“30% of salespeople in a study of business-to-business reps were too customer-oriented for the company’s good, spending excessive time with customers and wasting resources customizing products. “There are times when the customer should not be king,” say the researchers, led by Christian Homburg of the University of Mannheim in Germany.”
Based in Washington D.C. the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) revealed during the peak of the global financial crisis (Aug. 2009) that the “farmer” sales rep was not the profile of a successful sales rep. Their research, across their extensive fortune 500 membership uncovered the results of what they called the “challenger rep”. This type of rep loves to debate, has a different view of the world, they push the customer because they understand the customer’s business.
Interesting that three years after the CEB uncover the Challenger Sales Representative and their success, HBR uncover a similar trait for success today.