What's the secret to sales success? If you're like most business leaders, you'd say it's fundamentally about relationships - and you'd be wrong. The best salespeople don't just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades.
Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors' study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer's specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer's every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.
The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers' expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.
"The most important advance in selling for many years." (Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling)
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The Relentless March of Sales Theory
The audio version is a convenient way to read this book and grab its concepts.
The Challenger Sale builds on the concepts of Solution Selling and Value Based Selling suggesting that the selling environment has changed in the last quarter century. Indeed, rather than simply delivering a vision to the prospect's pain - teach or educate them to give them an ah-ha moment. This flips selling back to selling. "I have what you need and you don't know it."
- Michael J. Ritsema
- This book should be condensed into two or three chapters and then included in a larger book. Not that much content.
- The author mentions probably over 100 times that his firm offers consulting services. This reads more like a sales pitch than a guide to selling.