How to set up your champion for sales success

Champion is a key advocate within a prospect's company who believes in your product or service. To set them up for success, focus on building a strong relationship, demonstrating genuine care, guiding them through the buying process, meeting in person, and introducing them to other stakeholders.
Shankar Ganapathy
Co-Founder, BuyerAssist.io
Oct 18, 2023
4 mins

In the world of sales, creating a champion within your target account can be a game-changer. A champion is a person within the prospect's company who believes in your product or service and is willing to advocate for it. Establishing a strong relationship with your champion is critical for sales success. In this blog post, we will discuss four key strategies to set up your champion for sales success.

But before that, Who is a Champion?

A champion is not just a loyal customer but rather a strategic advocate within your target account. Champions are individuals who believe in your product or service and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure its success within their company. They play a pivotal role in the sales process by acting as advocates, influencers, and often decision-makers.

Here are a few key attributes that define a champion:

  1. Belief in Your Solution: Champions have a deep understanding of your product or service and genuinely believe that it can solve critical challenges within their account. They see the value in what you offer and are eager to champion your cause.
  2. Willingness to Advocate: Champions are not passive buyers. They actively promote your solution to other stakeholders in their company. They might use their influence to convince decision-makers and navigate through internal bureaucracy.
  3. Access to Decision-Makers: Champions often have access to key decision-makers within their account. They can present your solution and its benefits to those who hold the purse strings, helping you get buy-in at higher levels.
  4. Problem-Solver: Champions are driven by the desire to solve problems within their account. They see your solution as the answer to their pain points, and they work diligently to implement it successfully.
  5. Long-Term Vision: Champions typically have a long-term view of the relationship with your company. They want to ensure that your solution continues to deliver value and remains a beneficial asset to their account.

Recognizing and nurturing champions within your target accounts is a strategic approach that can significantly boost your sales success. Building strong relationships with these key advocates can lead to more substantial, sustainable, and profitable partnerships for your company.

And what are the strategies to help set up a champion for sales success?

1. Show them that you care:

Your champion should know and feel that you genuinely care about their success, both personally and as a representative of their company. This starts with open and honest communication. Here's how you can show your care:

Be a partner, not just a salesperson:

Champions need to know that you're in it for the long haul, even after the contract is signed. Demonstrate that you are more than just a salesperson looking for a quick win. Offer to connect them with your broader sales and customer success team. Show them that your company is dedicated to their success and that you are committed to helping them navigate the journey.

Understand your product inside and out:

To build trust, it's essential that you have a deep knowledge of your product's strengths and weaknesses. Champions will ask tough questions, and they want honest answers. Be prepared to address their concerns and demonstrate how your solution solves their problems effectively.

Anticipate unasked questions:

Help your champion think of questions they might not be considering. Offer insights into the industry, competitive landscape, and emerging trends. By providing additional value and perspective, you'll strengthen your position as a trusted advisor.

2. Guide them through the process: 

Understanding your champion's role in the buying process is critical. Some champions have the authority to make purchasing decisions, while others may be influencers or secondary buyers. Here's how to guide them effectively:

Uncover their buying process:

Work closely with your champion to uncover their specific buying process. Determine if they have purchased software as the primary buyer in the past or if this is a new experience for them. This knowledge will help you tailor your approach and make the process as simple and non-disruptive as possible.

Simplify the buying process:

Reassure your champion that working with your company won't disrupt their day-to-day operations. Make the buying process as straightforward as possible. Offer resources and support to help them navigate any complexities, ensuring a smooth transition.

Use a Mutual Success Plan

Bring the context, value, process, and information for both internal and external teams to align on a shared path to success. Keep bringing the success plan at every step with the champion so that everyone is on the same page.

3. Meet them in person:

In today's digital age, virtual meetings and Zoom calls have become the norm. However, there's no substitute for face-to-face interactions. Meeting your champion in person can strengthen the bond and build trust. Here's how to do it:

Arrange face-to-face meetings:

At an appropriate stage in the sales process, suggest a face-to-face meeting. It could be at their office or yours. Encourage them to bring their team, and you can bring yours. Real-life interactions allow for more personal connections and foster trust.

Invite them to roadshows or conferences:

Get them to your customer conference or some other neutral venue of meeting elsewhere is not possible. Get them to experience what being a tribe looks like. 

4. Introduce them to other stakeholders:

Your champion may want to know the people behind the scenes who are supporting them. This includes other customers, partners, their future customer success managers and executive leadership within your company. Here's why it's essential:

Build confidence in your team:

Introduce your champion to other customers who have found success with your product or service. Share success stories and case studies to demonstrate the positive outcomes your company delivers.

Showcase partnerships:

Highlight any strategic partnerships or collaborations your company has with other reputable accounts. This can further instill confidence in your champion regarding your company's credibility.

Executive leadership introduction:

Invite your champion to meet the executive leadership team of your company. This can help them understand your company's vision, mission, and commitment to its customers.

Conclusion:

Setting up your champion for sales success requires a combination of care, support, and a personal touch. By following these strategies, you can establish a strong, trusting relationship with your champion, making it more likely that they will advocate for your product or service within their account. Remember, champions are not just buyers; they are allies who can play a vital role in your sales success.

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