ARLINGTON, Va., July 25, 2016 – Global software giant SAP (NYSE: SAP) launched a new sales model that increased sales revenue from newly trained reps by 27 percent in less than three years. By adopting the Challenger Selling™ model, developed by CEB (NYSE: CEB), a best practice insight and technology company, the company was able to train 5,000 salespeople globally, align marketing and sales more closely, and significantly enhance sales effectiveness including a 26 percent increase in deals closed.
Prior to launching Challenger, SAP's sales team relied on the strength of its products and services, and the technical expertise of its sales force to drive sales. However, in order to remain competitive in today's evolving sales environment, the company needed a new approach – one that focused on compelling insights that would break through to potential customers and encourage them to buy.
"Our customers increasingly wanted to discuss their business challenges above all else and were extremely receptive when salespeople suggested ideas for them to generate new business," said Rainer Stern, global vice president, SAP. "This confirmed for us that we needed to provide greater business insight and value to customers during our sales interactions."
SAP conducted a competency assessment to better understand differences in sales skills, behaviors, coaching support, and how time was spent between top and core performers. Seeing strong alignment between their top-performing salespeople and CEB's Challenger™ approach, SAP's sales leadership adopted a single global process to empower frontline sales managers to support and lead this new model.
The model, a comprehensive training and development program, focuses on sales skills and effectiveness by developing reps ability to teach new insights, tailor the message for varied stakeholders and take control of the overall customer conversation.
"CEB has found that 53 percent of what drives B2B customer loyalty is based on the purchase experience itself, with very little loyalty attributed to more conventional drivers such as brand, product, service and value-to-price. Customers simply do not see material differences in the product or brand when comparing suppliers, but do see dramatic differences in the quality of insight and guidance delivered by a supplier during their purchase experience," said Nick Toman, sales practice leader, CEB.
"SAP's global, unified rollout of CEB's Challenger model was the key driver to delivering extensive impact to our customers. In the past three years it has significantly contributed to our revenue in terms of both new opportunities and additional business generated from existing customers," Stern added.
A survey of Challenger program participants at SAP compared to individuals who did not complete the Challenger training showed significant differences in performance outcomes including:
- Larger than average deals, by a factor of six (600 percent increase);
- Increased sales revenue for individuals using the Challenger model by 27 percent;
- 26 percent more deals closed as part of an average pipeline, and
- 25 percent shorter time to close deals.
SAP began its Challenger™ deployment in 2013. Over the past year, SAP has received a number of industry awards for its successful sales transformation including a 2015 Brandon Hall gold medal for its global sales training program, the 2016 Learning Elite award from Chief Learning Officer magazine, the 2016 WhatWorks Ultimate Award for "Developing Tomorrow's Leaders" from Bersin by Deloitte, and a Citation Award for "Coaching and Mentoring" from the Association for Training and Development. For more information on Challenger™, please visit CEB.
CEB is a best practice insight and technology company. In partnership with leading organizations around the globe, we develop innovative solutions to drive corporate performance. CEB equips leaders at more than 10,000 companies with the intelligence to effectively manage talent, customers, and operations. CEB is a trusted partner to nearly 90% of the Fortune 500 and FTSE 100, and more than 70% of the Dow Jones Asian Titans. More at cebglobal.com.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 261,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
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