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

Episode · 6 years ago

Testing Champions

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this podcast, Force Management's John Kaplan discussed how to test your Champions and ensure they're actively selling on your behalf

Hello, my name is Rachel Clapmiller andI'm the director of digital engagement at force management, John Camplon, isjoining me now for this podcast and we're talking more about championsthanks Rachel, it's great to be here again and and, as I said, the last timewe got together. I love this topic because it's so real, relevant andurgent for our listeners. I think- and we didn't receive a lot of greatresponse from our last podcast on developing champion, so today we'regoing to dive into testing champions yeah. I love this topic of testingchampions because you know it's a topic that many people wrestle with, butbefore we get started, let's level set our listeners, the definition of achampion and we at forced management have a very, very specific definitionof a champion. They have power and influence they actively sell on ourbehalf and they have a vested interest in our success and that definition isimportant because that's the cruxs of how you test the champion, but I liketo talk about the evidence behind this...

...and so really holding yourselfaccountable to the evidence and there's really two ways to test this evidence,both internally and externally. So internally, we hold ourselves veryspecifically accountable to the definition of a Championso those threethings. I just said they have powerand influence, they actively sell in ourbehalf, and they have a fested interest in our success. Yes or no, and what isour evidence and that's what I'm talking about when I'm talking aboutkind of internally externally, I talke about testing the champion himself forherself kind of face to face with the champion, so there's a way to test itinternally. By being able to answer the questions and to hold yourselfaccountable for the definition and then externally, getting the championinvolved in this test. So the first trait, like we said, is: Does thechampion have power and influence? What are you looking for when you're testingthat train yea? This is a good question,...

...because you know, I think some peopleget fooled sometime by like org charts and they look at organizational chartsand they look at titles. That's really good to see the structure of anorganization, but it always it doesn't always tell us about the poweredinfluence. So what we want to look for is we want to look for people that haveaccess to and control resources. You know we want to really understand whatthey're being asked to do and ultimately are they being heldaccountable and measured for critical initiatives and critical businessresults? Okay, so I believe that my contact is being held accountable for acritical initiative, but I shouldn't take that at face value. What do I sayto that person to test him or her, and how do I do it in a way that doesn'tcome across in the wrong way? This is what I mean by kind of testing in frontof the champion, so I'll ask questions like walk me through your currentresponsibility. Give me an example of...

...how you've gotten something like thisdone before and another one I like is: who was involved in those decisions andwhat we're really looking for we're checking for access to the politicalinfluence inside the company. I also look for a critical kind of trait. Ifsomebody is talking to me about rules, I get a little leery champions tend totalk about rules as if they were guidelines. If they tell you all thethings that they're unable to do, then you're, probably not talking tosomebody who's either your champion or really worthy of you kind of you know,labeling them as a champion. So look out for that rules versus guidelines.Champions talk about rules as if their guidelines, so the second criteria fortesting the champion is, if heor she is actively selling on your behalf. What'sevidence I'm Oneon for there yeah, I like this one, so it's it's activelyselling on our behalf. The evidence that I'm looking for is to really focusin n the decision criteria and making...

...sure that this champion can articulateand understand and own the decision criteria. So for our people that arelistening, that oure former, you know commandef the message alumni. If youwill, you know we kind of call these things, the require capabilities and,if they're not favorable, for US meeting, both US and the champion thatI get them to participate in their own rescue and to influence these properly.I also look and I'm prepared for common objections that we should see againstour competitor, so this will highlight the COP. The competitors it'll alsohighlight the competitor's champions, and I like for our champion, to bereally really keen on these things and really really participate in their ownrescue. So if there's a competitors champion out there, it's also a threatto our champion, and we just want to make it very clear to them that theyhave to participate in their own rescue. The thing that I love the best toreally test US actively selling on our...

...behalf is, I asked them to answer theultimate question: Why my company? So if it's force management, I say Mr Mrsscustomer, you know tell me why force management. What I'm really looking foris the answer to the four cents of questions. What problems do we solve?How specifically TDO WE SOLVE THEM? How do we solve them better or differentlythan anybody else, and where have we done it before so you're saying put the champion onthe spot. I am saying put the champion on the spot, but I want to be veryclear: it's not our job or our role to make our customers feel unduly underpressure. So don't change your style or anything like that. What makes you goodsales people keep doing that, but, yes, I am saying, put people on the spot,but be prepared they're, probably not going to give you the answer thatyou're going to want them to give you. So I always look for you know I'm openfor taking the blame for them not being able to answer that, because that's ourjob is to make sure that our champions...

...can can do that in effective way. Soit's also when you think about it's a great opportunity to reconnect the bothof you back to the value proposition your company provides for them. I knowyou've also said a good way to test. This point is to leverage your manageryeah, and this in this subject. I think a great way for the managers listeningout there. You can actually do this very well for your wrep, so you shouldbe asking your salespeople. What is our value proposition and if I ask thechampion, you say that this person's a champion, if I ask them why our company,what will they say and if you think at all that you don't know what they'llsay, utilize your manager bring them in or get them on the phone and and justsay, hey Mr Misssall play the I'll play the manager of Mr mirss customer. Onething that I wanted to do was we were talking. You know earlier about ourvalue proposition in the value specifically to you, as you articulated.Do you mind if I just play out a...

...scenario? Let's pretend like the CFO,comes into your office and says why my company go and and just be prepared forthem to not really give a really good answer to this and the we're not goingto make them feel badly about it or feel uncomfortable about it. But it'sour opportunity to reconnect them back to the value proposition and the therap should be prepared to say you know we role played this before we came inor before we got on the phone with you and we thought you were actually goingto struggle with this and that's our fault. So would you mind if we take afew minutes and kind of reconnect you to the problems that we solve? Howspecifically we solve them, how we solve them differently or better thananybody else ind, where we've done it before it's a great great opportunityto get reconnected not only to your champion but get your championconnected to the value proposition. So the third testing criteria is that thechampion has a vested interest in our...

...success. How do we check that yeahpeople a lot of times? People ask me like what do you mean by a vestedinterest in our success, and I think the easiest way to describe this is ifwe fail, they fail. So, conversely, if we win they Wen, so we've got to makesure that we're talking about something critical to the business, really simpleadvice there to test that third point, and what I love about this topic isthis. This is something our listeners can do right now with opportunitiesthat they've got in the pipeline yeah. Absolutely this. You know concept oftesting champions. I think, just if you break it down in summary of what wetalked about right now, focus on the evidence and the evidence is they havepower and influence they actively sell on our behalf, and they have a vestedinterest in our success, yes or no to that that's kind of how we looked attesting it kind of internally and externally make sure they can sell backto you why your company and try to do...

...it in a way that makes them do it aswell as you can do it. Thank you, John. Thank you all forlistening. We've received some great feedback from you on these podcasts.Keep your ideas coming, find us on twitter and I'm linked in and make sureyou subscribe to our blog on force. MANAGEMENTCOM.

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