The Challenger Sale (part 1 of 4)

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

By: Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson of CEB (2011)

[Pigeonhole] A Practical Principal Book

[Premise] B2B Sales have evolved to the point where sales processes are commoditized, so companies need to look to have a different approach. The authors suggest a few type of salesperson styles exist, and that one of those styles – the ‘Challenger’ – will be the most successful.  In addition to the personality and sales type, there is also a prescribed sales method to apply. As the name implies, the sales rep is encouraged to challenge the customer’s assumptions and present their product in a new light.


Introduction (p1-4)

  1. The Evolving Journey of Solution Selling (p5-13)
  2. The Challenger (Part 1): A New Model for High Performance (p14-29)
  3. The Challenger (Part 2): Exporting the Model to the Core (p31-43)
  4. Teaching for Differentiation (Part 1): Why Insight Matters (p44-64)
  5. Teaching for Differentiation (Part 2): How to Build Insight-Led Conversations (p65-100)
  6. Tailoring for Resonance (p101-118)
  7. Taking Control of the Sale (p119-139)
  8. The Manager and the Challenger Selling Model (p140-169)
  9. Implementation Lessons from the Early Adopters (p170-186

Afterword (p187-196)
Acknowledgements (p197-204)
Appendix A: Challenger Coaching Guide (excerpt) (p205-207)
Appendix B: Selling Style Self-Diagnostic (p208-209)
Appendix C: Challenger Hiring Guide: Key Questions to Ask in the Interview (p210-214)
Index: (p215)

[Key Points] – Sales reps should perform “Commercial Teaching” with “Commercial Insights” and choreograph the process to scale.