Why Challengers Produce More

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There’s a misconception in sales that the “relationship-builder” is king. However, there’s sales research that shows that it’s actually the challenger style of selling that consistently produces more than all types of sales professionals. That’s because challengers know they are experts and aren’t afraid to call people on their fluff (challenger). They not only welcome crucial conversations, but actually welcome them because they are true students of their craft.

The book “The Challenger Sale” performed the largest sales study on this topic interviewing over 6,000 salespeople across multiple industries. Here are the distinct traits that challengers have that separates them from the other groups of producers.

Six Traits of the Challenger:

  1. Offers a unique perspective
  2. Has strong two-way communication skills
  3. Knows the customer’s value drivers
  4. Can identify economic drivers of the customer’s business
  5. Is comfortable discussing money
  6. Can apply pressure to the customer when needed

Three-T’s of the Challenger:

  1. Teaches customers something new and valuable about their business or market
  2. Tailors their sales pitch to resonate with the decision-makers hot-button issues
  3. Takes control of the discussions around pricing and challenges the way the customer thinks centered around the problem.

Other Sales Profiles:

  • The Hard Worker: Is a true grinder and isn’t afraid to make the 100-calls to chase business. See sales as a numbers game but isn’t positioned as the expert
  • The Lone Wolf: Goes at the sales game alone. Isn’t a go-giver but rather a go-taker where they are out for themselves. Very much transactional and a nightmare to manage.
  • The Problem Solver: When problems arise, they are called. Reactive to the situation, detail-oriented, and reliable. Order-takers not deal-makers.
  • The Relationship Builder: Creates relationships by being a “yes” person. Go along to get along. Classic consultative rep who builds referrals based on being liked. 

Summary: The relationship builder wins, but not as much as we have been scripted to believe. We believe in combining the challenger with the relationship builder based on what the situation calls for.

  • 40% of high sales performers primarily used a challenger style
  • High performers are more than 2X likely to use a challenger approach
  • More than 50% of all star performers fit the challenger profile
  • Only 7% of top performers took a relationship builder approach (lowest profile)

We empower our trainees to challenge their prospect clients or current clients in a way that makes them think much differently about the process of who they use or why they are making the decision they are making. Moving forward will you challenge people (when needed) or just go along to get along? Remember, the challenger seller wins more often than any other category of salespeople

Why Challenge?

The challenger knows they are the expert. They have the confidence to speak up on issues and to “challenge” the other person’s thoughts when needed. They will call people on their BS (excuse) – Have crucial conversations. The challenger doesn’t get caught “in the friend zone” of deals – Sales Flirting. They will ASK for the business. All of which increases probability of sales.