Summary of The Challenger Customer

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  • Applicable


The primary decision maker in corporate purchasing no longer exists. Today, groups of diverse individuals – with conflicting agendas and representing varied organizational interests – make buying decisions, so previously effective sales strategies no longer work. Authors Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner and Nick Toman tackle these issues in this companion book to The Challenger Sale. Their strategies call for finding champions within the organization, “Mobilizers,” to help gain group consensus and drive the buying process. Their manual offers numerous graphs and multi-step processes. Although some of the text is wordy, it is very informative and getAbstract believes the authors intelligently address a significant challenge for B2B sales professionals.

About the Authors

Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Nick Toman and Pat Spenner are based at CEB, a best practice insight and technology firm. Adamson and Dixon co-wrote The Challenger Sale. Dixon and Toman co-wrote The Effortless Experience.



The Problem

Previously effective B2B selling strategies prove ineffective today. Suppliers who raise customer awareness, deliver value, exceed client needs and provide the best solutions still find themselves competing solely on price. Being the best earns a seat at the table, but it doesn’t guarantee the sale. Clients may love your solution, but they’ll opt for second-best if it’s cheaper.

Companies implement changes that inhibit effective buying. Recent trends in management styles, organizational structures, technological complexity, globalization, multifunctional integration and risk aversion bring multiple stakeholders into the buying process. An average of 5.4 individuals with varying agendas and perspectives can affect a typical corporate purchase.

Although sales professionals identify the 5.4 decision makers, gain access and win them over with materials targeted to their unique needs, sales reps still fall short. They work harder, sales cycle times increase, transactions stall, and the final agreement represents an unsatisfying compromise version of the original proposal.

Critical Decision Points

Suppliers find that in this new environment...

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