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The Challenge Customer summary - available in audiobook and text formats 13m 7s

The Challenge Customer

Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner & Nick Toman

Now that complex deals require consensus from a wide range of players across an organization, it turns out only a specific type of customer stakeholder has the credibility, persuasive skill, and will to get deals to the finish line. Learn the research-based tools to target these Challenger customers.


The Bottom Line

In modern B2B sales, to sell more effectively, you must empower your customers to buy more effectively.

I. Introduction

“This is a book of surprises.” The first words of the introduction set the tone for everything that follows — a dense, incisive exploration of buyer decision-making processes that disrupts the status quo in modern sales strategy and paves the way for dramatically more effective B2B selling. Written by the bestselling authors of The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer pivots from a focus on the people making the sales calls to a particular kind of stakeholder within buyer organizations who has the power to drive consensus and execute high-quality deals.

Through their consulting firm, CEB, the authors conducted extensive research into the factors that drive buyer decision-making in large B2B sales — only to discover that the era of closing sales by obtaining a “yes” from a single, high-level decision-maker is effectively over. Today, sales are approved by committees of stakeholders — an average of 5.4 of them to be exact — each with their own agenda and idea of what the solution to their perceived needs looks like. Organizational change is hard even under ideal circumstances, and when committees have difficulty agreeing, the easiest solution is often to do nothing — and that inertia means no sale.

In cases where stakeholders do manage to reach consensus, the authors discovered a second hurdle: Customers are increasingly less likely to want to pay a premium for products and services, even when they recognize the value in them.

So, how do sellers overcome these two obstacles? The Challenger Customer lays out a clear roadmap for successfully selling to a group of buyers with different goals and priorities.

II. Find Your Mobilizer

III. Selling Change Through Frame Breaking

IV. It Comes Down to Commercial Insights

V. Creating Convergence

VI. Collective Learning

VII. The Road to Implementation

The Takeaway


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