Tribe - Tribal Sales Knowledge

Making Champions not Faking Champions

February 17, 2021 Alistair McQuade Season 1 Episode 7
Tribe - Tribal Sales Knowledge
Making Champions not Faking Champions
Show Notes Transcript

This five minute rapid podcast lesson looks at what champions are, why we need them,  how we make them and what you can actually do to incorporate champion making into you deals.  Listening to this 5 minute lesson will make sure your prepared for your Tribe session where you’ll exchange tribal knowledge with other salespeople and be coached on the subject of making champions in customer organizations. 

Welcome to this Simul.y Tribal session on Making Champions not Faking Champions. This lesson looks at what champions are, why we need them, how we make them and what you can actually do to incorporate champion building into your deals. 

There are three key identifiers for champions: 
1) People of power, influence, and credibility. They have a history of getting things done within the organization.
2) People with access to key power and resources. They can provide you access to the Economic Buyer and provide access to the resources required to complete the sales process. 
3) Their goals are aligned with yours, and they have a vested interest in your success. 
This describes a sales champion, but you may need to 
also, build technical champions if you sell a technical solution. 

No champion, no deal! We all know this, but it is surprising how often having a fake champion rather than a real champion is the root cause of a lost deal. You will not be present for more than 90% of the conversations about your products and why they are needed, so having someone voicing your side of things inside the customer organization and selling on your behalf is now an essential part of selling. Having real champions in your deals can increase your closure rate, decrease the time to close, and fill your pipeline too.

The Champion making process (MAKE) is broken down into four parts. First, we need to Meet the champion, which means identifying them, finding the optimal path to access them, and then getting in front of them. Then we Align the champion by showing we can help achieve their goals. Not everyone makes a good champion, so we need to Keep Checking they are a real champion and not a fake champion, so we continuously qualify them in or out. Lastly, we Enable and resource the champion to sell on our behalf. 

To align with the champion, you need to understand their goals and identify any pain they have in not achieving their goals. Make sure you align with personal and business goals; otherwise, this is not a real champion. They need to be personally invested. 

There are four Critical Questions (ABCD) you must ask your champion to form an explicit contract. These questions take you from faking to making a champion: 
Q1) Can we have (A) access to the right people and resources to close the deal? Will they really give you direct access when the time comes?
Q2) How will you (B) benefit from this deal? Do they have something to win/lose? If so, what? 
Q3) Will you be our (C) Champion? Make sure you contract explicitly and set expectations around their role.
Q4) Can we work with you transparently on the (D) deal value, decision-makers, decision criteria, and decision process? Take any one of these away, and the deal will be at risk. 

How do you know for sure they are a real champion? They will have given you a positive response to the alignment questions. But over time, you need to look for clues and clues to make sure they live up to the bargain. A great way to know they’re a champion is to be pessimistic and play devil’s advocate. What would you do if..? If they come back with a strong answer and handle the scenario, you know they are a champion. A blank look, and they’re not a champion. The ultimate test is, of course, will they give you access to power?

A champion is selling on your behalf. That means selling to others in their organization. They need all the resources that you use to sell to be able to do this. Make a list of what these resources are for your deals. Make sure they are available for your champion to succeed. 

A word of caution is that your competitors will also be developing their champions. You’ll recognize when a salesperson is faking a champion and loses to a better champion builder because you’ll hear excuses like they have a better relationship with the competitor. They play golf together… Get ahead of the competitor’s game. Identify who their champions are. Work out a strategy to reduce their champion’s power, influence, and alignment to win.

It’s time to capitalize on this learning, download and use the Coaching Card on to coach yourself and apply this in your next deal.