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The IDL Challenger Program enables an IT organisation sales, marketing, finance and solution teams to move from "solution selling" to "challenger sales" by shifting the client dialogue focus from IT or solution to the business drivers of client policy that will shape IT demand.

Shaping demand for IT needs the anchor of a compelling business policy which will have budget and a stakeholder who cares about policy execution at low cost and mitigated risk. The IDL Challenger Program, which is customised by client, shows an IT firm how to work together to achieve this higher challenging level of differentiation and engagement.

A Sales Challenger Defined

An Information Technology [IT] sales person who provides compelling insight to potential client executives on how a significant business policy issue can be executed at low cost and risk using innovative IT.

Most clients execute policy once but most IT vendors have executed policy multiple times although this insight is often latent as the only focus of the IT vendor is technology.

The IT vendor Sales Challenger realises this potential value by reverse engineering previous IT solution sales to fully appreciate the business policy change that led to the deal and then repeatedly sells the same proposition to similar client business executives implementing the same policy.

In the event of a new policy, then the Sales Challenger reviews the new policy framework and crafts an innovative IT solution before the client has decided the architecture.

A Marketing Challenger Defined

Sales Challengers cannot work alone. They must be supported by a Marketing Challenger team that is fully aligned and working in parallel and ahead of the sales team.

They will explore and set-up business engagement opportunities with target clients early in the policy execution sales cycle when the Sales Challenger can add the greatest value.

This usually involves Marketing Challengers providing insight that shows the Sales Challenger what are the compelling new policy issues, who are the target clients, what related experience or references the IT vendor has in this area if any, how the solution architecture should be configured and then pre-sales engagement steps.

This insight is formalised as a Thought Leadership Point-of-View which briefs the Sales Challengers, client business executives and alliances.

A Financial Challenger Defined

The Financial Challenger, who is probably the IT firm CFO, supports the whole Challenger Program because IT projects are not immediately recognisable as "repeatable solutions", although "repeatability" is a critical factor for success in achieving IT vendor software, hardware or service utilisation profitability goals.

Similarly many IT vendors are moving to sales compensation plans based upon profit rather than revenue but how to support this aim?

The essential feature of the Challenger Program is that client business policy is repeatable and scalable whereas a client scoped IT architecture will not reveal the full repeatability or market opportunity.

Consequently, a coordinated Challenger Program that links Sales, Marketing, Finance and Solution Architects to maximise the insight and market development potential of a sector business policy engagement will lead to highly profitable returns, shorter time-to-market and significant solution scalability as all business policies are subject to continuous improvement.

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