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Why do champions help us close deals?

Two men standing on top of the mountain watching the sun set.

Gartner research shows you're three times more likely to close a deal when you enable your buyer Champion with helpful information.

But how exactly do we define a Champion? And what exactly is the “helpful information” they need?

First, let’s look at why Champions help deals: primarily because decisions are made by committee. Most of the buying committee won’t be directly involved in conversations with sellers. So it’s up to the Champion to convey the business case for your solution on your behalf. Hence the importance of equipping them with the right information.

This is why Champions represent one of the critical “C’s” in the MEDDPICC deal management framework.

Defining a Champion

A Champion is commonly defined as “someone who has power and influence, who can sell internally for you, and has a vested interest in your success.”

 But – here’s where it gets interesting. Reread that definition of a Champion. It makes 100% sense... until the part that says [cue record scratch] “has a vested interest in your success.”

As sellers, wouldn’t it be dreamy if we had Champions who were interested in our success?! I know I’d love that! Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. 

What matters to buyers is – and always will be – their problems.

Braedi DeLong, COO of A Sales Growth Company, just presented a webinar in which she offered a new definition of a Champion: “A Champion is someone who has power and influence, who can sell internally for you, and has a vested interest in solving their problem.”

Solving their problem is the Champion’s motivation for selling internally for you.

Which then begs a reiteration of what exactly do we mean by “problem”: in the Gap Selling framework, we always lead with the business problem (typically connected to one of that Champion’s KPIs).

In other words, the Champion is not motivated by a technical problem (a missing or broken process or tool) to sell internally for you. And they're not motivated by helping you succeed. What matters most to the Champion is the health of their business environment and the KPIs by which their success is measured.

Defining “helpful information” - for champions to help us close deals

So when Gartner states that you're three times more likely to close a deal when you enable your buyer champion with helpful information, what exactly is that helpful information?

It is: 

  • Quantifiable and qualifiable data pertaining to the buyer’s business problem

  • A root cause diagnosis of how the business problem is resulting from a broken or missing tool (like software, etc.) or process (like sales process, interviewing process, etc.)

  • A clear demonstration of how your product or service will directly fix that root cause

Note: the cost of your product or service must be a fraction of the cost of the business problem that will be resolved with your solution. Otherwise, your Champion won’t be able to articulate the business case for change.

Summing it up

As always, we have to remember that it’s not about us. It’s not about our product. It’s about our buyer’s problems. This is the through line from beginning to end in the sales process, including how we define and equip our Champions. And when you help your Champions in a problem-centric way, your success is a happy bi-product of solving their problem.

"Why do champions help us close deals?"



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