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Twitter Chat Recap: The Challenger Customer

16 questions (and 16 answers) on CEB's latest book

Person using Twitter on iPhone 5SCEB recently published a new book, The Challenger Customer, that shows what divides high-performing B2B sales teams from the rest. A few weeks after launch, co-authors Brent Adamson and Nick Toman hosted a Twitter chat to answer people’s questions about the book’s overview of how B2B selling has changed and the advice it gives.

Twitter Chat

  1. Will there always be only one Mobilizer? Is it a mix of people sometimes?

    • Some deals won’t have a Mobilizer. In fact it’s a great question, Sometimes there’s more than 1. Don’t forget to test them!

  2. What are the best questions or ways to identify mobilizers within first few sales calls?

    • 3 tells – engage with insight, speak about “we” not “me” and do homework on your behalf

  3. Does Challenger work in a B2C environment?

    • Our sales research at CEB is limited to B2B (or B2B2B). We’ve seen interesting parallels, however, in our B2C marketing research!

  4. I’m in sales, how do I get marketing bought in?

    • Buy them the book! The key to getting mktg involved is to start w/ the customer story. That’s what matters most. Try this: Let’s look at what happens when we run the old world of mktg into the teeth of the new world of buying.

  5. What’s the best way to talk to a Mobilizer?

    • INSIGHT! Share great ideas for their business. Then help guide them through how to best build consensus for the idea

  6. What do I do if someone is a Blocker for me and a Mobilizer for the competition?

    • Mobilizers don’t mobilize for a supplier, but for an insight. They tend to be supplier agnostic–at least at 1st.

  7. What’s the biggest takeaway for me as a sales manager?

    • In deal reviews, ask “who’s your Mobilizer, how do you know, and how you are arming them?”

  8. Can you share some examples of successes at major companies working with Challenger?

    • There are a lots of examples in the book! One of the best is from Xerox & the great work of @leahquesada!

  9. What’s the biggest oversight or challenge small businesses face for insight creation?

    • Same as large companies – knowing HOW your customer thinks about their business. That’s the source of disagreement.

  10. What’s the difference between The Challenger Customer and The Challenger Sale?

    • The Challenger Customer is everything we learned since book 1. And it’s a lot! But this time, it’s about buying.

  11. Was it hard to write the second book? Were you concerned about its success in the wake of The Challenger Sale?

    • Hardest = cutting down ALL we wanted to include. Important we continue to promote sales & marketing effectiveness.

  12. With IT, what advice on framing conversations in Biz terms vs Tech terms?

    • Start with: who is their 5.4? What are their likely disconnects? What don’t they know but should about their biz?

  13. Love the blocker section. What’s your best advice on Blockers?

    • Engage them, don’t avoid them. Start with less risky to more risky. follow this guide:

  14. Do you have a good summary of the first book?

  15. Who in my organization needs to see The Challenger Customer the most?

    • Your CEO.

  16. Does Challenger apply worldwide?

    • It absolutely does in our data, in every major region in the world. But the implementation must be culturally correct.


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