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A week ago we wrote a blog about how to create a champion – that internal voice that fights for your deal while you’re not there. Benefits to having a champion include making sure your deal didn’t go sideways, giving you insight into their buying process, making sure you don’t make a misstep in navigation, and keeping you aligned with their timing and needs. One area we left a little thin is the concept of what this champion actually needs in order to be effective. This is the topic for today’s blog. You need to coach your sales champion and give them the weapons they need to be effective.

There are four key pieces to properly coaching a sales champion. 1. Focus on the business case and not their personal gain. 2. Make sure they’ve got the chops to navigate that talk track. 3. Make sure they’ve got the financial side of things accounted for. 4. Provide them with enough collateral from a pitching and a social standpoint to win the hearts and minds you’ll never get a chance to meet.

First of all…

…they need to know the business case, not just their personal reasoning. Your champion might very well personally save hours off their work day with your product. They could even be more effective in their role. But that doesn’t move a CFO. You’ve got to provide real business value that impacts the whole organization, not just your champion. By this point, you should be well aware of the main value prop you bring to the table, but your champion could be short sighted. Forget time savings, and don’t mention quality of life. You’ve got to gently coach this champion away from personal gains and into hard, true and proven ROI. How will your product or service cut serious costs or result in major revenue gains? Make sure this champ can walk their way through this talk track.

After that…

…focus on their ability to show and prove the business case. If you’ve given them demo or trial access, or resources like case studies and samples, expect that your champion will be showing the wares off. You’ve got to make sure that their enjoyment of your tool is only the beginning. They’ve got to be able to intelligently showcase your company in a positive and productive light. Send along collateral and resources that aid them in this endeavor. Guide them towards the areas that show particularly well. Above all, offer your time up as a resource. Join as many of those group meetings as you can.

Don’t forget…

…the financial part of this either. Whether they’re looking at competitors or just trying to calculate a simple ROI, you’ve got to stay involved. Help fill in the competitors matrix – any time you can help to create is true nirvana. If your company doesn’t have a sample ROI calculator, then create one. It can be rudimentary to start. Make sure that you’re putting all of your benefits and strength to light. Don’t mislead or hide your flaws – it’ll cancel out any trust and goodwill you’ve earned to date. Just make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward, and that you’re being presented not as a “nice to have,” but as a well thought out business decision with positive financial implications.

The final piece…

…is social proof, which is becoming more and more relevant in today’s online selling world. Case studies, references, Tweets and Likes on Facebook can all help here. If you’ve got your endorsements up on LinkedIn, show those off. Connect in as many ways as possible and make sure that the general public is positive in their support of your company.


If you need further guidance here, just remember your internal qualification system. We’ve talked about BANTC before. If you follow the path of Budget, Authority, Need, Timing, and Competition, then you should have no problem gently nudging your champion down that same path. They may feel like they’ve got their ducks in a row, but after a little soft coaching around the buying process their company used in the past, you could very well bring them back in line to realize a piece was missing. Use your own qualifying guide as the compass by which you corral and empower your sales champion to lead the way.

And if that doesn’t work, get your boss to call their boss.


Joe Caprio
Joe Caprio is the ‎Senior Director, West Coast Sales at InsightSquared.
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