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Is SEC’s Challenger Selling Model Really Groundbreaking?

Developed by the Sales Executive Council (SEC), the Challenger Selling Model is gathering significant attention from Sales Leaders and in the business press, most recently from Harvard Business Review.  The model highlights five types of salespeople, stating that the Challenger, versus the remaining 4 roles, is the most productive and successful sales role in today’s business environment.  Though the research base is limited and the findings generalized, there is little doubt that the conclusions reached reflect a broad view of a complex and detailed topic… Selling in 2012.

The question is… Does the existence of the Challenger model add real insight and actionable direction to sales leaders seeking to improve their team and enhance their results?

We think it’s a bit, well… challenged.  Challenger does point out that not all sales positions are the same.  In fact, the approach to sales can and does differ across companies, offerings, and time.  Chally’s research on the Product/Market Life Cycle as published in The Quadrant Solution, clearly indicates that the requirements of the customer, and therefore of the sales rep, differ as a product or service progresses through its life cycle and confronts more and differing competitive pressures.

The Challenger does correctly indicate that several models exist.  It does not go far enough in identifying the reasons for changes in approach.  No single model for sales reps and their customers is best when applied in all circumstances.  Simply put, one model doesn’t fit all situations and one pattern and style does not work in every environment.

Challenging the Challenger Selling Model     Get more details from our latest white paper: Challenging SEC’s Challenger Selling Model which can be downloaded on our website.