We received a lot of great feedback from our “Building Up Your Champion” podcast that we published last month. So much so that we wanted to provide some additional resources for you to further leverage the Champion relationship.
Champions are a critical component to the qualification process and your understanding of how to move an opportunity forward. The concept of a Champion is also a topic that many salespeople struggle with. The first step to leveraging your Champion is to understand who qualifies as a Champion.
Here’s how we define a Champion. A Champion is someone who
has power and influence
actively sells on your behalf
has a vested interest in your success
Remember, if your Champion has a vested interest in your success, he or she also has a vested interest in your competitors not winning the deal.
Once you’ve identified potential Champions, the next step is to develop them into strong Champions. Never forget that your competition is going to be developing Champions as well. The goal is to make yours a stronger advocate.
Here are three ways to make your Champion relationship stronger as you navigate through the sales process.
Start by building a personal relationship with your Champion and earning their trust.
Introduce them to other Champions, both inside and outside of their company. Your Champions from other companies can be great resources.
Educate your Champions on your proposed solution. Remember, your Champions spend 99% of their time inside the account without you, so you need to ensure they can accurately articulate your value and differentiation.
Focus on your Champion's success, providing them with whatever information they need, when they need it.
It’s also important to recognize that the Champion relationship shouldn’t end with the signing of an initial deal. Your Champion can be an incredible asset as you strengthen and broaden the opportunity moving forward. That’s why we encourage sales reps to bolster the relationship.
A great way to solidify the partnership is to send a letter to your Champion's boss, explaining the critical role your Champion played in solving key business issues for the company. Learn how to easily craft one of these letters by reviewing our “Guide to Writing a Champion Letter” below.