I just finished reading The Challenger Sale. (I know, a bit late but finally done.)
I have to go back and find where they decided to name the type of sales person that is most successful these days “challenger”. I suspect there was some good debate on that name. The prospecting approach recommended in the book could probably better be called “insightful” or “insight-based” or something like that.
The prospecting approach recommended in the book is based on the finding that business people today need sales people to come to them with ideas, not come to them seeking a conversation where they unearth what troubles the prospect (i.e. classic solution selling.)
This makes a lot of sense when you consider everyone today is a “frazzled” buyer or as I like to say “runs around like a headless chicken”. Under these circumstances we’re all looking for ideas to our greatest challenges but we’re not willing to put the time in to have a conversation first. We want the solution to just show up (already baked like on one of those cooking shows.)
An issue I see with this point is there’s a ton of content out there now. Sending insightful information is about the same as “content marketing”. The biggest problem content marketers have these days is how many content marketers there are. It’s really hard to get anybody’s attention unless your insights and content are darn good and right on the money for the prospect’s top 3 needs or goals.
So an opportunity for sales people prospecting like a “challenger” is knowing what the top 3 goals are of your prospect. If you can send an insight that solves one of these top 3 goals you just might get a meeting (combine it with a referral and you likely will get a meeting!)
So have any insights gotten you meetings? Anything really repeatable?