Bringing Insight to the Table
In terms of whether it’s critical in terms of sales success today, I think you’ve got to look at the data. When you look at the data you see that a challenger’s not a silver bullet. There are other ways to be a high performing salesperson.
We identified five profiles and there’s a percentage of those other four profiles that are successful when it comes to high performance in sales. It’s not a silver bullet; it’s not a hundred percent. If fact, we found the challengers on the spectrum of average sales are about 39% of high performers and with complex sales are 54% of high performers so it’s a big number and if you were a betting person you’d put your money on the challenger to be more likely to be a high performer, but again, there are other ways to be successful in sales.
So is it critical? We think that thinking about your posture moving forward with the customer, especially as customers are learning on their own, you’ve got to be able to bring insight to the table because we know when we go out and ask customers what they’re looking for from a supplier that they do business with, the number one thing they’re looking for is insight from the salespeople they interact with.
They don’t want that sort of “show up and throw up”, pardon the expression, approach to sales. They don’t want salespeople to show up and talk about their companies and their mission and values and the features and benefits of their products and solutions, nor do they want them to show up and ask open-ended questions; What’s keeping you up at night? What are your objectives? What’s going to get you fired or promoted this year?
In a world where customers learn on their own, that kind of delivery, that kind of conversation delivers little to no value to the customer. In today’s world, what customers really want, in a world where they learn on their own, what they really want to know is the thing that they missed.
They want that insight they overlooked, that thing that’s around the corner that they don’t see right now. They rely on salespeople to be their window into the outside world. Rather than asking the customer what’s keeping you up at night, what we should be thinking about as salespeople is telling the customer what should be keeping you up at night. That’s the service we provide to today’s information powered customer.
So do you have to become a challenger? Maybe, maybe not, but you certainly have to be prepared to sell to customers who are out there learning on their own. In a world where they learn on their own, we know statistically that the customers want insight more than anything else from the suppliers that they do business with.