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The Challenger Model and Sales Enablement — Better Together

Posted in:  Sales and Marketing Management, Sales Enablement Strategy

By now, you’ve heard of the Challenger Sales Model, an approach that has turned the practice of B2B selling on its head over the past few years. It only makes sense, as organizations have become more and more matrixed and purchase decisions span multiple departments that a more disruptive selling method would need to evolve. Gone are the days when a lunch meeting, a few martinis, and a handshake were enough to close the deal.

Organizations that adopt Challenger selling forego the traditional facts, features, and figures approach and provide potential clients with tailored, thought-out insights about how they can save or make money (or both). They put the client’s needs first, and it works, given the time to flourish.

There’s a great Simon Sinek TED Talk in which he covers this principle in a slightly different way. According to Simon, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

In other words, when it comes to selling, put solving the problem first and the rest will follow.

This was a theme we heard a lot last week at the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit, and it strikes me that a critical component of Challenger selling is a proper sales enablement practice.

We know that a key component of effective Challenger selling is process discipline, and the sales enablement platform enables a big portion of the required discipline. It plays a strong role in finding the right stakeholder in the customer organization, helps engage them with disruptive insight, and equips them to effectively challenge their own organization.

Recently, we partnered with Heinz Marketing to conduct a study comprised of nearly 450 B2B sales and marketing professionals to learn how sales enablement is implemented in their organizations, and the results were telling. The overall theme was that most organizations understand the need for sales enablement, yet few think they’re doing it well. You can read the full State of Sales Enablement study here, or a recap here.

And if you’re already bought-in and want to go deep into the trenches of how to research, source, implement, and maintain a solution, check out our Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement. It’ll set you on the path to better sales enablement with a clear action plan for success.