Challenger Sales Model

The Challenger Sales Model -3 Important Facts

Many sales techniques would make you think that customer relationship-building is an essential part of the sales cycle. However, Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, the authors of “The Challenger Sale,” have different beliefs, which they demonstrate through their challenger sales methodology. Let us understand 3 important facts about the Challenger Sales Model

According to the authors, creating relationships is the least successful method for closing deals among top-performing sales agents. Instead, they suggest that salespeople who take charge of a transaction and teach their prospects how to solve their problems are more successful than salespeople who spend a long time developing a relationship with their lead.

What is The Challenger Sales Model?

The Challenger Sales model is a sales methodology that pushes reps to replicate particular high-performing salespeople, or “challengers,” when carrying out their sales operations. This includes educating prospects about their circumstances, personalizing their communication with specific prospects, and taking control of a transaction.

It entails approaching sales in a different way than you might have previously. Instead of apologizing for trying to sell to the customer, you will own the conversation. As a Challenger, you will thoroughly understand your prospect’s business and push back at the appropriate time to compel the client to make a decision.

In the book, Adamson and Dixon discuss four different sorts of sales representatives in addition to Challengers. These categories are not mutually exclusive, despite their distinct characteristics. The authors highlight that you can have all kinds of qualities.

Types of sales reps

  • The Hard Worker –  goes the additional mile, is not easily discouraged, is self-motivated, and values feedback and progress
  • The Relationship Builder –  builds strong consumer advocates, fosters customer loyalty, is generous with their time to assist others, and gets along with everyone
  • The Lone Wolf –  trusts their intuition and is self-assured and autonomous
  • The Problem Solver – is trustworthy, ensuring that all of its customers’ problems are resolved, and is detail-oriented
  • The Challenger – has a unique perspective on the world, understands the customer’s business, enjoys debate, and encourages the customer to step outside of their comfort zone

What is The Challenger Methodology?

In-depth analysis of the Challenger Sales Model

To begin with, the Challenger Sales model is a teaching-based sales approach that relies on sales representatives to educate buyers. This necessitates two things: 

  • an understanding of the underlying problem
  • a solution

It makes little difference whether the buyer is aware of the problem, undervalues it, or has never heard of it before. What important is that the problem exists and that it can be credibly portrayed as harming the buyer.

It’s also required to have significant insight into the situation – something revolutionary, to put it mildly. Ideally, you will relate your insight to a critical buyer industry difficulty. It could be a well-known issue or something they regard as “the cost of doing business.”

When buyers realize how deeply this issue affects them, they will be primed to demand a solution. The Challenger Sales method adopts six distinct phases in its most basic form.

Phases of the method

  • The warmer – your rep communicates the situation to your customer in a way that elicits a nod of agreement from the buyer
  • The reframe – next, they provide an (ideally unexpected) insight into the problem that the customer had not previously considered. The buyer begins to consider the situation in a fresh light
  • Rational drowning – when the representative lists the costs involved with the problem in a way that makes the customer apprehensive
  • Emotional impact – the representative tells a tale about how the problem often affects other firms, such as their buyer’s company, describing circumstances that are both familiar and upsetting
  • A new approach – next, describe the behavioral modifications that the buyer will need to do to solve the problem
  • Solution provided by your company – the representative concludes by providing your solution and discussing how it aids purchasers in adopting that behavior better than any other technique

How to Adopt The Challenger 

The challenger sales model is centered on training prospects rather than connecting with them or developing a relationship with them. This technique empowers sales representatives to take entire control of the sale and entice customers to make purchases. It is all about convincing prospects that the product would answer their problems and that passing up the offer would be foolish. It is just forming a mental image of the product in the customers’ minds.

The warm-up

The first and most important phase in the challenger sales strategy is establishing trust with prospects through communication abilities. Sales reps must highlight the leads they care about and understand their issues. Reps must conduct extensive research on the prospect’s pain areas, issues, and needs.

Reframe the discussion

The next stage for the company is to investigate the causes of the prospect’s challenges and prepare the road for future growth potential. The sales representative delves deeper into the conversation by introducing a new perspective that shifts the prospect’s mindset. 

Finally, the sales professional will inform the prospects that the problem-solving option they had in mind would not work. Instead, they will begin to propose better solutions to the problems.

Manipulate the emotions

Emotions influence every sale. According to a study, most decisions are made subconsciously and influenced by emotions. Businesses must create strategies to connect prospects to products that entice them to purchase the brand’s offering.

The value propositions

The agents do not have to discuss their product to solve the prospect’s difficulties instantly. Instead, they must concentrate on the problem and persuade prospects that it is readily solved.

The company’s offering

The majority of the work has been completed. Reps have examined the prospect’s situation, gained their trust, and presented answers to their problems.


Prospects are undertaking more unbiased research when contacting a sales agent as sales processes get increasingly complex; this is where the Challenger sales model and methodology come in handy. Sales leaders and sales organizations must look for ways to differentiate themselves.

Research has shown that the Challenger sales model assists sales teams in closing agreements and coming out on top when dealing with complex sales cycles. Sales staff can take control of the selling process by taking a prospect on a rollercoaster and showing them that the solution they believed was best might not be so.

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