I was recently asked by a client to describe the role of an internal Opportunity Coach/Challenger and I thought that this description could be useful for you as well.The role of a Challenger is to stimulate and develop new ideas that help the Bid/Pursuit Team to advance and win the sale. A Challenger complements the other roles in the team by looking at everything from the customer's perspective, for example: How will the customer think and feel when they read our RFI/RFP response or participate in our bid presentation? Will they think that it is tailored to their individual needs? How will it set us apart from the competition?
A Challenger not only takes on the role of the customer, but also conducts effective opportunity pit stops, where problems in the sales process are identified and appropriate measures to minimize risks and leverage strengths are defined.
A Challenger adds value to the Bid/Pursuit Team and is not perceived as a burden who slows things down. The effort involved should not be underestimated. In a complex, competitive sale, the Challenger assigned to the opportunity should be willing to invest 2 to 3 days in working with the Team.
To be respected by the Team, a Challenger should have a strong track record in winning complex sales, sufficient subject matter expertise, good coaching skills and creativity, as well as enthusiasm for the opportunity. He/she always acts with integrity towards the other team members.
What are the benefits of an Opportunity Coach/Challenger? A higher win rate and landing more frequently in 1st position instead of 2nd or 3rd - an important goal in these challenging times.