Do you have enough customer champions to propel your business forward?
A “customer champion” is an influential insider that understands the value of your product or service and can help you sell it within their organization. Their power to help you comes from either their expertise in understanding what you’re selling, or political power within the organization. They have the ability to connect you to the true decision makers, those that control the purse strings or have the authority to make a final buying decision.
The best part is that champions not only want your product, they have the connections to make it happen! Let’s examine several ways that having a customer champion as an ally can really help during the sales cycle:
During the Sale
- They get inside the decision makers head: They can get you to the decision maker and can tell you what they’re thinking. They know what the boss wants to buy, why they’re looking now, and what information they need to make their decision.
- They help define the “purchasing criteria”: Your champion has a hand in the decision making process, and because you’ve already “sold” them, they can help tweak the purchase requirements to fit your offering.
- They can tell you about their decision making process: Is the main pain point price, need or service? Your champion knows, and can help you to gear your pitch to exactly meet their needs.
- They often participate in “evaluating” the pitch: When it’s time for prospects to listen to your pitch, your champion will coach you on the jargon to use and the hot buttons to push to showcase your product or service.
After the Sale
- They can lead the implementation process: They believe in your product either because they’ve used it before, or have done their research. This means they’re likely to work closely with the team during the implementation process.
- They’re a great source of future referrals: Odds are they may know of other companies that are looking for the solution you’re offering. Once they’ve successfully implemented your product, they’ll be happy to send leads your way. Approval from others will strengthen their standing in their organization.
- They track ROI metrics that may open you up for a follow-up sale: It’s beneficial to foster an ongoing relationship with your champion after the initial sale, as they can provide you with important data that can support expansion within their company or with future sales initiatives.
Champions are very important allies before, during and after the sale. They’ll make the sales process easier, and your relationship will pay dividends for years to come. The key is to make sure you have a customer champion working for you, and not your competition!