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Don't Sell. Coach Instead.

By Brett Merritt, Director of Content Marketing at Consensus, @brettcmerritt

It’s not enough to just sell when your prospects have already heard the same features and benefits spiel from all of your competitors.

According to CEB and The Challenger Customer, salespeople need to become buying coaches instead. As the great John Wooden said, “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” You must tactfully coach the Mobilizer in an organization how to drive agreement within the buying group—an average of 5.4 stakeholders—on the problem their business needs to correct.

Commercial Coaching like this is an empowering force. This approach helps the customer assess obstacles they will need to overcome in order to get the business outcomes they seek. It arms the Mobilizer to reframe the perspective within their organization, ensuring that you are positioned as the best supplier.

All of this is done in the spirit of helping the Mobilizer to build consensus in the fastest and most inclusive way possible.

Commercial Coaching takes place during 5 crucial stages, all of which are detailed in The Challenger Customer:

  1. Help your Mobilizer construct a plan for building consensus.
  2. Help your Mobilizer confirm that the organization agrees on the problem to solve and the best course of action.
  3. Support your Mobilizer in surfacing and addressing any remaining stakeholder concerns.
  4. Establish negotiable points related to the purchase.
  5. Secure stakeholder commitment to move forward.

Learn more about these buying coach principles and other key insights from The Challenger Customer in a helpful PDF. Download it here.

And, for a complete understanding of how to become a buying coach, we recommend reading the full The Challenger Customer book.

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