No sales champion, no deal. That’s what sales gurus will tell you with 100% assurance, and that’s what you as a sales rep should strive to be.
So what does sales champion mean?
A sales champion is a stakeholder within a prospect’s organization who sells your product or service to their colleagues on your behalf. They guide you on how to run your sales campaign successfully and introduce you to decision-makers, those who have power in making final decisions whether to buy your offering.
Experienced sales reps understand that nothing can streamline a sales process better than tights with a person within their prospective company who would influence local purchasing decisions. So, they’re highly concerned with nurturing a sales champion and striving to make the best of such cooperation.
Importance of the sales champion role
Now that it’s clear your company can’t do without finding a sales champion, let’s dive deeper into their importance for your business, both during and after a sale.
During a sale
They help you understand what decision-makers are thinking
The decision-making process is often complex. In companies with 100 to 500 employees, 7 people on average are involved in the majority of buying decisions. This poses difficulty in understanding how it works and whom to contact with your cold email to make the deal roll.
A sales champion is the one who’ll communicate what stands behind the curtains of decision-making. They can tell you why their company’s management may be interested in purchasing your product.
They identify purchasing criteria for you
Since a sales champion has a vision of what decision-makers expect from your solution, they can define clear purchase requirements for you. This will help you adjust your offer to the prospect’s needs and have better chances of convincing them to buy.
They have a word in your offering assessment
When decision-makers within your prospective company evaluate your solution, a sales champion will be that person who will defend your positions, highlighting the purchasing criteria that your product or service meets.
They provide you with their company’s metrics
Knowing their organization’s internal processes and KPI, a sales champion can share the necessary metrics to support your offer with real numbers and help you prepare a business case that would justify the purchase.
They help you withstand competition
Most likely, your potential customers are considering a solution from one of your competitors. And there is already a sales champion in place who advocates for it.
Your sales champion knows what makes your product or service a good fit for their company. So, during a sales process, they may help you handle sales objections and inform you what you should improve about your offering to withstand the existing competition.
After a sale
They support your early customers
As soon as a sales champion helps their company, i.e., your prospect, buy your product or service, they don’t disappear. On the contrary, as they know your solution well, they may provide extra support to users who have made a purchase and might have a turbulent period of learning how everything works.
If you doubt that extra customer support is so vital for your business, consider the fact that 86% of buyers are ready to pay more for a great customer experience.
They can be your referrals
It’s a common situation when a sales champion may know and get in touch with sales champions from other companies. So, if their organization has become your customer and the deal was successful, they may eagerly recommend your product or service to other businesses, creating a chain of new potential leads for you to nurture.
And not only new leads… Let’s not forget that customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate.
They may help with a follow-on sale
If you are a software company operating in B2B sales, you know that after selling your tool, you’ll always have a follow-on sale option. The reason is that you will go on developing your service, upgrade or add new features, provide useful extensions, and so on.
That’s where a sales champion may be helpful. After the initial sales, they will keep track of your product performance metrics and use these numbers to support your follow-on sale.
Qualities of a champion
If you feel this position suits you, keep in mind the top qualities you should possess to perform this role well:
Did you know that about 68% of B2B customers are lost because of the sales rep’s indifference or apathy? To become a good sales champion, you should be energetic and enthusiastic about the sales process. This quality will help you engage prospects and customers, increasing conversions and wins.
Drive to succeed
Sales are the vast area for growth for every sales champion, meaning there are many career opportunities to use. What you need is to be ambitious in your goals and never reluctant to achieve more.
Desire to learn
As a sales champion, you should understand that knowledge is power and be keen on learning new ways of doing sales. That’ll allow you to use a highly personalized approach to prospects, which will help you build trust and keep them engaged.
Passion for the product and sales process
Prospects are more inclined to do business with those who love sales and the company they represent. As a sales champion, you should know the sales process inside out and be ready to answer all questions, which is possible only when you are passionate about your role and the product you offer to potential customers.
Ability to prioritize
The sales process often presupposes tons of tasks that no one but you will have to solve. If you can set priorities, of course. You need to understand your responsibilities, control deadlines, and know how to prioritize your tasks. That requires good sales planning, which is one of the keys to success in sales.
Healthy attitude to failures
A sales champion is not a person who never has failures; this is a person who isn’t afraid of failures and is ready to face them. As a sales champion, you should view any obstacles as new opportunities. This includes getting over stresses connected with the sales job. Just remember the 3 P’s success formula: you should be patient, persistent, and positive.
How do you become a sales champion?
That’s the main question left to answer when you feel ready to do your best as a sales champion. Here are some basic tips that can get you there:
Become an expert in your product or service
Almost 80% of customers won’t engage with sales reps who lack knowledge of their company. You won’t make it to the sales champion position unless you learn every detail about what your company is selling. Besides, you should always keep track of any updates that concern your product.
Study the industry and competitors
Being an expert in your product is one thing, but you should also keep up with the industry your company operates in and study your competitors. Competition is your best teacher: learn more about other businesses that are launching a similar product, get valuable insights, and incorporate their brightest ideas into your sales organization.
Research your prospects
To get a sales champion belt, get accustomed to studying your prospects from the very start of your sales career. Always do your homework — research their buyer personas, link to them via social media, and don’t shun away from direct contacts when necessary. That’ll prepare you for a sales champion role, which is based on highly personalized cooperation with customers.
Live and learn
Consistency is what differentiates one salesperson from another. Sales aren’t easy, so be persistent and curious, learn new sales techniques, study available data and use cases. Success is a matter of consistency, so be prepared to live your job.
A sales champion is a powerful role, as this is the person who helps both sides — the selling company to drive the deals and the potential customer to better understand the product they are going to buy.
To become a sales champion your company may rely on, you should demonstrate your understanding of the industry, organization, competition, product you are selling, as well as your desire to learn, ability to overcome sales stress and prioritize tasks, no fear of failures, and passion for sales. Not every sales rep may fly as high to hold this position, but with Snov.io, building a successful career in sales is more than a reality.
After all, who if not You deserves to become a sales champion?