Using the challenger sales model to create your original series

It all started with Sharen.

She's the number #1 global rep at Hubspot (just check this forbes article). She is a friend and former colleague, who was gracious enough to come on to our flagship show the spareroom talks where we invite great company leaders and senior execs from all walks of life to breakdown their success so it can be replicated.

What compelled us to her story the most is not how she's the best, it's her process for getting there from near zero digital experience.

But first, let me take you back a couple of years.

I'm a marketing consultant by trade. What does consulting - from 1 man bands to multinational companies - regardless of different markets and geographies all have in common? Well, I don't know! BUT, I was always taught to ask "what is your biggest challenge right now" and navigate from there.

It worked well, but it had a ceiling. What I mean is, what happens when you ask this question for years to all sorts of companies, mentally documenting their answers and developing your own insight and research on the way? 

Does it still make sense to ask them? Or are we just wasting their time; asking out of courtesy.

What if you pause, and recognize that over the years, you've actually gotten to a stage where you genuinely know what the customer or prospect needs more than they know themselves?

I'll push it a bit further.

What if the customers just want a "faster horse" ?

They don't know what they don't know. They're asking for a faster horse from you, a race car manufacturer. 

Their biggest challenge in their mind may be wanting a "faster horse", this leaves you working backwards not forwards.

You know more than them based purely on experience.

You have more experience seeing their "type" of company much more than they would. It is virtually impossible, if you are in a company, to spend time away from what you need to do to study other companies day in and day out, on a full time basis, for years.

Given the volume of companies you are exposed to, you gain the tactical advantage of having rich insight, which they don't have.

At best, they may only have the insight of  2-3 competitors they're watching.

Sharen shared with us a game-changing sales book called The Challenger Sale, which she credits as one of the books she learnt from the most.

The Challenger Sale advocates teaching people as opposed to asking people. As a result, you are adding value to them, as opposed to demonstrating your active listening skills. The goal is not to show our prospect that we're good listener, it's to leave them equipped with more eye-opening knowledge than when they came.

Anyone can be a "good listener", and it is important to observe that, but a professional can take it further - teaching you something that you did not know. This is synonymous with the inbound sales methodology, and the challenger sale operationalizes it further.

We may do a deep dive on the Challenger Sale book in the future. But for now, I want to share a summary of the 5 steps to commercial teaching, which is at the core of the challenger sale framework:

The Warmer - Demonstrate understanding of pain points

The Reframe - Provide a new vantage point to the problem

Rational Drowning - Statistics showing dollar impact

Emotional Impact - Triggers showing personal impact

A New Way - Our "best shot" at avoiding this

If you're involved in complex, lengthy sales processes tapping into multiple departments or multiple points of contact - having your own show or episodic content series where you feature guests can create an incredible opportunity for you to walk through warmers, reframes, rational/emotional cases, and new ways of doing things. This way you can scale the impact of your challenger sale approach by re-packaging it as a show as opposed to 1:1 conversations.

This content would resonate deeply with people who are currently going through this - that you are designing this content for. 

By making the content entertaining, as much as it is value-adding, you are able to both attract traffic as well as drive action to what you are advocating. The guests you feature on your show could be people who share the same view, or people who are open to exploring new concepts and healthy debates.

When you take the time to co-create the kind of content that involves touching on topics that would fall under warmers, reframes, rational or emotional impacts, you create content that is inherently engaging and indispensable. You multiply the effect when you take the time to repurpose each episode into a full month content.

Anyone can put a show together. But remember, you only have one shot per episode filmed at getting the content to resonate deeply and generate revenue. A little brainstorming and strategy before you make those phone calls to your guests can be the difference between content falling on deaf ears, and your next 100K deal.

 

 

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