The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

The Best Salespeople Don't Just Build Relationships.

They challenge them.

In a world of hesitant, risk-averse, empowered customers, what sales approach consistently wins?

To find out, CEB surveyed over 6,000 sales professionals across geographies and industries. The research in The Challenger Sale revealed that sales professionals fall into one of five profiles:

Challenger Profiles

Each profile can turn in average performance, but only one consistently outperforms in a complex sales environment – the Challenger.

Challengers: What They Do Differently

While most professionals focus on building customer relationships, the best focus on pushing customers' thinking, introducing new solutions to their problems and illuminating problems customers overlook.
Specifically, they:

  • Teach
  • Tailor
  • Take Control While Using Constructive Tension

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Challengers: Who They Target

While most professionals are trying to master solutions selling, the best evaluate which accounts to prioritize and which specific buyers within those accounts to target.
Specifically, they target:

  • Accounts where their needs are still undefined
  • Individual buyers who are skeptical change agents -- called "Mobilizers" -- over friendly "Talkers"

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