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The Challenger Conundrum: What If Marketing Isn't Up to the Challenge?

You want to become a Challenger Rep®, but your company’s marketing organization is not supporting your personal aspiration.  Houston, we have a problem.

Reading between the lines of the The Challenger Sale (authored by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson of Corporate Executive Board or CEB), a sales rep acting alone faces almost insurmountable odds of becoming a Challenger Rep.  Marketing’s strong support is an essential prerequisite for transitioning a sales rep into a fully-credentialed Challenger Rep.  According to CEB, “Challenger Reps are made, not born”. “Challenging is about organizational capability, not just rep skills."  To reinforce the “organizational capabilities” messaging theme, CEB walks the talk and offers a provocative insight directed squarely at the marketing organization.  “It’s one thing to tell reps ‘Be a Challenger’.  It’s another thing altogether to tell them exactly what you want them to do.”

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Hello? Are C-Level Executives Listening?

Recently a technology sales manager posted a series of interesting questions on 'Selling to Executives', a LinkedIn discussion group I moderate.  His company is a leading provider of pricing optimization and management software.

I wanted to share his questions (and how I responded in the group discussion) because I consistently see the “access” issue as a major focus of sales reps trying to develop executive-level relationships.

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