The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 6 years ago

Building Up Your Champion

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Building Up Your Champion by Force Management

Hello, my name is Rachel Clapmiller andI'm the director of digital engagement at force management, I'm joined by ourown John Caplin s great, to be here with ye again in today's podcast we'regoing to be tackling the topic of champions. I know this topic is one ofthe most popular with our customers. It's a really popular topic on our blogand John. I know you're really passionate about this one yeah. Iconsider this topic. You know just tablesteaks for Sales Effectinis, let'sstart with defining a champion. What makes someone a champion? I'm reallyhappy! You ask me this question because we're really really strict on thisdefinition. The specific definition of a champion is a champion has access tothe economic buyer. They have power and influence and they're actively selling.On your behalf, inside of the account when you're not there and sales people often underestimatethe importance of building a champion. Why is that yeah? So I'm glad that yousaid it that way in like building a...

...champion, because it's not a check inthe box. It's it's not. I either have a champion, or I don't, which isextremely important for qualification to tell yourself well, I either have achampion- or I don't, but for this topic for the remainder of the topicfor our discussion today. I'd like to talk and focus more about theimportance of developing champions, some accounts. It's easy to identifythe champion. It's really clear others, not so much, but so the key is toreally develop that champion and build that champion from the groundup. What'sthe first step yeah, so you know, I don't want to underestimate the theimportance of identification. So I would go back to your point aboutidentification and say before you can develop a champion. You have to kind ofidentify a potential person to be your champion and one of the best ways to dothat is to really really focus on the business problem at hand. So, what'sthe biggest business issue facing the customer and then find the person inthe account whose livelihood is...

...connected to solving that problem, then once you, you find a champion,it's your job as a salesperson to really help that person communicate thevalue internally. You talk a lot about that. How do you enable thoseconversations? Yeah, it's good, so for me this is really all about kind of thelanguage of value and and for those of the listeners out there that arefamiliar with the value framework. It's kind of it's recreating the valueframework for them so help them focus on the positive business outcomes thatthey're trying to achieve. You know, reconnect them to their own requiredcapabilities and make sure that they're completely focused on the measurementsof success. Ie, the metrics and that's really far, our Comon of the messagealumni out there, that's the Montra- and at that point you just don't wantto talk about what they're doing you have to pimit and talk about how you'recontributing to that value. Yeah. It's awesome. I Lo. I love how you said thepivot, so you know at that point you're going to pivot and you as the partneryou have to focus on specifically how...

...you can help them with those requiredcapabilities, make sure that they understand how you do it and how you doit better or differently than your competition and where you've done itbefore. When you built up that champion it you can't just sout there. You have tonurture the relationship even after that initial oppoopportunity has closed.I know we've written a lot about that on the BOCK. How do how do you do thatyeah? I like the way that you're talking about that, because championsare so critical not only to specific opportunities but for the ungoingsuccess in an account. So you have to invest in those relationships. You haveto nurture those relationships and it's kind of a thought process that I'd liketo get across here. That says, you really want to start focusing oncreating champions for life. So what are some of the best ways that you cancreate a champion for life? Well, I love to say you don't need the credit.You need the money and one of the...

...topics that I love to speak about isthis concept of you know writing a champion ladder, preferably to theeconomic buyer, so you're addressing a letter to the economic buyer andbasically, what you're doing is youre giving the champion the credit soconnect. What your champion is doing to the biggest business issues, facing theaccount focus. Your thoughts on the positive business outcomes that yourteam and the champions team have been able to achieve. It sounds like such a simple thing todo: write a champion letter nor to that relationship by writing a letter, butit can really drive some impact. It used to be one of the the favoritethings that I did as a seller and if you allow me to just tell you a quickstory, stor love my Storie, but they're, never quick! So let me try, but inyears ago, when I was selling for Zeroscorprat Corporation in Detroit, I handled the colleges and universitiesand I just recently transferred into...

...the Detroit district and I took over aterritory that nobody wanted and it was my way to become. You know a little bitmore senior account manager to get a larger kind of an account assignment,but the the it was filled with competitive placements. We did notreally have a good position, so I focused on one of the most criticalccounts in the territory and I was able to crack the competitive account with asingle implementation, and I decided to jump in the water was great. Somebodyshared the concept with me about a champion letter, so I rode up achampion ledder for my champion to the Chancellor of this university and Itied it to one of their biggest business issues that was facing them.There was a quality initiative inside of t e, the university to improve thequality of the service to a student, and I tied what I did for living atZerox Corporation to this quality...

...initiative. But I gave all the creditto the champion and it was just was really really a phenomenal result. Sonot only the chancellor respond to my champion letter in very, very positiveways. They wrote me back. They invited me to a meeting to come and meet thischancellor, which was fantastic. I established a personal relationshipwith the chancellor and I'll get to that. Just a second, but the championgot all of the credit, so the chancellor then took that letter andsent it to all the department heads with E, with the caption basicallysaying hey. This is an outstanding example of what we're doing to furtherour initiatives to create a quality environment for our students. Otherdepartment heads: What are you doing to to further this initiative? The enbesolwas my champion got promoted. The chancellor went around to othercolleges and universities in the area...

...talking about this kind of platform ofquality for for students they replaced all the competitive equipment was eroxequipment, and we also did the same thing at all: the othercolleges and universities in the state of Michigan, so that territory wentfrom one of the worst assignments in the state to the very best in the stateand actually launched my management career so champion letters, work right,Yoyo letters, work, that's such a great story and a great testament to justtaking that little step I mean how long did it? Take you to write that letterchampion letter probably took me probably took me about twenty minutesto thirty minutes, to gather my thoughts and put it into something thatwas, that would be most beneficial to get my message across and h outcomesare just phenomenal. What do you want people to understand about champions?Well, I think, based upon our conversation today, couple of pointsthat I just want to make sure that we get that we get across. You cannot winwithout champions. There is always a champion invalved whether you realizeit or not,...

...give the credit to your champion. Youwill always be rewarded, help your champion demonstrate value and thechampion will be invaluable to you. That's a great final point. Thank you,John Thank Yo you to all of you for listening and if you have questionsabout champions or if you have your own success stories, we want to hear fromyou reach out to us at linkedon reach out to us on twitter on the website.Let us hear from you, so we can continue to share these great championstories and add more content to our new podcast for more tips and insights.Make sure you log onto force management check out our blog on force,managementcom.

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