The Champion Target Persona
“No Champion, No Deal”
MEDDIC is a sales methodology invented in the 1990's by John McMahon, Jack Napoli and Dave Dunkel. MEDDIC stands for Metrics, Identify Pain, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Economic Buyer, and Champion and is a methodology for managing opportunities in strategic accounts. In the meantime there are some variations on the formula such as MEDDICC and MEDDPIC but the concept remains the same.
Looking at the acronym, in a strong partnership, marketing will have touchpoints in many parts of the process. In this post though, the focus is on the Champion. The Champion is defined as “a person who has power, influence, and, subsequently, credibility within the customer’s organization”(Source). The Champion must have a vested interest and a trusting relationship with the Salesperson in order to become an internal seller.
The Value of Multiple Engagements with the Champion
Marketing can help find the Champion, nurture them and build a trusting relationship to the account. Thinking back to my time in Sales (early 2000’s), I remember the work it took to close my largest deal. I met the Champion at a conference and spent 6 months understanding the pain points the company had, the vested interest of the person and building a trusted relationship.
This is what I learnt:
the company had a large project in the works
they were using outdated software, a lot of the work was done manually and they and couldn’t keep to timelines
executing the project successfully would bring the Champion visibility inside their organization and a promotion
Without the help of marketing to build this relationship, there were many struggles to get to “deal won”. My focus was purely on the Champion (I also had to work on other deals to make my quarterly number) and I was totally reliant on them to get the buy-in of the other stakeholders. It would have been a great asset to have the support for example, to work with the Champion on getting to know their executives directly and organizing engagements with them, or, meeting their peers and also teams and maybe organizing internal “lunch and learns”.
In the years since I transferred to marketing, I work in close collaboration with my Sales counterparts to build trusting relationships for both their and our benefit. I have worked with Champions to: create messaging and assets e.g. videos which they could use to promote their ideas within their organization; find solutions to obstacles placed in front of them by internal stakeholders; introduce them to peers from other companies with similar pain points; organize internal events for their teams including workshops, meet-ups, book signings and more.
One of my personal highlights was bringing a Champion over to the US from Europe and having them hold a keynote talk in front of 3,000 people in the audience with their peers cheering them on watching via live stream from their various offices around the globe.
If you play it right, the Champion does not only become one within their organization but also a customer ambassador who helps to advocate you to other potential customers. To succeed here Sales and Marketing must work as “one”.