What is the Challenger Sales Model?
The Challenger Sales Model is a methodology used for selling that focuses on training high-performing sales reps to be assertive in sales meetings. Sales reps are encouraged to use their skills and expertise to take control of conversations and guide their prospects toward the decision to purchase their product.
The challenger sales model is based on a book by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon titled The Challenger Sale.
Types of Sales Reps According to The Challenger Sale
There are five types of sales reps outlined in The Challenger Sale. While the challenger sales model focuses on training and developing “challenger” sales reps, every company will include team members that fall into each category.
- The Challenger. These sales reps have done their research and know their prospect’s business inside and out. They’re able to problem solve, ask difficult questions, and appropriately push boundaries and comfort levels to get prospects to think outside the box and see the value in the product being offered.
- The Hard Worker. These sales reps are very self motivated and always try to achieve their goals. However, they’re more focused on their own success than the needs of the customer.
- The Lone Wolf. As the name suggests, these sales reps work well on their own, and can be difficult to manage within a team.
- The Relationship Builder. When people think of a sales rep, they often think of someone focused on building a relationship with their prospect above all else. These sales reps are personable and go above and beyond to make connections.
- The Problem Solver. Problem solvers are extremely detail-oriented, and will go above and beyond to ensure their prospect’s issues are dealt with.
What Makes a “Challenger” Sales Rep?
Sales reps that fall into the “challenger” category are top performers. They consistently close sales and generate large amounts of revenue for their team. These sales reps have the following skills:
- Experience. Top performing sales reps aren’t new to sales. They have years of experience and have completed various training courses to help build on and complement their skills.
- Research. These sales reps know how to effectively conduct research. Before even meeting with a prospect, they’re aware of their business and pain points, and know how to help. This information allows them to steer conversations and show they’re knowledgeable and trustworthy.
- Communication. Effective communication is key. The challenger sales model relies on sales reps to control conversations and convince potential customers to buy their product. Sales reps must be well-spoken, respectful, and know when it’s appropriate to push boundaries.
- Critical Thinking. “Challenger” sales reps analyze and evaluate information about prospects and their business needs to put together sales pitches. They’re constantly making observations and thinking on their feet to solve issues and show how their product can alleviate pain points.
- Constant Learning. Top performing sales reps never stop learning. They always adapt, use new techniques, and stay on top of industry trends and best practices.
Benefits of the Challenger Sales Model
Not every sales rep can immediately embody and implement the challenger sales methodology, but they can all learn different tactics to utilize. It’s important to do so because the challenger sales model has many benefits:
- It gets prospects to think outside the box (and outside of their comfort zone) to see how exactly your product would benefit them.
- Gives sales reps a deeper, more meaningful understanding of what prospects are looking for.
- Allows top performing sales reps to thrive (and generate more revenue).
- Uses storytelling as a tool to make sales, so sales reps can focus on “showing” rather than “telling.”