How to Take the Challenger Sales Approach to Content Marketing

​Pat Spenner, Strategic Initiatives Leader at CEB, a best-practice insight and technology company, joins the podcast with some hard-hitting research that challenges conventional sales wisdom by rejecting personalization and focusing on one persona: the mobilizer.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

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Prioritizing the Mobilizer

Pat Spenner educates us on wisdom gleaned from the book, “Challenger Sale,” written by his colleagues at CEB. Five sales rep profiles are established in the book, with one profile far outweighing the others in terms of performance, as backed up by research and statistics.

This most successful profile is “The Challenger Sales Rep” who outperforms the other profiles by challenging customers and reframing the way they look at their own businesses.

Additionally, Pat shares the important seven profiles of stakeholders. He disputes conventional wisdom touting “personalization,” arguing that personalization will get you nowhere when trying to convince more than one person to agree on your sale. He zeroes in on one specific stakeholder persona as holding the key to turning the tide of the rest: “the mobilizer.”

Using this knowledge, Pat shares how best to create targeted content that will reach the mobilizers in your audience.

In This Episode

  • Five sales rep profiles and the highest performing approach for sales reps
  • The most important numbers to crack the code of sales
  • The seven profiles of stakeholders
  • The problem with personalization
  • Creating the most valuable content
  • How to sell to stakeholders successfully
  • The profound importance of mobilizers and how to market to them


Quotes From This Episode

“Teach. Tailor. Take Control.” —Pat Spenner

“Spend a whole lot less time going deep on what one of those individual stakeholder’s pain points are, objectives are, and spend a whole lot more of your research time figuring out, ‘How does that individual stakeholder interact with the other 4.4?’ Because that’s what you’ve really got to understand to be able to create content that’s going to speak to a common rallying point for the 5.4 to come together.” —Pat Spenner

“At the end of the day, marketers feel like, ‘I have to do all of this?’ Very quickly, but subtly, the quantity overtakes the quality and you get into the ‘feed the beast’ mentality.” —Pat Spenner

“Don’t do personas, do inter-personal personas. Don’t focus on creating a stronger connection between each of the 5.4 stakeholders and us as a supplier. Focus on creating stronger connections across the stakeholders between them, so you can start to knit that consensus together. That’s one key thing.” —Pat Spenner

“I’m not going to prioritize the other personas, not for right now. I think most marketers can achieve a whole lot more than they are now if they take the energy they are putting into all those personas times all those products, times all those channels, and focus on understanding the journey the mobilizer goes through and helping that mobilizer stitch together the consensus in their organization across that journey.” —Pat Spenner



What did you want to be when you grew up?

Though Pat may not have known exactly what he wanted to be, he knew pretty clearly what he didn’t: “As a child, I survived a rear-ending in a Ford Pinto. Remember the quirk that those cars had, they tended to blow up in rear-end collisions? Ours didn’t blow up; happily we didn’t have a full gas tank. So what I knew I did not want to be was a crash test dummy.”

We guess “being alive” is as good an answer as any.

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