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In order to significantly move the revenue needle, it’s imperative to understand The Challenger Sale – A New Model for High Performance Sales Teams, as that is what separates the most effective sales organizations apart from the pack. And the time is now. Customer buying behaviors have changed as many vendors have adopted a solution selling methodology to sell large, complex, disruptive and more expensive solutions.
In 2009, the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) set out to answer this fundamental question: “What skills, behaviors, knowledge and attributes matter most for high performance sales teams?” Specifically, the CEB:
- Initially surveyed hundreds of front-line sales managers spanning nearly 100 countries
- Instructed each sales manager to assess three sales reps they directly managed – on average, two sales reps and one star or high performer across 44 different attributes
- Included every major industry, geography and go-to-market model into the survey
- Asked sales managers to assess each sales reps’ attitude, the degree to which the sales rep worked to solve customer issues and the sales reps’ willingness to risk disapproval
- Analyzed the skills, behaviors, activities, knowledge of the customers’ business and of the sales reps’ own company’s solutions
- Addressed the sales reps’ tenure, geography, account size, direct vs. indirect, and general territory vs. named account
- Utilized ‘performance against quota’ as the prevailing metric to gauge overall effectiveness
- Surveyed over 6,000 sales reps globally since the initial survey
It is easy see that the approach the CEB took was quite comprehensive. Data was captured to correlate the specific behaviors and activities that positively impacted sales performance. The survey was not designed, developed or executed to become a study of personality traits or personal strengths. It was conducted to focus on specific skills and behavior. The goal was to understand which things high performers do better so that the average performer could be more effective. It was not to try to incrementally improve the performance of stars or high performers.
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