Tailoring in the moment
In-the-moment tailoring might not come quickly or naturally to all sales reps. One food and beverage company found success in implementing a “message-to-role-mapping” approach. The approach is successful because it helps the rep not only understand the different executives and functions that are impacted by their company’s solution, but also how the capabilities of the solution align with both individual and collective business objectives. It gives sellers the blueprint for how to help their reps help their customers achieve consensus.
Consensus ultimately boils down to two dominant forces that sellers can influence
As the number of individuals in the buying group grows, sales reps are thrust into more conversations with diverse roles. Often times, there are conflicting ideas within the group about a solution, yet alignment of this group is critical for a purchase decision.
“Our research found that reps who focus too much on tailoring to the individuals in the buying group often make the purchase process harder,” says Anderson. “Challenger reps think about the buying group as a whole — where they’re aligned, where they aren’t — and help the customer navigate those disconnects to accomplish their shared goals.”
The formula for building consensus
Consensus ultimately boils down to two dominant forces that sellers can influence — the customer organization’s willingness to change and stakeholder alignment on that change.
To accomplish this, Challenger reps work to identify and manage different stakeholder types. Traditionally, sales reps have focused their time and attention on the advocate, or the individual who is already on board with their solution. Gartner research found that high performers instead target mobilizers, those who are best positioned to drive change, connect stakeholders to each other and secure organizational commitment.
In some cases, Challenger reps can use mobilizers to gain access to the broader buying group directly to collectively explore their shared goals and overcome points of disagreement. In other cases, where direct access to the buying group isn’t an option, Challengers coach their mobilizers and give them information and tools to help the buying group arrive at consensus. Either way, it’s about understanding the individual and shared goals of the organization, and finding a way to help customers find their path toward change.
Learn more: The Challenger Sale