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How ROI Selling Fits the Challenger Sale Like a Glove

Posted by Darrin Fleming on Jan 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM
Darrin Fleming

roi selling challenger sale

The ChallengerTM Sale methodology provides an overall framework for complex sales, providing not only a definition of a Challenger but a complete approach to address each step of the sales cycle.

ROI selling tools fit smoothly into the Challenger Sale, providing information a Challenger can use in each step of the process. This aids in discovery, information acquisition, tailoring selling points, and showing value over price. 

For example:

  • Assessment tools glean information from potential buyers before the sales rep ever meets them.
  • Value calculators help a Challenger push back on price discussions.
  • TCO tools are invaluable during those moments when the buyer presents an alternate solution.
  • ROI tools complete the sale by encouraging widespread support across the organization.

Defining Characteristics of a Challenger 

Challengers are defined by their ability to do three things well: 

  1. Teach
  2. Tailor
  3. Take control

Challengers teach buyers by providing new and valuable insights into their market. The Challenger then tailors the sales pitch to fit an individual buyer’s needs, hitting on each problem area with a message designed to show how well the solution will fit.

Finally, Challengers take control of the conversation to guide it away from price and refine the buyer’s original definition of the problem to further build the business case for the Challenger’s solution. 

Challengers have a deep understanding of the customer’s business and use that knowledge to push the customer’s thinking and to teach them something about how the customer’s company can compete more effectively. Challengers teach customers what the customers don’t even realize they don’t know, but should. 

Where ROI Selling Tools Fit into the Challenger Process

The biggest “challenge” for today’s sellers is the way the buyer’s discovery process has changed. Buyers no longer take the time to sit and help a sales rep discover their company’s needs. That happens long before the first contact with you and your company.

Buyers have already attempted to frame the problem, performed an Internet search, and placed you and one or two others on a shortlist of potential solution sellers. You have minimal time to get up to speed; you will be jumping into the process armed with no information unless you have a way of learning about the customer beforehand.

Assessment tools begin the information acquisition process. The tool, perched on your website, in your social media, or other easily accessible online site, pulls in the data your sales reps need to expand the definition of a specific customer’s problem.

A value calculator also gathers data for your sales rep to use for building a targeted approach to the first contact between your company and a customer. Both the assessment tool and the value calculator can be considered insight-generation machines. 

At the point in the sales cycle when the customer begins to talk about alternatives to your solution and brings up a competitor’s product, placing a TCO tool in the sales reps' hands can show a favorable comparison of your solution to an alternative through the language spoken by the CFO and finance team: net present value.

When the end of the sales cycle is in sight, an ROI tool provides the finishing touch to the business case you have been helping the customer build for your solution. Once your buyer sees that your solution outstrips the competitor in total cost of ownership, the sales rep need only show a favorable ROI and payback period. 

Challengers Sell on Value 

A Challenger intelligently pushes a potential buyer to define the problem and put your company on the list of those the buyer is willing to talk to. Once inside, the Challenger continues to push the buyer’s assumptions about value as opposed to price. 

At each point in the process, you can use an ROI selling tool to build and present a business case that resonates with the buyer’s entire purchasing team, from the initial contact to the financial team.

Through teaching and tailoring, and with the right value selling tools, the Challenger can take control of the conversation and win the sale.

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Topics: B2B Selling, ROI Tools