Selling complex B2B solutions? The sales game has irrevocably changed.

Customers are now researching solutions and can be 57% to 65% of the way through a decision process before contacting a vendor.

And when a salesperson gets the call, the prospect often has preconceived notions of what specifically they need. Some may just be checking pricing.

So how do you counter this?

I read a very interesting interview with Brent Adamson, author of The Challenger Sale – Taking Control of the Customer Conversation.

In it he postulates all sales people fall into 5 major categories.

The Hard Worker, a Challenger, a Relationship Builder, a Lone Wolf, and a Problem Solver.

Conventional wisdom would state that the Relationship Builder would probably do the best. Not so. It’s the Challenger types who are star performers.

Why? The short answer is Challengers “challenge” their customers’ buying behaviour.

They bring insights and get customers to “[…] think differently about themselves. To somehow demonstrate to them that—on their independent journey towards the 57%, they’ve missed something materially important to their business. Suddenly they’re exposed to more risk or more cost than they realize and as a result they need to change what they’re doing.

You can read (or listen to) the rest of the interview here. If you’re involved in B2B selling, I strongly suggest you do so.

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