Challenger Inc reprioritizes accounts and redesigns sales territories in just two months with Rev and BoogieBoard
In May 2022, Alli Manning joined Challenger Inc as Vice President of Revenue Operations (she’s now the COO). Challenger Inc, a global leader in sales training and consultation, is renowned for its groundbreaking approaches and methodologies to B2B sales. The company, owned by private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners, has gained recognition for its bestselling book, The Challenger Sale. This influential book has shaped the industry by challenging traditional sales approaches and introducing a new paradigm for success. These approaches are built into Challenger’s consulting and training services that support the world of B2B sales.
Alli, with experience running high-performing revenue teams at Contently and Condé Nast, was excited to lead Challenger Inc through a new phase of growth. However, to achieve their growth goals, her team needed to navigate the complexities of incorporating new products, expanding their team, and adapting to evolving market conditions. This meant reprioritizing accounts and redefining Challenger's territory model in a two-month period, all while prioritizing seller satisfaction.
It was a big job. Challenger’s total addressable market (TAM) is expansive. “Almost anyone can consume Challenger. That leaves us an enormously large blue ocean,” said Alli. It presented a great deal of opportunity, but also left the team exposed to the risk of focusing on the wrong accounts, lost productivity and inefficient growth: “Just because you can get a deal doesn't always mean you should, especially as it relates to our kind of goals.” Not all accounts presented equal opportunities for profitable growth, and reps needed better direction and clarity on which accounts to work.
Challenger is famous for its ethos of bucking the status quo. Alli and her RevOps team were no exception. This case study tells the story of a leader and her team activating a new, aggressive strategy in pursuit of growth. In two months, Challenger redefined its total addressable market, implemented new ideal customer profiles (ICPs), and shifted away from a legacy geo-based territory approach…all while focusing on keeping sellers happy.
Step 1: Redefine the ICPs
Step 2: Implement the ICPs to create a new TAM view
Step 3: Divide and Conquer
The Change Management Pain Killer
The Rev + BoogieBoard combination ultimately resulted in a highly targeted account list being assigned to each rep. Each list had ~300 accounts, half of which were SMB accounts and the other half were enterprise accounts.
According to Alli, an entirely new sales strategy has been adopted. “The specificity with which we’re able to assign our territories has really helped the sellers focus. Within the 300 accounts that they were provided, we also gave them tips, tricks and advice on how to prioritize those. We suggested to our sellers that they prioritize those large organizations first by establishing nurture campaigns. We also launched ABM marketing against that list. As you wait for responses from the larger accounts work on the smaller guys and you can prioritize those however you want.”
The project happened quickly, but has only just begun. With Rev, Alli and her team can measure and adapt to ICP and market changes going forward. Combining this with BoogieBoard provides the ability to deploy these new strategies quickly and competitively.
"Since deploying Rev, we've been able to monitor our pipeline health in an entirely new way. Instead of hoping the accounts in our pipeline match our ICP, we now know exactly which accounts have the deep traits we care about most. That's changed the game entirely. Our pipeline is now growing exclusively with accounts that match our ICP. In fact, in just one quarter, our AIM—the percentage of accounts in our pipeline that match our ICP—has improved by 28%!”
As Alli and Challenger look ahead, ICPs and target account lists will continue to play a key role. “The sky is the limit” when it comes to the different ideas and ways Alli plans to approach verticalization moving forward. Expanding on the initial premise, she is excited to explore the possibility of assigning specific territory carve-outs to individual sellers based on their performance.
The combination of Rev and BoogieBoard will allow Challenger to “be much more iterative and quick” with how they update lists and “how quickly [they] get them into the hands of sellers” and their ABM programs.
The takeaway from Alli’s experience with Rev and BoogieBoard? “I wish I would have found you sooner. This is the future...don't delay.”