Sales Methodology Is it something other functions can use every day?

The rage today is for sales people to be a “challenger” vs the “relationship builder.”   There is good reason for this, and perhaps we can use some of that paradigm in other functional areas.

First, let’s explore the difference between the two. The Relationship Builder is more concerned with customer convenience, while the Challenger is focused on creating (and highlighting) customer value.

For the Challenger, the formula is simple: Coach, Customize, Lead.

Challengers coach their prospects and customers.  Put simply, they help them to understand needs and areas of opportunity in a new or different way.  They create value via insight and tabling a thought-provoking perspective on the customer’s business. They talk optimization, profitable growth and ROI.  They are in the client/prospect/individual’s reality.

Challengers customize their message to the individual. Because they see things via the other’s reality, they effectively customize their solution to a specific set of critical concerns and objectives:  They take the time to understand the political landscape and tailor their message accordingly.

Challengers lead the process. They are assertive (not aggressive), and comfortable with tension—willing to push when required and less likely to roll over when pushed back with demands on pricing and terms.  They are big-picture oriented and always bring the individual back to their critical concerns and objectives and how their solution creates unique value.

There is plenty of research that shows how The Challenger sales rep is ranked the highest in sales methodologies.   So what if…we took some of the facets of this sales methodology and utilized them in other functions, like client services.  After all, the best way to get a client is to retain one, correct?

Could we deploy any of these particular tactics in other areas of the organization?

  • Every interaction gives you the opportunity to present the customer with a compelling story about their business first, teach them something new, and then lead to their differentiators. “What I have learned from working with you over the past few years is…”
  • Companies are looking to suppliers to help them identify new opportunities to cut costs, increase revenue, penetrate new markets, and mitigate risk in ways they themselves have not yet recognized. Remember, the single biggest incremental opportunity to drive growth isn’t in the products and services you sell, but in the quality of the insight you deliver as part of your purpose!!
  • A large part of our value is insight—new ideas to help customers either make money or save money in ways they didn’t even know were possible.

In essence, this is just another way for us to display our Value Proposition. Remember what we talked about before: We can do this type of work or just lower our price. Our choice!