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The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation
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The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  2,553 Ratings  ·  195 Reviews
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,
Hardcover, 221 pages
Published November 10th 2011 by Portfolio (first published November 1st 2011)
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Chris Johnson
Aug 04, 2012 Chris Johnson rated it it was amazing
I've read probably 150 sales books in my life.

I read this and thought "My Friend Is Here!". Then I called our new friends at Penguin, arranged for the intro to the authors, and used their techniques on them to get a contract to produce the book trailer.

This book is for the misfits - not the lone wolf salespeople, but the ones that are fearless, ready to handle hot potatoes and play poker, and teach, and take control of selling situations.

It's been a long held belief that "relationship selling"
Jan 23, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sales
There's been so many books on selling and so many "systems" that it's hard to find something... anything... new and innovative. The Challenger Sale does, in fact, challenge some long held assumptions about selling success. Unlike your usual book of advice written by some self-proclaimed sales "guru," this book bases its guidance and conclusions on research... hard data research. Most salespeople who have been successful over a long period of time and through the ups and downs of economies intuit ...more
Grant Barnes
May 22, 2014 Grant Barnes rated it it was amazing
The 5 Sales Rep Types

1. The Hard Worker
2. The Relationship Builder
3. The Lone Wolf
4. The Reactive Problem Solver
- a customer service rep in sales rep clothing
5. The Challenger

6 characteristics of a challenger rep
1. They offer customers a unique predictive 
2. They have great 2-way communication skills
3. They know the customer's value drivers
4. They can identify economic drivers of the customer's business 
5. The rep is comfortable discussing money
6. The rep can pressure the customer

A challenger sa
Dec 12, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: selling, reread-once
*rereading this for work*

This is the Corporate Executive Board website about the Challenger Sale . Tons of Media about this book.

A 35 minute audio interview with the author:

10 minute recap ( does not replace reading the book)
Feb 17, 2015 Parcoast rated it it was ok
The Challenger Sale is not a bad book, especially when directed to the right audience, but that is where I had trouble with it. I picked it up as a general manager of a small business, and found that although some of the ideas were good, and the research interesting, it was not very applicable in my situation. It would be better directed toward sales managers in established organizations. The method it promotes is to control the sale by way challenging the customer, and I like that approach. How ...more
Nov 15, 2016 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
I found the concept of “The Challenger Sale” to be very interesting. Like many business books, this one starts with “we’ve done a study”, this time on the types of salesmen that are successful. In this case, the findings are not that your typical “relationship is key” salesman is very successful. But neither is the “here’s our product info” salesman. The best kind of salesman in the current environment is one that is knowledgeable about his prospect’s business and can challenge them with a bette ...more
Christine Lynch
Nov 22, 2016 Christine Lynch rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2015 Jared rated it it was amazing
There are very few books that I would give 6 stars out of 5 - but this is one of them. I listened to this in audio, but will go purchase the book so I can add my notes and experiences in the margins. This book will change my professional perspective; and how I view my career.
Jun 13, 2017 Annasnova rated it it was amazing
This book came recommended by sales pros with a lot of experience and I can see why. It's *the* sales book I've been looking for to help understand complex selling in B2B environment. It offered a completely different take on the sales process and opened up my eyes to so many things! Should be a must read for anyone in business - not only sales.
Tim V
May 18, 2017 Tim V rated it really liked it
For all my complex sales friends, if you've not read it it is defintely worth it.
Sep 01, 2012 Rowan rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Interesting psychological profiling of various personality types and how they succeed at complex sales. The main idea is that one of the types, the "challenger", is surprisingly more successful at closing deals than one of the other types, the "relationship" builder -- the guy who slaps you on the back. This isn't selling cars, this is selling complex things like enterprise software, POS systems, corporate ad campaigns (?), architecture, corporate accounting services... etc. The challenger doesn ...more
Feb 14, 2013 Jacob rated it liked it
I loved the premise of this book. Without any question I agree with the message that the authors present. Sales people must evolve into being consultants and teachers who challenge the customer and force a conversation about goals and insights.

I do think the book rambles on a little and is unnecessarily long. It would make for a great 1-2 hour seminar or sales training but I felt like I slowly stopped getting value as I read on.
Sep 07, 2015 Craig rated it really liked it
Just finished this book. Now it's time to implement these methods which will be a real paradigm shift for me.
Oct 18, 2014 Thomas rated it liked it
Speedread it. Interesting, but builds quite long on a somewhat simple premise. Not immediately in my interest.
Jan 05, 2016 Jan rated it liked it
Energetic, hard-selling ;-) and certainly providing numerous insights, inspirations and actionable recommendations.
Nov 25, 2016 Eugene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-to-read
nice analysis of sales types and some surprising i data. challenger sales is the a great way for b2b sales.
Oct 03, 2012 Ian rated it liked it
Some interesting thoughts and tools, but it feels like they turned a simple white paper into a book. There is a lot of fluff to wade through.
May 15, 2017 Tim rated it really liked it
"Why should your customers buy from you instead of your competitors? The trick is not to describe your differences, but to make customers value them."
This was a very straightforward read on successful selling. The authors have given us a few simple frameworks such as Teach/Tailor/Take Control and the six steps of a teaching pitch (finishing with your solution as opposed to leading with it). There are many applications outside of sales as all of us at some point will need to sell an idea whether
Jan 30, 2017 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should have read this sooner

