You’re delivering this steady flow of insight-driven content, building the audience that you’re interested in attracting, and creating a reputation around your company as the go-to source for what you do. You’ve implemented the three key building blocks of marketing. But are your sales reps taking the right approach once they are in contact with the C Suite?

Sales reps with a powerful teaching message take control of the sales process and create new opportunities. Here is what you need to know to help your reps become Challenger Reps.

Pillars of the Challenger Rep

Challenger reps do three key things differently than traditional sales reps. First off, Challenger reps come to the table with unique perspectives on problems that the prospective client is facing. They TEACH their prospective clients by offering key insight-driven perspectives and solutions. They TAILOR their specific approach in order to make sure the unique insights they’re offering tie in closely with the unique needs of the prospective client. And finally, they TAKE CONTROL of the conversation and use the credibility they’ve built throughout that conversation to drive the entire sales process.

Core Characteristics of the Challenger Rep

Challenger reps spend 1/3 of their time making their own marketing materials, and they intuitively know how to drive the sales process. But the core characteristics of the Challenger rep can be taught. Here are the key areas where Challenger reps really set themselves apart from a traditional rep.

They offer unique perspectives.

Challenger reps come to the table with unique key-insight driven perspectives. But they also really think about who they are speaking with and how they can make what they are offering specific to that prospective client. They have a powerful teaching message that is unique.

They have strong two-way communication skills.

Challenger reps don’t just teach, they are good at having a two-way conversation, listening to the prospective client’s take, and determining if what they’re saying even resonates with the client. It allows their sales approach to be more dynamic and closely matched to the client’s needs.

They know the client’s value drivers.

This ability to have a two-way conversation is what makes the sales process work, as it enables Challenger reps to understand the specific value drivers for any given client.

They’re willing to talk about money.

Challenger reps are comfortable talking about money because they know they’ve already provided real value to the prospective client during the sales process. It’s much easier to discuss money when you’ve already built credibility and demonstrated value.

They’re willing to pressure the client.

Challenger reps know that once they’ve provided value to the prospective client, that makes it easier to ask for the close and really push the sales process forward. Since they’ve built a foundation of credibility from the moment they walked in the door, it becomes much easier to push for a sale.

Challenger reps can be born, but they can also be made. By building a solid marketing foundation for your sales team, you can help all of your reps learn how to effectively take the Challenger approach.

Learn more by listening to our B2B Word of Mouth Marketing podcast episode, Pillars of the Challenger Rep.

All the best,

Bill Bice

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