Unleashing Sales Champions: The Driving Force Behind Accelerated Buying Journeys
Aug 29 2023
In the intricate landscape of sales, sales reps, account executives, and countless other members or your team each play a critical role in landing a new customer. However, when it comes to closing deals and fostering lasting relationships, the presence of a "sales champion" can make all the difference. These influential advocates within the prospect's organization play a pivotal role in driving purchasing decisions, streamlining the buying process, and elevating the overall customer experience.
Depending on the size of the organizations you’re working with, they might not only be beneficial but necessary. While smaller deals might happen quickly, mid-size and enterprise take time and require internal champions to keep the process moving.
The Power of Sales Champions
Sales champions are internal advocates within the prospective customer's organization who go above and beyond to support the purchase decision. According to research by Gartner, your sales reps have roughly 5% of a customer’s time during their B2B buying journey. That means, you need to rely on internal champions to provide the necessary support to move the process along. This support stems from their ability to effectively communicate the value of a product or service within the context of their organization's needs.
Consider how impactful that other 95% of prospect time can be when it comes to the speed of your sales cycle. Without an internal sales champion, you rely solely on the brief interactions you have and hope to stay top of mind amidst their numerous daily tasks. Internal sales champions can help keep you and your solution at the forefront.
But how can you go about creating these champions?
Key Factors for Creating a Sales Champion
- Understanding Pain Points: One of the foundational aspects of cultivating a sales champion is comprehending the unique challenges and pain points faced by the prospect's organization. This is why fostering a relationship with a sales champion starts by actively listening during initial calls. A key suggestion from one of our top reps is to mute yourself during discovery calls. Let the prospect talk. It will literally make them feel heard and they’ll open up about what situations they’re currently experiencing. It’s not about focusing on what your platform does but on what it can do for their organization.
- Personalized Engagement: Sales representatives need to tailor their interactions to the individual needs and preferences of potential champions. Ask open-ended questions so you can better customize solutions that resonate to what they need in their role specifically. From there, you can build our resolutions that solve for larger organizational needs as well. After prospects inform you about what they’re experiencing, send customer stories that highlight how your platform solved similar challenges for other companies. As our team says, make your prospect the hero of the customer journey.
- Education and Empowerment: Providing champions with comprehensive knowledge about the product or service is essential. This equips them with the tools needed to advocate effectively within their organization. Offering resources such as case studies, whitepapers, and personalized product demos can be highly effective in this regard.
- Building Relationships: Building strong relationships with potential champions goes beyond transactional interactions. Work to get to truly know your sales champions so you can build long term partnerships beyond just getting a contract signed. This goes beyond making calls to discuss your platform with them. Send them messages when they post about projects they’re a part of on LinkedIn, ask how you can help their team with issues unrelated to your tools, and get to know them as a person. A contract will get signed because of what your products offer, but it will be renewed and expanded if they trust you have their best interests in mind.
Enhancing the Customer Experience
Sales champions are not only influential in closing deals but also in shaping a positive customer experience. Their in-depth knowledge of the prospect's organization allows them to guide the implementation and utilization phases, ensuring a seamless transition and optimal utilization of the purchased solution. This results in a more satisfied customer who perceives the vendor as a strategic partner invested in their success.
In the realm of sales, the role of a sales champion cannot be underestimated. These internal advocates wield the power to transform the buying journey, accelerate decision-making, and enhance the customer experience. By understanding the key factors for cultivating a sales champion – from personalized engagement to providing educational resources – organizations can harness their potential to drive success.