In the realm of sales and account management, champions are the hidden gems of customer organizations—those influential individuals who back your solution, direct the narrative inside their organization, and drive sales success. Building a relationship with a champion is a strategic move that can be a game-changer in closing a deal or maintaining a customer. Thus, understanding and leveraging the role of champions is essential in any sales strategy.
This comprehensive read will present an insight-filled approach to champion management, defining “champions,” discussing their importance, outlining how to identify potential ones, and revealing ways to cultivate them effectively.
A champion is more than just a contact; they're contact on steroids. In your customer's organization, they are the cheerleaders for your product or service. Usually, they believe in your solution’s potential to resolve their pain points or satisfy their needs. They are internal advocates who can articulate your value proposition convincingly within their organization and mobilize the decision-making process in your favor.
Several key reasons champion management matters include:
Influencing Decision Making: Champions understand their business needs and can persuasively articulate how your solution can help. They have their finger on the pulse of internal power dynamics and can rally the right stakeholders to push the decision in your favor.
Accelerating Sales Cycles: Since champions have a vested interest in your solution, they actively seek to facilitate and expedite the decision-making process, reducing prolonged sales cycles.
Securing Customer Retention: Post-sale, champions continue to spotlight your solution's value, promoting higher adoption and reducing churn risk. They help create a stronghold against competitors and solidify your position.
The first step in champion management is identifying potential individuals in your customer's organization who can become your advocates. Champions typically exhibit qualities such as:
Engagement: Champions are typically highly engaged during meetings and demos. They ask profound questions, show enthusiasm for your solution, and suggest how it can fit their needs.
Influence and Respect: A champion needs to have the respect and the ability to influence decision-makers. Look for individuals in roles that can sway or guide decision-making.
Vision: Champions can visualize how your solution can overcome their challenges and drive their organization forward.
Building a champion relationship takes time and smart engagement. The goal is to empower your champion to feel confident and competent enough to advocate your solution. Here are some insightful strategies:
Establish Trust: Transparency and honesty in communication lay the foundation for trust. Show your potential champions respect and cultivate a genuine relationship.
Continuous Education: Keep your champions in the loop regarding product updates, fresh use-cases, or industry developments. Regular insights and communication reinforce their understanding of your product and make it easier for them to sell internally.
Support Their Success: Champions champion your product or service because they believe it can solve a problem. Present the champion with tailor-made success plans and assist them in achieving their goals using your product.
Recognize their Efforts: Recognizing champions can motivate interactions and efforts. A little appreciation—be it through social recognition, exclusive events, or tailored benefits—can go a long way.
No longer just a desirable luxury in sales strategy, having a champion has become a necessity. Thus, integrating champion identification and management into your sales operations can have a definite impact on your sales cycle, win rate, and customer retention.
To make your champion management more efficient and streamlined, Aomni’s AI-powered sales solution can be extremely helpful. It offers real-time research, aggressive insights, and personalized content. It delivers tailor-made success plans, helping you in creating champions for your product or service, ultimately resulting in growth and success for your business.