How to Use the Challenger Method to Improve Sales Team Performance


Sales methodologies are a dime a dozen these days, but that doesn’t mean that they are all effective or reliable. Choosing the right method for your team may take some research, or even a little trial and error. In any case, you should work to discover which selling system will provide the best success for your outreach and your company alike. 

Of course, a simple Internet search will reveal countless resources, including the books that support each methodology. But what if you don’t have time to read an entire book (or case study report) on how different sales methods work? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at the Challenger Method and how you can use it to create a better sales process for your business. 

If you decide to use this methodology, you can then buy the book and share it with your team. For now, here are the basics of the system and what you need to know. 

What is the Challenger Sales approach?

This is a sales methodology focused on developing a stronger sales team. This is done by encouraging lower-level reps to emulate the top-performing salespeople in the company (the challengers). This helps sales reps improve their skillset and deliver a better experience for customers, and it sets up a good basis for your entire team to work based on leading by example. 

This also allows you to highlight the best people on your team and the benefits that they bring to the table. It also removes the “apologetic” mood from the table—your sales reps will no longer feel like they’re forcing the customer into anything. They’ll become challengers, who will have an in-depth awareness of what the customer needs and know how to push back accordingly. 

Five types of sales reps 

The Challenger Sales method talks about five types of sales representatives that are found in every company. The creators of this method advise that the categories aren’t mutually exclusive, though—your team can have characteristics from multiple categories. Understanding them all will help you cultivate your own team of challengers and provide the framework that each rep needs to upskill themselves. 

The Challenger

Challengers are the ones who are championing the sales process. They offer a new perspective to leads and they’re not scared to talk about money, budgets, etc. These people understand what value means to a customer and they know how to provide just the right amount of pressure to get a conversion. This person focuses on three T’s: 

  • Teaching customers something
  • Tailoring the sales conversation
  • Taking control of the conversation

Getting your sales reps to this level may take some work, but shadowing your existing Challengers should help. 

The Hard Worker

The Hard Worker is the one that is working to get things done. They have the drive to accomplish things and get work finished, but they may not be focused on the customer, their value drivers, or their pain points and needs. They mean well enough in their sales efforts, but that lack of customer focus requires some attention. Using the Challenger Sales method will allow you to increase that focus and upskill them accordingly. 

The Problem Solver

Problem Solvers are all about finding solutions. They want to help their efforts as much as the team and the organization. They are eager to resolve issues and find better ways of doing things and keep everyone in the loop throughout the process. These people are great to have on your team because they love solving complex issues, but they also need to understand the importance of that customer focus. 

The Lone Wolf

Typically already high performers, the Lone Wolves of your team are the ones who aren’t all that great at being a “team player” at times. It’s not for a lack of wanting, but they are confident in their abilities and may struggle with interpersonal skills. You will want to focus on fostering better skills for relationship building and teamwork with these people and make sure that they understand how their success plays into the larger success of the organization. 

The Relationship Builder

These are great people to have on any sales team. The Relationship Builder is the one who is capable of contacting a lead and building a good connection from the start. They can find and engage with gatekeepers and decision-makers and use their relationship-building skills to encourage sales. These are also the people who are easiest to upskill using the Challenger Sales method because they already have that customer focus in mind. 

Connect with to handle the influx of leads and more

If you do it right, implementing a sales methodology will mean an influx of leads. While you’re busy training your team and talking to prospects, who is there to manage all the incoming calls and queries? Fortunately, you’re not alone. You can partner with the virtual receptionists at for a 24/7 answering service to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Plus, we can assist with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even support for your outreach campaigns to help you draw in those leads in the first place. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution for communications and more, we’ve got you covered. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to

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Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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