Oh, yes, just like everybody else, I thought that the “relationship builder” is the most effective sales person… However, remembering the most successful sales reps I met over the years, I must admit they were challengers. They were educators.
They invented simple categorizations of the customers’ needs that explained why the product was needed. They succeeded not because of one lucky large deal, but because of many average-size deals they were able to generate on a regular basis. Their methodology has later been taught to the rest of the reps…
(Great 1-hour book presentation).
Quick points from “The Challenger Sale” web site:
Challengers: What They Do Differently
While most reps focus on building customer relationships, the best focus on pushing customers’ thinking, introducing new solutions to their problems and illuminating problems customers overlook.
- Take Control
Challengers: Who They Target
While most reps 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”
One of the most thought-provoking ideas in the book: in some cases, the presentation of the company’s rep feels to the prospect as a wasted time, but in other cases, the prospect would be willing to pay for that presentation. Presentation needs to open the prospect’s eyes on the aspects of his/her problems that were not clear before.