I've had this book for a while now, but I really should have read it sooner. It may not seem like a transformational shift to tell reps to bring value to the table for their customers, but the approach outlined here is clear and repeatable, with lots of potential. I can't wait to put it into practice.
Alex Garrett
May 30, 2017 Alex Garrett rated it liked it
Wasn't ground breaking but brought a few big ideas to the front of my mind. One of those is to have a generally more assertive attitude with customers, especially in the beginning of the sales process.
May 24, 2017 Rana rated it liked it
The first 100 pgs were good
Mar 27, 2017 Naheem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Not a long read, very succinct and insightful. Very helpful information for pulling off complex sales and leveraging general conversation and negotiations.
Joel Marans
May 27, 2017 Joel Marans rated it it was amazing
You don't need to be in sales to appreciate and learn from this book. I generally don't enjoy business books either - this one kept me engaged the whole way through.
Mar 20, 2017 Silvia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Challenger Sale by Tevin GM

Really interesting book. Really challenging concepts especially to someone like me who has been congratulated over and over because of excellent communication skills.
Starting a career in Sales, I am actually looking forward to applying a strategy that seems so unnatural. The concepts explained in the book make sense, now let's see how it translate in sales in my reality. Tevin GM
Dave Warawa
Mar 05, 2017 Dave Warawa rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Professional Salespeople will find this book provocative and insightful. As a career Salesperson and Sales Trainer, my first thought was to question the effectiveness of a Salesperson who challenges a client. From the start of our career, we are taught to respect and earn the trust of a decision maker.

Build a strong relationship, ask great questions to determine needs, solve problems and work hard was the motto of any of us who read the likes of Zig Ziglar and followed this path. This book goes
Shashwat Singh
Nov 06, 2015 Shashwat Singh rated it it was amazing
"The Challenger Sale" is based on the latest sales research that's come out in the last few years (post financial meltdown).

The sales environment has evolved drastically since the release of SPIN Selling. While SPIN Selling is still an excellent read with very relevant information, the environment has changed and new approaches are needed to compete effectively.

For one there has been a rise in solution selling, where companies sell whole solutions as opposed to individual items and services. Sol
Jan 09, 2017 Kevin rated it liked it
The Challenger Sale is an analytical report on an exhaustive study by CEB which examined Sales reps across a wide range of positions and industry verticals. In analyzing personality characteristics of sales reps, this CEB study found five major statistical clusters in orientation. The author has labeled these clusters "The Hard Worker", "The Challenger", "The Relationship Builder", "The Lone Wolf", and "The Reactive Problem Solver".

Is its title suggests, "The Challenger Sale" focuses on the "Cha
Luke Owen
Mar 06, 2017 Luke Owen rated it liked it
Regurgitation of adjectives that are necessary to use when making calls and focusing on both small goals and the big picture. A must when getting started not to mention your boss will probably make you read it anyway!
Charlie Hecke
Jul 30, 2014 Charlie Hecke rated it really liked it
The Challenger Sale evokes reactions and disturbs conventional thinking. The authors want to encourage organizations, groups and sales people to “push the customer’s thinking and teach them something new” p 21. It is not surprising then that the reader is given a challenge to think about sales in different ways. Even the introduction by Neil Rackham stirs up controversy:

“How you sell has become more important than what you sell. An effective sales force is a more sustainable competitive advantag
Oct 28, 2012 Mohamed rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
- New Framework which need to be tested.

The Challenger Sale

1) The Hard Worker
• Always willing to go the extra mile
• Doesn’t give up easily
• Self-motivated
• Interested in feedback and development
2) The Challenger
• Always has a different view of the world
• Understands the customer’s business
• Loves to debate
• Pushes the customer
3) The Relationship Builder
• Builds strong advocates in customer organization
• Generous in giving time to help others
• Gets along with everyone
4) The Lone Wolf
• Follows ow
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“There’s something else about this list that really jumps out. Take another look at the top five attributes listed there—the key characteristics defining a world-class sales experience: Rep offers unique and valuable perspectives on the market. Rep helps me navigate alternatives. Rep provides ongoing advice or consultation. Rep helps me avoid potential land mines. Rep educates me on new issues and outcomes. Each of these attributes speaks directly to an urgent need of the customer not to buy something, but to learn something. They’re looking to suppliers to help them identify new opportunities to cut costs, increase revenue, penetrate new markets, and mitigate risk in ways they themselves have not yet recognized. Essentially this is the customer—or 5,000 of them at least, all over the world—saying rather emphatically, “Stop wasting my time. Challenge me. Teach me something new.” 2 likes
“what sets the best suppliers apart is not the quality of their products, but the value of their insight—new ideas to help customers either make money or save money in ways they didn’t even know were possible.” 2 likes
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