September 30, 2015

New Releases: The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 10:00 AM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales


Four years ago, bestselling authors Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon unleashed a bold new approach that would revolutionize the sales world with The Challenger Sale. Now, they have teamed up with fellow CEB leaders Pat Spenner and Nick Toman to deliver the missing component to the strategy that everyone has been talking about since 2011.

In The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results, the authors use data from thousands of B2B marketers, sellers, and buyers around the world, to reveal that being a challenger seller is only one part of the equation. It turns out only a very specific type of customer stakeholder has the credibility, persuasive skill, and will to drive consensus and effectively challenge his or her colleagues to pursue a purchase decision more ambitious than the status quo. These cus­tomers help 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.

The book provides a blueprint for not only finding the Challenger customer, but also engaging and equipping them to effectively challenge their own organization. You’ll learn how to:


  • Identify your B2B customer based on their specific profile (the Go-Getter, the Teacher, the Skeptic, the Guide, the Friend, the Climber, or the Blocker) and focus on the stakeholder who will mobilize and drive consensus more readily than the others.
  • Use commercial insight to challenge your customer’s way of thinking and get them to disrupt their colleagues’ way of thinking.
  • Take control of consensus creation to have your customer stakeholders multiply your results.

With consensus-driven sales and “purchase by committee” emerging as today’s new normal, even the most seasoned sales professionals are left to rethink time-tested strategies to reach decision-makers and drive change within organizations.

Based on a global study of more than 700 customer stakeholders across hundreds of organizations, authors of The Challenger Sale (#1 bestselling sales book of the past decade and a 2011 WSJ bestseller) reveal a bold new approach to selling in the age of consensus. As large company purchases now involve an average of 5.4 stakeholder, with more competing perspectives and priorities than ever, customers tend disagree amongst themselves, and either choose the lowest-cost option—or none at all.

To reach key decision makers and help them make an effective consensus decision, sales strategy needs to change. Sales and Marketing teams must work together to identify and empower the most skeptical decision maker—the “challenger customer”—to win over the whole buying group. With insightful tips and expert perspectives, The Challenger Customer will unlock B2B sales potential in today’s consensus age.



BRENT ADAMSON, coauthor of The Challenger Sale, is a principal executive advisor in the sales and marketing practice at CEB. MATTHEW DIXON, coauthor of The Challenger Sale and The Effortless Experience, is the group leader of the fi­nancial services and customer contact practices at CEB. PAT SPENNER is the strategic initiatives leader in the sales and marketing practice at CEB. NICK TOMAN, coauthor of The Effortless Experience, is the sales practice leader at CEB. All four authors are frequent contributors to the Harvard Business Review and live in the Washington, D.C., metro area.


CEB is a best practice insight and technology company. In partnership with leading organizations around the globe, we develop innovative solutions to drive corporate performance. CEB equips leaders at more than 10,000 companies with the intelligence to effectively manage talent, customers, and operations.


For more on The Challenger Customer, visit


About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books, and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.