The world is going through a serious pandemic and most of us are unsure what the new normal will look like. Startups are downsizing their teams, reducing burn to increase their runaway and cutting down on non-essential expenses given that the road ahead looks extremely bumpy.

A situation like this is every sales representative's nightmare. With companies reluctant to unlock their wallets, a new approach has to be picked up in this fast evolving world to keep the sales going.

These are hard times for sales personnel

Sales representatives will have to adopt 'The Challenger' mentality. Challengers are go-getters. Here are some qualities of challengers:

  1. They are strong in two-way communication skills
  2. They know how and when to discuss money
  3. They openly pursue their goals in a non-aggressive way
  4. They create constructive tension to their advantage across the sales cycle
  5. They close the deal faster with minimum negotiation
Challenger sales representatives give their best when they are armed with the right information about the customer. This enables them to smoothly navigate the conversation and close the sale through delivery of quality insights. Experienced challengers open up new perspectives to a customer's own need.
Sales people need to adopt a challenger attitude

Quality insights can be deduced by amassing enough information on:

  • Potential landmines in customers journey
  • Economic drivers of the customer's business
  • Value drivers of the customer's vision
  • Market perspective and industry reality
  • Alternatives available to customer
Insights help sales representatives create a customised pitch for every lead thereby meeting customers' broad needs in a unique and valuable way. Also, such custom pitches are very hard to replicate by competition. Most sales deals are closed due to their rich insights and customisation.

On the other side, a true salesperson enjoys what he does a lot and is a challenger. He drives action and ensures that his/her customer gets maximum value out of the product or service being pitched. Challengers do not get dejected if the conversation falls through. They are more about building relationships and less about economics (while it still is the essence of any sales pitch).

To know more about how to be a challenger, read The Challenger Sale: Taking control of the customer conversation by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon.