In recent member conversations about beginning or continuing the Challenger journey a common theme continues to present: Where do I begin? Do I teach reps Challenger skills first? Or, try to work with Marketing to find some good insights?
We recommend beginning with at least one good commercial insight created by a cross-functional team. Commercial Teaching is important to get right, but insight should not be an individual creation. For successful scalability it must come from, and lead back to, your organization. The danger of asking reps to Challenge without furnishing them insight is a plethora of value propositions that may or may not lead back to the capabilities your organization currently possesses.
This may not be as hard as it might seem. Most involved in the commercial process recognize the value of disruptive insight and Challenger Selling, but are unsure about the best place to start a commercial transformation. Sales and Marketing are often willing to work more closely, but finding the common threads, the joint and independent responsibilities, and a roadmap to the process can become more complicated quickly.
Recently, we teamed up across our Sales and Marketing research teams to definitively outline a set of steps to create an integrated, disruptive, insight-led commercial organization. We created a roadmap through three phases of adoption and the six most critical areas to get right: Positioning, Demand Generation, Sales Messaging, Talent Management, Sales Enablement, and Change Management. MREB members, see specifics on how Research can support the challenger sale.
Becoming a Challenger organization is not a short endeavor, but when customers value your insight more than anything else, and when they are already 57% of the way through their purchase process before engaging you, the supplier, it is more important than ever that Sales and Marketing are able to speak the same language, work together, and support each other effectively.
MREB Members, check out our thoughts on the role for research in supporting the challenger sale, including a replay of our webinar on creating commercial insights.