The Challenger Customer – the findings will surprise even seasoned sales pros

The Challenger Customer – the findings will surprise even seasoned sales pros

Increasing sales potential via The Challenger Customer

Recently, our marketing team attended a BMA Chicago event where author Brent Adamson hosted a sales and marketing seminar promoting his new book, “The Challenger Customer” –  a follow up his first book, “The Challenger Sale.” Would you be shocked to find out that personalizing your content to potential leads can actually decrease your chances of making a sale? The research behind Adamson’s work shed a new, refreshing light on purchasing behaviors that’s sure to surprise even the most seasoned sales professionals.

Bigger Buying Groups = Fewer Purchases

According to the research behind “The Challenger Customer,” there are on average 5.4 different individuals with purchasing power in any given organization. With 5.4 different people, there will be 5.4 different perspectives. Unfortunately, the bigger the buying group is, the less likely it is that an agreement will be reached.

Data shows that larger buying groups lead to fewer purchases. Graph by CEB via "The Challenger Customer" Presentation.
Data shows that larger buying groups lead to fewer purchases. Graph by CEB via “The Challenger Customer” Presentation.

An overlap of interests will be minimal, but the four things they are likely to agree on are:

  • To reduce disruption within the organization
  • Avoid or minimize any risks
  • Move cautiously when making decisions
  • Save money

None of these points are conducive to the likelihood of securing a sale. By positioning your content to individual stakeholders, you’re actually driving them apart and minimizing their chances of making a purchasing decision in your favor. Your goal, then, should not be to connect individuals with yourself—rather, you should be connecting them with each other.

Finding the Mobilizers

In a buying group, there can be a variation of seven types of customer stakeholders:

  1. The Go-Getter – Open to new insights. Considered a quick adopter of new innovations and ideas.
  2. The Skeptic – The cautious “go-getter.” Open to new concepts but tend to tread cautiously.
  3. The Teacher – A motivator, able to influence others and encourage decision-making.
  4. The Friend – Focuses on building positive relationships within the organization.
  5. The Guide – Openly shares new information with members of their group.
  6. The Climber – Career-oriented and individualistic. Often has a “What’s in it for me?” attitude.
  7. The Blocker – An individual who abides by the status quo. Innovation is deemed unnecessary, particularly if there’s risk involved. Current way of doing things is “good enough.”

The top three (Go-Getter, Skeptic, and Teacher) are what Adamson refers to as the “mobilizers.” These are the individuals that drive change in an organization. By influencing these particular stakeholders, you can challenge the Blockers’ notion of, “What we have is good enough,” and in turn create more overlap in the interests within buying groups. New concepts and designs will be easier to grasp, and your chances of a successful sale will grow.

Influencing the Mobilizers

The key to understanding and engaging these stakeholders lies within an organization’s marketing team. The job of marketers is to assess buyers and determine their needs at every stage of the purchasing process. This unique insight can then be passed along to the sales team, which will be beneficial in accessing key individuals within a buying group.

In the trade show industry, it is crucial to produce leads to maximize your ROI. The research has proven that in order to boost your selling potential, you also have to evaluate them to better understand their buying culture. With collaboration between sales and marketing teams, finding quality leads and influencing mobilizers becomes a more conscious and seamless process.

Be sure to check out “The Challenger Customer” for in-depth details on how to connect with mobilizers and win over your customers.

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