The Challenger Sale: Chapter 5, section 2 (part 4 of 4)

Developing a Purposeful Choreography

So if you’re going to build Challenger reps and ask them to teach your customers, for many companies one of the first steps will inevitably have to be a pretty significant review of the materials you provide them with to do that.

So how do you build a Commercial Teaching message? The place to begin is actually at the end with step 6, your solution. You can’t build a compelling story unless you first know what it’s building to. … By helping customers think differently about theircompany, you ultimately want them to think differently about your company.

Once you’ve established clarity around step 6 – Your Solution – your next stop in building a powerful Commercial Teaching conversation is step 2 – the Reframe. You need to identify the core insight, or ah-ha! moment, that will get your customer to say, “Wow, I never thought about it that way before.”

To get there, start with the unique benefits you’ve identified for step 6 and then ask yourself, “Why don’t my customers value those benefits already?” What is it about how they view their world that precludes them from appreciating those benefits as much as we think they either could or should? That’s the view you need to change. And to change it, you’ll need to provide them with an alternate view (the Reframe), and then convince them that that alternate view – were they to pursue it – could either save or make them more money than they realized (step 3). After that, it’s simply a matter of fleshing out the rest of the story to create a logical and compelling path from step 2 to step 6.

Put it all together and you get: “What’s currently costing our customers more money than they realize, that only we can help them fix?” The answer to that question is the heart and soul of your Commercial Teaching pitch.

Building the Insight Generation Machine

Commercial Teaching places significant guardrails around the sales interaction to provide real support for the rep. … First, the customer’s needs are prescoped.… Second, the conversation is prescribed. … Finally, the solution the rep is working toward is predefined. … Of course, this approach still requires great skill than the simple world of transactional selling. But compare it with a world of classic solution selling or “consultive selling” where reps are expected to figure all of this out on their own.

  1. Identify your unique benefits
  2. Develop commercial insight that challenges customers’ thinking
  3. Package commercial insight in compelling messages that “lead to”
  4. Equip reps to challenge customer

Concrete Teaching provides a concrete and very actionable road map for .. getting the two functions of sales and marketing to work together in the first place. … Most companies fail to define an agreed-upon framework for what the two functions should actually do together in the first place.  …consider from the opposite perspective: What shouldn’tthey do together?

Make sure your Teaching Pitch is Bold

As soon as you’re not looking, Relationship Builders will take out their belt sanders and smooth out the edges of your sharp pitch. They’ll soften it until you barely recognize it, pushing it to the SAFE end of the continuum. … Remember, while Relationship Builders seek to reduce or defuse tension, Challengers constructively use tension to their advantage.