Challenging is not always easy, but it's essential for solving problems.
While some perceive nuisance, others see opportunity in challenge. Those who support challenger sales have recognized the the possibilities of the second notion. It's about driving results where others are not venturing; pushing the boundaries.
Challenging for Sales
How has challenging been adopted for sales? Less attention has been paid to the different sales than buyer persona. In The Challenger Sale, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson illustrate the power of one of five sales persona types they have identified: The Challenger.
A challenger is not a traditionalist, but someone who moves beyond the established sales rulebook and shakes things up. The challenger challenges and pushes things forward through assertive and perhaps unconventional methods. It is often considered to contradict solution selling, where the focus is more on problems identified by the customer rather than the seller. It has also been criticized for this; Isn't selling all about building relationships?
If implemented well, challenger sales can lead to results because of its assertive and open nature. Why? Because the challenger:
1) Identifies problems and faces them head-on
The challenger activates the client to problems they may not have been aware of. This requires a thorough understanding of the client’s field of business, which reflects positively on the sales person’s know-how. Taking into account the client’s target group and including all parties in the decision-making process is fundamental here.
The key here is to truly identify problems of the customer and prompt new ways of thinking. A challenger can go about proving that the customer may not, in fact, always be right, all in the best interest of making a sale, while keeping the customer happy.
2) Works together with marketing
It’s a joint effort. Marketing should be educated in the challenger sales model to produce the best possible end result. The sales process and all related sectors must match what is presented to the client in order for the sales to be as effective as possible.
Marketing can assist sales here to continually provide insights. At its best, the challenger works together with aligned sales metrics, CRM technology, and content tailored by marketing to suit the specific needs of the prospect. Always available and up-to-date content also supports the challenger sales process. Removing the gap between marketing and sales is, in any case, a good idea.
3) Discusses prices and involves the client in the process
The challenger is not afraid to discuss prices. Also here the challenger can steer the prospect’s idea of price towards a solution that is realistic and beneficial for both. The challenger assures the client that they will get their money’s worth.
By openly discussing price with the prospect, the salesperson involves the client in the sales process in a way that indicates trust. There is always room to improve communications in business relations. It paves the way for a lucrative collaboration between the two parties; something that is essential for effective sales.
Challenging for the Win
When problems are assertively identified and communicated, the result is often the best one. On the other hand, if everyone is not educated in and up for the challenger sales model, the effects can be less than optimal. Familiarizing yourself with the challenges of challenger sales can be helpful – As with all sales processes, research is key.