Sales often seems to be a numbers game. Talk to a huge amount of prospects, be customer-centric, understand customer needs, build great relationships and eventually, a handful will become great customers. That’s the way it is, right? Not anymore.
You, not the customer, hold the answers
Traditional selling is based on great understanding of customers, an understanding which is established through a strong relationship. Build trust, ask enough questions and eventually you’ll understand exactly what they need. The problem with this is the false assumption that your customers know what they need. They’re the expert on their organisation; you’re the expert on the solution to their problem. That’s why your organisation warrants their time and attention. And if you’re not an expert? Move along, they aren’t the right prospect.
Your customers want you to teach them something
Customers now demand more expertise from suppliers in an attempt to navigate increasingly crowded markets. They hate having their time wasted with endless questions, but they love genuine insight. You’ve probably helped lots of organisations like theirs or individuals like them to solve similar problems. What insights have you gathered along the way, and how can you use them to teach your prospects something new?
The problem with this is the false assumption that your customers know what they need.
Commercial teaching is challenging
Not all teaching is created equal. A key component of the Challenger Sales methodology is commercial teaching. To do this, your insight needs to re-frame how your customers see their own business, their risks or their opportunities. If you deliver your teaching and customers tell you it’s something they’ve had a hunch about or discussed before, you haven’t done your job.
True commercial teaching is surprising. It raises questions. And most importantly, it generates opportunities for your organisation to help in unique way. Arm your sales people with the right commercial teaching tools and they’ll sell more products or services to more prospects, more often.
Collaborate to innovate
It’s not that we’re slating great customer relationships – not in the least. We believe a great agency-client relationship is a collaborative one. That’s why we’ve shared our knowledge and experience with clients over the years. And they’ve done the same. In fact, it was one of our clients that introduced us to Challenger Sales. They’ve adopted the methodology and we’ve made it our mission to get under its skin (it also fits nicely with our Challenging Thinking proposition).
Challenger Sales is about more than just face-to-face selling – it’s a new way of communicating with your customers using sales and marketing, and it relies on a carefully crafted 6-step process. We’re working with one of our longest-standing clients to implement Challenger Sales across their business over the next year, delivering bespoke workshops and creating sector-based sales tools. It’s been a great experience, and we can’t wait to get stuck in to more applications.