There was a discussion thread on LinkedIn amongst a group of sales leaders and professionals regarding Challenger Sales methodology vs. Customer-Centric methodology and their situational use cases. One of the comments was by Tim Reisterer, Chief Strategy Officer at Corporate Visions, and a sales methodology/process authority. He said (and I’m paraphrasing):

“Challenger is key when you (the seller) receive push back on your solution, or a competitor is entrenched and you’re displacing the incumbent. For many sellers, that could represent 25% of their sales pipeline.

Customer-centric is key when you’re working with an existing customer, or referred into the business, and you’re reinforcing the pre-conceived purchasing bias the stakeholder has for you/your solution. For many sellers, that could represent 75% of their sales pipeline.”

Here are my thoughts on this:

1. Tim was really insightful in his comment. I’m almost in no position to challenge him as they (Corporate Visions) run science-based tests on their sales methodologies and against other methodologies.

2. I think the more important thing Tim is trying to say here is – there is NO ONE sales methodology that solves all sales problems. Each methodology is unique at presenting new processes, insights, tips, and tricks to the mix.

AND I’LL SAY THIS ON THE RECORD – 100% of the globally recognized sales methodologies (that aren’t Social Selling focused) are NOT strong at pipeline creation. They are all designed with the account/territory map in place, and struggle to help:

a. Map the TAM of a Territory/Market and look for Competitive Advantages/Disadvantages in that market.
b. Select accounts using Social Proximity.
c. De-Select/De-Emphasize accounts using Digital Sales Triggers.


1.The best-in-class customers we’ve worked with are investors in MULTIPLE methodologies and processes.

2.The best-in-class customers we’ve worked with are architects, and mold ALL of these methodologies into 1x “OUR WAY” system.

3.The best-in-class customers we’ve worked with are artists, and design specific sales motions for each sales archetype. They don’t lean too heavily on 1x sales methodology for every sales role.

What type of sales enablement/operations team do you want to be? The Standard operating procedure is taking an average of $1,500 – $3,000/per seller annually and giving them skills.  Best-in-class are students of the sales performance ecosystem, and have designed “their way” that increases yield-per-seller to heights that the competition struggles against.

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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