Beware labelling Champions

meddic | beware labelling champions

“Strong”

“Powerful”

“Weak”

“Big”… champions. 

Beware them all!

Humans need humans to succeed. That’s life.

To be successful, we put faith in others for them to help with our success. This faith naturally leads to attachment. 

Spending time with salespeople over the years, I continue to notice the emotional attachment we develop to our champions.

This attachment is easily justified; in sales, following MEDDIC, champions are where all of our hopes and dreams lie.

Why? On average, about >70% of meetings to determine a project spend, are internal meetings for our customers. 

Salespeople do not always have a seat in that room; it is our champion who is the one fighting for the cause in those meetings. 

Labelling is misplaced hope

Within MEDDIC, champions are very clearly defined as:

  • Someone with power and influence
  • Someone with a track record for success engagements
  • Someone with a personal ‘win’ from our project
  • Someone with access to the Economic Buyer

 

Sometimes when our faith in our champion starts to falter, we use adjectives to describe that champion.

For example: If we have built a champion of our solution low down in an organisation, too many levels away from the expected economic buyer, they will not be able to secure a meeting with the economic buyer.

When we review a deal we might start to excuse this inability with:

"maybe our champion isn’t powerful enough" or

"maybe they are not a strong enough champion".

it’s a trap” – Admiral Akbar

The immortal words of Admiral Akbar tell us we have fallen into one of the most common issues when considering champions. We are forgetting that the definitions are absolute: 

They have the power & influence or not

They have a track record or not

They have a win or not

They can get access to the Economic Buyer or not

If any of these answers are NOT, they are NOT YOUR CHAMPION…. 

Stick with me here as there are a couple of big learnings from my experiences that I hope others can learn.

Emotional Attachment vs. Objectivity

In my experience, by adding describing words to champions we are becoming more attached to the champion and losing our ability to be objective. 

Our job as salespeople and leaders is to be consistently qualifying and validating where we are in a cycle and assessing the risks in front of us.

By attaching ourselves to our champions, a few very common scenarios occur:

  1. We don’t test our champions. Our trust is with them so why continue to validate they fit the bill?
  2. We ignore or excuse the failure of one, or more, of the tests that the champion must pass.

“Weak” champions, not senior enough, I often hear. Then we try to fill in their gaps with our actions. The hard lessons of experience tell me that this will not work in the long run. 

If a champion is not being tested and validated, they are not your champion.

If they fail a test, they are not your champion.

Period!

 

The foundation of forecast accuracy is your ability to be honest about the risks and then mitigate them. Don’t fall into the trap of your faith driving your numbers.

Not your champion… yet!

By no means am I suggesting that all people who don’t fit into the definition are to be discarded into the wind. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are champions. 

People can be champion material, but we need to be building them into “our champion”. To do this we must build a relationship based on trust, and it takes time to build trust. 

Perhaps your contact is absolutely the right person, if this is the case then a champion plan and activities are needed to build that trust.

 

ONE WORD

Champions are the cornerstone of deals.

Without one, we don’t have a deal. So, consider carefully, do you have a CHAMPION?

If you have a strong, powerful, weak, or {other} champion, ask yourself why you are describing them. Who are you convincing? 

Be honest with yourself. The worst thing that can happen is that you take action to mitigate the risk. 

 


 

For more tips on applying MEDDIC in the real world - join our community at inspir’em today.

inspir’em was founded in 2019 delivering coaching, training & consultancy to help individuals and sales organisations grow. 

inspir’em can help with: sales management training, sales and leadership training, Go To Market strategy, MEDDIC best practices, Hogan leadership assessments, sales organisational design and key hires/sales execution.

We run in-person MEDDIC sales management training programmes, and have an online sales management course for those who wish to work at their own pace.

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