Integrating customer success with Challenger Sales model

Jay Nathan
Jay Nathan HLAdmin, Member Posts: 108 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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edited August 14 in Strategy & Planning
I think it's always best to integrate with existing methodologies when working with the sales team where possible. Sort of like Jiu Jitsu for customer experience (I think... not a Martial Arts guy by any stretch). 

Does anyone have a sales team that utilizes the Challenger sales model? If so, how does your customer success organization use that methodology to interlock with them from a process perspective? For instance, Miller Heiman has the "Blue Sheet" for opportunities and "Green Sheet" for account plans. Are there similar artifacts as part of the Challenger model that we can utilize in our sales transition, account management and customer success processes?


  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
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    edited August 2020
    Great conversation starter @Jay Nathan.

    By coincidence, I have used the Miller Heiman Gold Sheet adopted for Enterprise Customer Success Planning (with limited success).

    More recently, when I was at Autodesk we used the "6 Thinking Hats" methodology; we used the Black Hat for new opportunity interrogation and Green Hat for Customer Success innovative problem solving. I have carried over the Green Hat approach at SAP for some of our internal Customer Success Plan review sessions where we have a specific issue or situation to overcome.

    Specifically, I am a fan of The Challenger Sales model and encourage all CS professionals to read that book plus more recently, The Challenger Customer. Some great transferable lessons in there that apply to CS and outcomes based conversations.
  • John Bosch
    John Bosch Member Posts: 27 Expert
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    edited August 2020
    @Matt Myszkowski - I second the Challenger Customer Reference.  The later book focuses much more on the decision-making process from a customer's perspective and is something I have leaned on pretty heavily.

    One thing I am working on now is taking the Sandler Pain Funnel,  pieces of the challenger methodology (Teach, Tailor, Take Control), and success planning, wrapping that under the concept of business outcomes, and trying to standardize our approach to discovering, collecting, then executing on business outcomes.  The end goal here is to standardize how we present value in a meaningful way back to the customer and do that consistently across CSM's
  • Jay Nathan
    Jay Nathan HLAdmin, Member Posts: 108 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    edited August 2020
    Thanks, Matt. I think you and @John Bosch are confirming what I was thinking. Challenger as a methodology is a good framework, but doesn't have tools and templates like Miller Heiman. We'll probably start with the Gold, Green and Blue sheets and simplify and tailor to our needs along with the Joint Success Plan. 

    And will check out Challenger Customer, not sure how I missed that one.

    Appreciate the response
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020

    I just finished reading the book yesterday and came across this post. ?

    I'm really liking the framework they lay out and can see how helpful it can be in CS as well as Sales.