interests, ” we would blowing wind up with the best salespeople being independent experts and manufacturer’s representatives instead than our very own direct sales employees. Our products or services would be employed only by the customers who would truly be best dished up by with them as determined by someone who had nothing to gain by selling one manufacturer or consulting service over another. That is, presumably, how large complex ERP systems are sold – self-employed consultants and the customer review the best complex software offerings, determine the most suitable fit and the selection is made by the customer with only “arm’s length” influence by the software vendor. We might be forced to recognize that the “new customer” (i. e. the consulting firm) is as knowledgeable as or perhaps even more knowledgeable than we are. We would definitely change our approach to be more based on trust and competency.

Words are important and will establish a attitude in those who are listening. The authors have chosen words that will create aggression rather than assertiveness, being didactic instead than sharing information and focusing on the salesperson rather than on the customer. It is regrettable considering that the authors are exactly correct that “In this world of dramatically transforming customer buying behavior and rapidly diverging sales talent, your sales approach must evolve or else you will be left behind. ” Sadly, their prescription will lead to more of the same salesperson focused tactics. Ironically, if you wish to sell more you have to prevent promoting. Instead, build trust, demonstrate competence, be dependable and always authentically have your customers best interest at center, not just your own., A single of the most interesting books I've read on sales. I'm not sure this approach wors for all those - and in truth the book claims it still might not - but the Challenger approach is certainly a different approach to the consumer than the same old Solution Provider method. I believe that you can recognize that this method has been taken by many companies we experience daily.

A lot of food for thought... packed with insights., As a value expert, advisor, and creator of  7 Strategies of Supplying Procurement: A Guide to Decoding Procurement for Smarter B2B Marketing and Negotiating   I thought this book had many excellent points, but made me looking for actionable ideas at times. First, the good components:

The research that is the basis of the book seems well done and offers some interesting information. As someone who has worked in procurement, the idea of relationship promoting has always been suspect to me. Of course relationships make a difference, but B2B buyers are looking for so much more from suppliers. Vendors who can offer real information to help customer's run their business better, save money, or grow is what buyers want. The research from the book seems directly on, and confirms this. A sales professional who can challenge the customer and provide these information is definitely a valuable resource, even to professional buyers.

Today areas I found lacking:
I thought the book could go farther in provide more specifics about how to actually implement some of the research findings and ideas. Things like quantifying value for customers, dealing with professional buyers, and adding the learnings into the sales process would be nice to deal with in future editions.

Overall, We would say it's a nice advance, great confirmation, and well worth reading. I still offered it 5 stars for the research., So agonizing to see. The book is probably a 2 webpage PDF and it is stretched on to go on forever rambling about something. Study a blog post about it and you will be good to go., If you are in sales, you simply need this in your life. I get more appointments and near more business for that reason method, and I feel more confident understanding my own methods as a opposition. Must read for any sales professional., Fantastic book for a natural born disruptor who needed guidance on how to structure disruption as a sales opportunity. I moved into a business development role last 12 months, and struggled for a while to find the right method and materials to articulate how I view business challenges and why that view can transform my clients. The particular Challenger Sale has been extraordinarly helpful., My four favorite business books are "Crossing the Chasm", "The Innovator's Dilemma", "Good to Great" and "The Tipping Point". This book rates up there with them.

It recognizes that professionals:
1. Carry out not want their time wasted - they want valuable and meaningful understanding.
2 . not Consensus purchasing does NOT imply that certain sells at the top. It means that you must sell to all those who have influence as if they're your only buyer.

When I read the book, I sensed as if I have already been doing 1/3 of my job well, 1/3 needed enhancement, and I'm absolutely dreadful at the final 1/4. So, it's the perfect book for the sales professional who wants to understand what's required to continually outperform ones' peers., Really like love love the way this book forces you to consider the sale. Fantastic material for anybody looking to go to the next level!

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Challenger Sale Control Customer Conversation
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