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The Challenger Sale

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The Challenger Sale

Taking Control of the Customer Conversation


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Building relationships is not the most effective business-to-business sales technique. Here’s what is.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


In a field where new approaches and insights are rare, this book is a standout. Consultants Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson spell out their business-to-business (B2B) sales construct, the “Challenger Sales Model,” overturn a few old assumptions (like Relationship Builders sell best) and set a new course for well-informed salespeople. Their innovative methods – drawn from research by the Sales Executive Council of the CEB, a global member-based advisory company – offer a new take. The book details an impressive, data-based B2B sales tactic, starting with helping you understand your sales personality type and explaining why you want to teach, tailor your message to and challenge your clients. Drawing from a survey of 6,000 sales reps, they explain what information to gather, how to present it and how to challenge your customers. getAbstract recommends their instructions to B2B sales professionals and to executives in sales management. To take a big step forward in planning and closing B2B sales, line up at this starting gate.


What Kind of Sales Rep Are You?

The Sales Executive Council (SEC), a sales research arm of the CEB, a global “member-based advisory committee,” researched the impact of the 2009 economic meltdown on business-to-business (B2B) salespeople.

It found that these reps fall into five categories:

  1. “Hard Workers” – These individuals put in more calls, see more prospects and send out more proposals than other sales reps.
  2. “Relationship Builders” – They work to meet customer needs. To them, strong relationships mean everything.
  3. “Lone Wolves” – They are self-confident and do things their way. They frustrate sales managers but keep their jobs because they are effective.
  4. “Reactive Problem Solvers” – They have the souls of customer service reps. Nothing matters more to them than keeping their customers happy.
  5. “Challengers” – They learn everything they can about their customers’ businesses and industries, and use these insights to guide customers to operate more effectively and become more profitable – in some part by buying what the rep is selling. Challengers...

About the Authors

Matthew Dixon is an executive director and Brent Adamson is the managing director of the Sales Executive Council of the CEB, a member-based advisory company. The SEC does sales productivity research for its 300 member organizations as well as for its 18,000 sales professionals.

Comment on this summary

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    V. K. 4 years ago
    I now a a challenger B2B Sales person...Great book!!!
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    R. G. 7 years ago
    Great and useful book
  • Avatar
    A. d. 7 years ago
    This is a very useful book, I strongly advise

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