Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must to read for B2B complex sales, 15 April 2012
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This review is from: The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation (Hardcover)
Three elements I like to share after reading this book:

Positive element:

B2B sales, complex sales, product selling versus solutions selling, and insights based selling...winning business even when there is a down market....and hard study data providing some very interesting insights on how you could improve your sales overall (study data: n=700 first, later n=6000).

Myself I liked reading on the 5 types of sales reps (the hard worker, the challenger, the relationship builder, the lone wolf and the reactive problem solver) and on how successful each type of sales rep actually is. It is a nice to know that the challenger sales rep makes actually 54% of total high performers (at least in a complex sales environment), thus making the challenger profile very likely to succeed in a complex sales environment.

The book illustrates further the 6 attributes that these challengers have in common (44 attributes tested):
- offers the customer unique perspectives
- has strong 2-way communication skills
- knows the individual customer's value drivers
- can identify economic drivers of the customer's business
- is comfortable discussing money
- can pressure the customer.

The book builds also on elements what contribute to customer loyalty -> the purchase experience:
- offers unique valuable perspectives on the market
- helps me navigate alternatives
- provides ongoing advice or consultation
- helps me avoid potential land mines
- educates me on new issues and outcomes
- supplier is easy to buy from
- supplier has widespread support across my organization.

And the book builds on how to provide those insights as sales rep, on how to tailor your message, on how to take control of the sale (and negotiate the sale), on how to manage your sales reps and on how to implement these challenger sale changes in your organization.

The book delivers very nicely on providing hard data, the importance of these data, and changes needed to excel in a complex sales.

Negative element:

A classic problem with sales books is that all claim to give you the most advanced and most unique sale system on the planet. The authors do give a data solid case for their method, still it has to withstand the test of time. On the other hand, the book is complete from A to Z. And the data gives some really nice (and yes perhaps even unexpected) insights on how complex sale could improve.

Interesting element:

The authors here made a great effort not only to give you the data but also to "respectfully" teach the reader how to implement these insights (as obtained from the study). Therefore they actually sell the reader these insights just according to the principles uncovered by the study. The book itself is really a complete "product". I could not find unnecessary chapters or paragraphs for example.

Well written, great editing and excellent structure: combined this makes this book a very nice read on how complex sales could improve - for yourself, for your client, for you as manager or coach and organization.

Really nice done!

Introduction: a surprising look into the future
1. The evolving journey of solution selling
2. The Challenger - Part 1: A new model for high performance
3. The Challenger - Part 2: Exporting the model to the core
4. Teaching for differentiation - Part 1: Why insights matters
5. Teaching for differentiation - Part 2: How to build insight-led conversations
6. Tailoring for resonance
7. Taking control of the sale
8. The manager and the Challenger selling model
9. Implementation lessons from the early adopters
Afterword: Challenging beyond sales
Appendix A: Challenger coaching guide
Appendix B: Selling style self-diagnostic
Appendix C: Challenger hiring guide: Key questions to ask in the interview
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Location: Belgium

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