I finally got around to reading the book, The Challenger Sale. Any book endorsed by Neil Rackham (SPIN Selling & Major Account Sales Strategy) has my attention. It s a great read and many “nuggets” to garner. I love sales research data but I was left with many questions and here are a few in case the authors happen to stop by this page:
1) This book is really a call-to-action for marketing to play a more integral role in crafting insights/messages. The authors say this model is an individual skill but an organizational capability. The authors never discussed the Challengers and how they became Challengers. For example, should we assume they all had great marketing capabilities in the company? If not, then how many years of tenure did they have to develop these ‘challenging’ insight skills (i.e., demographic of the challenger: age, years in industry, etc)?
2) What if your product doesn’t have a “big” differentiator? Many companies are not on the leading edge of Rogers innovation curve. In fact, many companies sell “me too” products or sub-systems; is this model obsolete for them? How can they lead with a ‘disruptive’ idea when their companies only offer minor shifts in doing business?
3) The book emphasizes that Challengers focus on companies who are “agile” and in “flux”. How can anyone really measure that? This seems so subjective and will require the Challenger to lead with “questions” and not ‘constructive tension’? I’m having a chicken v. egg dilemma here
I have other questions but I think these are key concerns that immediately came to mind. The Challenger Sale is a great book and my favorite part was “Tailoring for Resonance”…I’m all about ‘what you say’ and ‘how you say it’ that guides a buyer’s perception.
I highly encourage you to get this book if you're a B2B rep selling a complex sale!