Sales Training

Insight-driven “challenger” selling leads to success! Insight-Driven Sales Training teaches you how.

The Problem: Traditional Sales Training Doesn’t Work

Selling in today’s business-to-business world has become more and more competitive. Becoming a key strategic resource to your customers is the preferred way to be a star sales professional!

Recent research by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) reveals some startling reasons why.

First, information is extremely easy to get on the Internet, and customers are doing more and more product (and services) research by themselves. CEB found that the purchase process was nearly 60% complete before a vendor was contacted.  (See Figure 1.) A big part of the reason is that customers don’t like to be “sold”. They seek objective information, and are likely to view vendor’s information as biased. That leaves very little time to shape the sale, much less understand the customer’s true needs, identify alternatives and opportunities, and offer advice. CEB found that the inability to “get in early” was not a failure on the part of the sales rep, it is a fundamental change in “customer buying behavior that renders many traditional sales skills obsolete”. Customers are increasingly viewing sales people as order-takers, not partners. Therefore, you must change your approach to selling.

Insight-driven sales training can overcome the late start

Figure 1: First vendor contact comes very late in customer’s process

Second, they found that the single most important factor contributing to increased customer loyalty was the purchase experience. Not brand, not product or service delivery, and not price.  (See Figure 2.) Brand, product, and price are all very important – math types might say they are “necessary but not sufficient conditions” for success.

More specifically, they found that suppliers generated high levels of loyalty if they “[o]ffer unique, valuable perspectives on the market”, and “[e]ducates me on new issues and outcomes”. If you’ve only got the last 40% of the sale process to close the deal, this is how to do it.

Insight-driven sales training can produce higher customer loyalty

Figure 2: Positive sales process biggest factor in customer loyalty

Last, they found one type of sales rep to be far more effective than the other four types: “Challengers”.  “Challengers,” they wrote, “succeed by delivering the very thing customers are looking for the most from a supplier: disruptive insight that challenges their thinking and increases their competitiveness.”

Insight-driven sales training produces "challengers" that outperform all other sales types

Figure 3: Challengers outperform all other sales types

Challengers are characterized by “deep understanding of their customers’ business to take control of the sales conversation and to push their thinking.”

The Solution: Insight-Driven Sales Training from Strategic Edge

Strategic Edge sales training will teach you how to deliver insights to your customers.  Through our CAFE process, you will learn the tools to become the expert your customers expect.  You will learn how to:

  • Quickly understand the customer’s Context;
  • Analyze the strategic forces and constraints facing your customers;
  • Formulate insights; and
  • Execute.

Contact Strategic Edge ( to see how to tailor an Insight Sales Training Workshop for your team.


“Thank you for taking the time to discuss the concepts, challenges and opportunities surrounding “Consumption Economics”.  You nailed it and captivated the audience for the entire 60 minutes.  The presentation has a wonderful flow that keeps the audience actively listening.  Here is a comment from one of my team:  ‘I was absolutely riveted by the presentation.  There is no other topic more relevant, intriguing, and critical to us all than the evolution of the consumption-based business model. Every one of us sales peeps are asked about this subject on a daily basis by our customers and partners. Theories and academic projections are extraordinarily valuable, and I, for one, could have listened to Greg for hours.'”  

— Senior Director of Sales for leading enterprise IT vendor

Additional Resources

Creating Customer Value from Technology

Strategy Lessons we can learn from Apple

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