The Marketing Book Podcast: "The Challenger Customer" by Patrick Spenner

Posted by Douglas Burdett

The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, Pat Spenner, and Nick Toman

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Pat is a Strategic Initiatives Leader in the Marketing practice at CEB, a global publicly traded, best practice insight and technology company that provides products and services to businesses worldwide.

At CEB Pat spends his time on research, new product development and thought leadership.

Since joining CEB in 2005, Pat has overseen customer programs serving the needs of Chief Marketing Officers, Corporate Communications executives and Marketing Communications executives.

 

The Host's Perspective:

OK, first off - if you’re familiar with the bestselling book “The Challenger Sale,” “The Challenger Customer” is from the same authors at CEB.

You may know CEB as the organization that determined in B2B sales, the customer is at least 57% through their buyer’s journey before they first reach out to the seller.

Like The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer takes on and refutes a lot of conventional wisdom about what works and what doesn’t work in modern B2B marketing and sales. But here’s the catch - it’s not just the author's’ opinions. They challenge the conventional wisdom with extensive research done over the last five years.

It turns out only a very specific type of customer stakeholder has the credibility, persuasive skill, and will to effectively challenge their colleagues to pursue anything more ambitious than the status quo. These Challenger customers get deals to the finish line far more often than friendlier stakeholders who seem so receptive at first. In other words, Challenger sellers do best when they target Challenger customers.

I work in the field of B2B marketing and sales, and the conclusions in this book had me thinking (and rethinking) all the best practices in that field.

In one sense, I wish I hadn’t read the book. But I’m glad I did.

 

Listen to the Interview:

 

Show Notes:

The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results by Patrick Spenner

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker

The Challenger Customer (Book Website)

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