The Challenger Sale, developed by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, is a sales technique that challenges the effectiveness of "relationship-centric" sales.
In today’s very competitive market, where software products are becoming more complex, it has become crucial to provide customers with an exceptional buying experience to get the desired output.
Successful buying experiences are the ones that facilitate customers to learn things they didn't know, gain new insights, and find the best solutions to solve their problems.
And that's what The Challenger Sale method is about. In this article, you'll learn four key elements to deliver the best buying experience.
Designing the Best Buying Experience
Designing the buying experience involves mapping the entire process that prospects go through, from finding solutions to their business problems, evaluating alternatives, to ultimately making a purchase decision.
A great buying experience can build customer loyalty, increase satisfaction, and promotes retention of your product after purchase.
One might assume that a great product is the most crucial thing in designing the best buying experience; however, many great products are out there. Therefore, the product itself is insufficient for creating the best buying experience.
The best buying experience includes at least one of the following.
- Fresh and valuable perspective on the market
- Introduction to potential problem-solving solutions
- Ongoing guidance and assistance throughout the buying process
- How to deal with potential risks and objections
- Information about hidden risks and unforeseen costs
The best buying experience isn't just a great product or a compelling sales pitch, or just understanding customers' needs.
Rather, it is when customers learn something new and gain a fresh perspective on the problem.
The Challenger Sale sales technique facilitates this by providing customers with new insights, enabling them to create greater business value in previously unconsidered ways. It helps the sales reps to better understand customers' needs than their customers, propose the best solution, and drive customers' behavior through the buying process.
The Four Key Elements of The Challenger Sale
The purpose of The Challenger Sale is, of course, to sell. Let's delve into four key elements of closing deals while providing the best buying experiences for customers.
1. Lead to Your Unique Strengths
The most important part of The Challenger Sale is to offer novel insights while effectively leveraging your unique strengths. You should be able to convince customers that your product is better at solving their problems compared to other alternatives.
To do this, there are two important things to note.
1) Make sure you can solve customers' problems.
Ultimately, it's all about solving customers' problems. Failing to address their problems, you may end up leading them to buy other competing products.
2) Familiarize yourself with your product's competitive advantage.
You must understand your product's unique advantage compared to other alternatives. Then, you need to persuade customers that your product is better at solving their problems than competitors.
For example, Relate is the best CRM for early-stage B2B startups because Relate is the simplest CRM that streamlines sales processes and customer management.
So, the first key to The Challenger Sale is to answer the question, "Why should your customers use your product over all the available solutions?"
2. Challenge Customers' Assumptions
Challenging customers' assumptions involves reframing customers’ perspective and their day-to-day business operations. This step involves more than just confirming or validating what customers already know.
It is to help customers learn something new or develop a new way of operating their businesses.
This is especially important in SaaS products, as implementing SaaS solutions often require customers to change their workflow and processes. Failing to convince them why they need to change their existing processes, they might perceive that your product isn't addressing their problems.
3. Catalyze Action
Successfully reframing customers’ thinking doesn't guarantee immediate purchase of your product. Customers are always busy and have many important priorities. You need to motivate them to take immediate action to solve their problems.
To do so, you must create a compelling business case, and the most compelling business case often quantifies the cost or risk associated with not solving the problem or the missed opportunity. Data, graphs, tables, or charts can support your business case.
It's important to note that the business case shouldn’t solely focus on how your product is worth the investment. Instead, it should be about why customers must take immediate action to solve their problems. Convincing them to buy your product comes next.
4. Scale Across Customers
It is unrealistic to expect that all sales reps can successfully embed The Challenger Sale method without any organizational support. Here's what you must do to make The Challenger Sale work for your organization.
- Segment your customers based on their needs and behaviors
- Document the needs, problems, and solutions for each customer segment
- Educate sales reps about the competition and the competitive advantages of your product
- Provide scripts to help them persuade their customers
- Assist them in responding to rapidly changing market conditions
All sales reps need organizational support to effectively implement The Challenger Sale.
Applying The Challenger Sale
You can improve your sales pitch and refine your slide decks by using the information provided above.
However, when applying The Challenger Sale technique, it is essential to note that you should first emphasize what problems your customers have and why they need to take action to address the problems.