The Challenger Customer and Sales Engineers

I am right in the middle of reading "The Challenger Customer" which is the successor to The Challenger Sale.  One problem with the Challenger Sale book was that it focused on what the Sales team can do, and on our perspective, but of course this misses the big picture where the Customer is really the key decision making party.


The Challenger Customer picks up from this point and looks at how we can change the approach, and is of interest both to customers and buying teams, and to sales teams.

One of the concepts I found really important is that the different people and roles they play in the decision making process, and the fact that it is not obvious which people play the greatest role in helping make decisions in favour of vendors offering solutions of value to more than one group.  Identifying the different roles people play in decision making processes, and winning over multiple different people based not only on the overall benefit, but also the individual benefit to their group.

 As Sales Engineers, often we find ourselves forced in premature demos or Proof of Concepts, rather than getting a better view of requirements from each team first.  Reading the Challenger Sale could help you understand from the customer perspective what goes on in the decision making process, and how you can help customers make better decisions.