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Champions are gold-dust. Here’s ideas to make light work of finding them.

More campaign oomph

By Rebecca Burrows 2 min read

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The challenge in B2B sales is that a company is not a single entity, like an actual human. It’s not the company that decides on buying your solution – it’s the humans within the company.

And these humans can have conflicting interests and perspectives regarding your product.

Gartner research confirms this. There are now typically 6-10 people involved in each decision, and the buying journey is complicated.

Gartner - Buyer Journey

We typically see 3 primary roles within the decision-making unit (DMU):

  1. The end user (always plays a significant role in the buying decision)
  2. The champion (the person who wants to buy your solution)
  3. The economic buyer (the person who can sign off the money)

Other (and often more dangerous) roles in the DMU include:

Influencers (based on their experience or standing within the company or industry they can sway the decision)Veto Powers (someone with the hierarchy or power to say no, for example an IT department may have veto power over any software purchase)Purchasing department

Our job as marketers is to understand the humans within these companies and in this blog, I am focusing on the champion (who is sometimes also the end user).

While the Champions and End Users don’t typically make the final decision, experience shows time and again that the backing of these people can make a real difference, especially if there are conflicting interests within the company.

Make an emotional connection with your Champion

It’s likely that your Champion will be the person to overcome any internal hurdles. The one that helps you navigate the personalities within an organisation. So you should seek to make an emotional connection with them.

Make light work of finding your Champions with technology

Buyers are researching independently. So in the early stages they don’t need your sales team – they need you, the marketer to create great content that doesn’t pitch your product to them, but instead educates, informs and entertains. Don’t broadcast at them, instead seek to build a human connection between your champion and your brand.

Use lead nurturing platforms to make light work of this. They offer an inexpensive way to seek out champions at scale and with consistency. They find those that are truly engaging, personalise content for them automatically and help them rise to the top of your lead funnel through clever scoring functionality.

Look out for new technology called “Always-On, Always-Perfecting”. The platforms that use this learn from the behaviour of your best performing prospects and automatically top up your campaign audience with fresh prospects that match, constantly growing your audience without eating into your budget.

Use platforms like LinkedIn to make it personal

Once a champion is identified, make one-to-one connections with them on social media.

A lot of people view their participation on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as one of the more effective sales skills. And it provides a good platform to extend into shared experiences like dinners and social events for groups of buyers with common interests. Very little selling takes place at these events but they do establish you as an influential person within the group.

If you’re a little bit hooked then there’s a longer read on a similar subject here:

Bec Burrows
Data HQ Sales Director
You can email me if you need some help
Connect with me on LinkedIN for more #DataHQideas

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