August 4th, 2015 | by
4 min read

Let’s face it, B2B sales is tough. But we all know that selling is even tougher when you haven’t established a solid connection with your prospect company.

At DiscoverOrg, we’ve relied heavily on the words of Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson, the authors of The Challenger Sale, to help our sales reps be as effective as possible in their outbound sales efforts. The two authors recently outlined 5 types of sales reps who do best at B2B sales:

  • The Hard Worker: always willing to go the extra mile, doesn’t give up easily, and is self-motivated.
  • The Problem Solver: detail-oriented, addresses service issues quickly, and places importance on post-sales follow through.
  • The Relationship Builder: doesn’t want to appear pushy, focuses on customer needs, and is generous with his or her time.
  • The Lone Wolf: self-assured, difficult to control, and follows his or her instincts.
  • The Challenger: always has a different view of the world, understands the customer’s business, and loves to debate.

While we have a mixture of all of these types of sales reps on our team. Today, we wanted to focus on The Challenger – the one and only sales professional who can truly understand the prospect’s business and needs. This is the sales rep who is ACTUALLY willing to be proactive and firm in their approach. At the end of the day, they will deliver precisely what the prospect needs by utilizing a three-pillar approach: Teaching, Tailoring, and Taking Control.

CEB research shows that 40% of all top-performing sales reps are Challengers. We love the Challengers (on our team and yours!), and we’re always working hard to help them do their jobs more efficiently. In fact, we’re a company of challengers. Our business thrives on helping Challengers understand prospects’ needs, wants, and current environment.

Each week our in-house research team is pumping out thousands of Triggers, alerting you of your prospects’ current and planned initiatives, leadership moves, and any pain points they may be experiencing. These are solid opportunities to begin a conversation, demonstrate an understanding of their business, or introduce your solution.

Capitalize on what’s happening this week in the IT industry.


Whole Foods Market recently promoted Jason J. Buechel from Global VP & Chief Information Officer to the role of Executive VP & Chief Information Officer, now serving as a member of the company’s executive team. The company recently completed the implementation of the Avamar backup solution throughout the central region. They are also in the midst of evaluating and piloting mobile solutions that will enhance in-store customer engagement. Sources have indicated that Whole Foods is interested in the evaluation and implementation of technology solutions that will support the company’s product and editorial content operations.

Major League Baseball (MLB) has named Daniel Shmitt as Chief Information Officer for MLB Advanced Media. Sources have indicated an interest toward initiatives related to the upgrade and transformation of the company’s existing customer facing search application. Sources have also indicated that the MLB is planning to shift more development internally, and rely less on the use of third-party developers and will integrate with MLB Advanced Media. The organization recently completed an outsourced data center deployment through CoreSite Realty Corporation for its MLB network.

Marriott has recently named Tom Burke as the company’s Senior Director, Digital Application Development. The organization has begun creating a hybrid cloud strategy and is considering the use of solutions such as Microsoft System Center 2012 and VMware vCloud Director to support initiatives. Marriott is planning to invest up to $3 million towards solutions. Last month, Marriott entered into a partnership with Netflix, Inc. to provide the streaming media company’s services within Marriott’s hotel rooms. Sources have uncovered planned investments of over $5 million toward cloud, virtualization, analytics, and big data initiatives. In support, the company is expected to be evaluating Accenture, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, TCS, and other vendors within the next 3-6 months.


Mansfield Oil Company is planning to begin evaluating solutions to support application development based initiatives in 1-3 months, they are prepared to invest up to $1 million towards solutions. They are also planning to evaluate solutions to support planned IT projects surrounding cloud efforts, mobility based projects, and virtualization. Mansfield Oil Company is planning the development of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Sources have also indicated that the company is shown increased interest towards risk mitigation solutions.

Long John Silver’s is planning to begin evaluating solutions including Windstream to support IT projects focused on endpoint infrastructure and security domain name server (DNS) in 3-6 months. Sources have indicated plans to evaluation solutions that will support initiatives related to cloud storage and disaster recovery in 3-6 months. Long John Silvers is also planning to implement mobile application solutions. The company recently selected new EMB and NFC-ready payment terminals from Ingenical Group to improve security and PCI compliance. The new payment terminals will also support the EMV payment transition and allow mobile wallet transactions.

Deutsche Bank has entered into a 10 year strategic agreement with Hewlett Packard to outsource its wholesale banking IT infrastructure which includes servers, data centers and backup, to support efforts to enable scalability and cut costs. The organization is in the midst of initiatives to bring the company’s application development in-house in an effort to optimize and standardize applications. Sources have indicated that Deutsche Bank is planning to evaluate and implement new technology from 50 technology startup companies in 2015. They are in the midst of setting up innovation labs in Berlin, Silicon Valley and London to facilitate the company’s interaction with tech startup companies.


“This combination of teaching, tailoring, and taking control draws on constructive tension throughout the sales process. It may not get your customers to think you’re nice, but it will win you their loyalty— and win you the sale” – Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson.



About the author

McKenzie Ingram

McKenzie has a background in communications and non-profit sector.