Challenge Your Prospects

Pop Quiz.  Which is the best type sales person:  the hard worker, the problem solver, the challenger, the relationship builder, or the lone wolf?  What CEB (http://www.executiveboard.com/) concluded from analyzing 6,000 sales people, is the Challenger outperforms the rest.  If you are finding that sales are starting to stall and the relationships aren’t turning into revenues, I highly recommend their #1 Amazon best selling sales and marketing book, The Challenger Sale, where they share insight on how Challengers push their customer’s thinking by taking control,  illuminating overlooked solutions and presenting tailored solutions.  When you think about today’s educated buyer who has their list of pain points and is shopping for the best price on a commoditized solution, it starts to make sense how this approach gives a Challenger the leg up.

But changing your selling method isn’t the final step.  CEB research also found that there are additional inhibitors to turning more prospects into customer gold:

Poor sales process – You MUST establish a sales process and have all of your sales and support team adopt and adhere to it. At Oinkodomeo, we recommend that this is supported by regular process re-enforcement training and a simple to use online opportunity (CRM) management system for accountability and visibility. The process and the tool have to be part of the sales reps’ day to day life — transparent and seamless.

Pursuing the wrong deals – All opportunities are not created equal.  Problem solver or relationship sales reps gravitate to prospects with those pre-defined needs checklists – which leads to too many RFPs and low win rates.

Pursuing the wrong customer stakeholders / decision makers – CEB asks us to rethink the old norms of the archetype of a ‘coach’ or ‘advocate’ that will help our sellers win each deal.  CEB says that pursuing that ideal can lead a sales rep down the wrong path.

For more insights, check out the CEB website and blog. http://www.executiveboard.com/blogs/

Next, I am looking forward to their upcoming book, The Effortless Experience, when they take on the customer loyalty debate.