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Publisher's Summary

What's the secret to sales success? If you're like most business leaders, you'd say it's fundamentally about relationships - and you'd be wrong. The best salespeople don't just build relationships with customers. They challenge them.The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades.

Based on an exhaustive study of thousands of sales reps across multiple industries and geographies, The Challenger Sale argues that classic relationship building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale business-to-business solutions. The authors' study found that every sales rep in the world falls into one of five distinct profiles, and while all of these types of reps can deliver average sales performance, only one-the Challenger- delivers consistently high performance.Instead of bludgeoning customers with endless facts and features about their company and products, Challengers approach customers with unique insights about how they can save or make money. They tailor their sales message to the customer's specific needs and objectives. Rather than acquiescing to the customer's every demand or objection, they are assertive, pushing back when necessary and taking control of the sale.

The things that make Challengers unique are replicable and teachable to the average sales rep. Once you understand how to identify the Challengers in your organization, you can model their approach and embed it throughout your sales force. The authors explain how almost any average-performing rep, once equipped with the right tools, can successfully reframe customers' expectations and deliver a distinctive purchase experience that drives higher levels of customer loyalty and, ultimately, greater growth.

©2011 Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson (P)2012 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"The most important advance in selling for many years." (Neil Rackham, author of SPIN Selling)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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The Relentless March of Sales Theory

Would you consider the audio edition of The Challenger Sale to be better than the print version?

The audio version is a convenient way to read this book and grab its concepts.

Any additional comments?

The Challenger Sale builds on the concepts of Solution Selling and Value Based Selling suggesting that the selling environment has changed in the last quarter century. Indeed, rather than simply delivering a vision to the prospect's pain - teach or educate them to give them an ah-ha moment. This flips selling back to selling. "I have what you need and you don't know it."

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 11-27-13

Meh

What disappointed you about The Challenger Sale?

- This book should be condensed into two or three chapters and then included in a larger book. Not that much content.<br/><br/>- The author mentions probably over 100 times that his firm offers consulting services. This reads more like a sales pitch than a guide to selling.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Quantified Selling

I appreciate the research behind this sales model. I would prefer to use an approach that has been tried and tested; instead of an out of date methodology in new wrapping. It's definitely something I will be incorporating in my sales meetings.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Oxiem
  • Springfield, Ohio, United States
  • 03-14-14

Good Material, Not Great Writing

Where does The Challenger Sale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's in my top 10 sales books

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The concept of leading with disruptive information rather than probing for pain and gain

What does Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Good reading style, very easy to listen to

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

The writing is a little frustrating. The writer seems to fall prey to a fascination with specific words such as exacerbate, notwithstanding, etc - it almost becomes grating. Still a great book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Good Book, Latest Fad, Don't miss the good points

If you could sum up The Challenger Sale in three words, what would they be?

Good Information Nuggets

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Challenger Sale?

I thought the premise was a good one and they started well. They then took a road 'more traveled' as they bypassed the idea of personalities. I appreciate their proactive stance on explaining why they did this, however, it would have made the research complete and more credible had they reported on sales personality as to which may be more effective (Chapter 2). I couldn't stop thinking about that through the rest of the book, however, they did have some good nuggets of information that could be incorporated into a sales approach. Towards the end of the book, they suggested that the odds are high that an effective sales person would fall into the 'Lone Wolf' category, but it would be difficult to replicate this type of style given the definition of a 'Lone Wolf'. By all means, please read/listen to the book. I think this method is here to stay, for a while, and does contain some good points that one could put into action.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Would have preferred the powerpoint version

What disappointed you about The Challenger Sale?

Told in far too aggressive manner and is just a new version of an old story told with different words.

Has The Challenger Sale turned you off from other books in this genre?

I dont like reading books that can be better conveyed in a simple powerpoint presentation, supportted by a small training program. I do appreciate people who may not be well versed in sales, marketing and distribution getting some value out of this book, but to a seasoned sales person, it offered no new insights and it did not get me excited at all.<br/><br/>The best salespeople have always been, and always will be, those who are genuinely interested in people. Full stop. All the rest is pure common sense.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson ?

no recommendation

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

dissapointment

Any additional comments?

no

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Lou
  • Edmonton, AB
  • 02-04-13

One novel idea. Only need to listen first chapter

One novel idea. Only need to listen first chapter. Very repititious in the last half of the book

21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Where is the beef?

What did you like best about The Challenger Sale? What did you like least?

Interesting ideas and ways to think about sales process and methodology. Like the concepts. Some things I will need to lookin <br/><br/>Like LEAST: No/very limited (2) real examples. Spent 70% of the time selling you on what it is like to be a challenger with out showing examples. It was very frustrating. <br/><br/>Assumes that you get a deep understanding with out asking questions - just magically will get it all the deep understanding by comparable analysis.<br/><br/>I work for a F1000 enterprise software company.

If you’ve listened to books by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson before, how does this one compare?

N/A

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Stop using the phrase in other words ~20x the phrased was used.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

no

Any additional comments?

has potential. needs more examples.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Sergio
  • LAFAYETTE, COLORADO, United States
  • 01-30-13

The title should be The Experienced Sale because..

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

it describes in detail the characteristics of an experienced salesperson's approach. Teach, tailor and take control are inherit of a seasoned pro. Teaching is something one is challenged to do without experience. I believe if a company decides to invest in the market research and training to bridge the gap of their new hires this book may have more application.

What do you think your next listen will be?

idk

How did the narrator detract from the book?

referencing other people's accomplishments

Do you think The Challenger Sale needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no.

Any additional comments?

nothing revolutionary about this book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • KP
  • 08-09-15

Changed the way I look at sales.

career changing message. I love that they presented data to support the findings. good read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful