How to Find Champions from Your User Base
Explore the vital role champions play in product success, their key characteristics, and practical strategies for identifying and nurturing these essential advocates within your customer organizations.
What is a champion?
In the context of sales and customer success, a champion is a person within a client's organization who believes in and actively supports your product or service. This individual is not just a regular user but an advocate who understands the value of your offering and is motivated to see it succeed within their company. They are your ally, bridging the gap between your business and the client.
Why is a champion important?
A champion plays a crucial role in driving the adoption and success of your product or service within their organization. They help navigate internal politics, provide critical insights about their company's needs, and influence decision-makers. This advocacy is essential, especially in complex B2B environments, where buying decisions often require consensus from multiple stakeholders.
What makes a good champion?
A good champion possesses a blend of influence, enthusiasm, and credibility within their organization. They should have:
Influence: The ability to sway decisions and rally support from others.
Enthusiasm: Genuine belief in the value of your product.
Credibility: Respect from their peers and superiors, ensuring their recommendations are taken seriously.
Knowledge: An understanding of their own organization’s needs and how your product can address them.
How do you identify a potential champion?
In the world of SaaS, finding a champion amidst numerous users can be challenging. Identifying this key individual requires focusing on certain behaviors and traits that indicate their potential to be your advocate within their organization. Here are the key factors to look for:
Being a Power User: Champions often exhibit high engagement with your product. They are not just frequent users but are adept at leveraging its features to the fullest. Look for users who demonstrate advanced understanding and utilization of your product.
Propensity to Share and Onboard Others: A potential champion is someone who actively invites colleagues to use the platform, shares their work created using your product, and encourages team adoption. This behavior indicates their belief in the product’s value and their influence within the organization.
Connections Within the Organization: Champions usually have strong internal networks. They are connected with key stakeholders and decision-makers. Analyzing user data to see who interacts with a broad range of departments can help identify such individuals.
Paying Personally for the Product: When a user personally invests in your product, it signals strong belief in its value. This financial commitment, even if it's for an initial period or a particular feature, is a powerful indicator of champion potential.
Public Advocacy: Look for users who speak positively about your product on public forums, social media, or industry events. This outward support is a strong signal of their potential as a champion.
Constructive Feedback: A user who regularly provides thoughtful, constructive feedback is invested in the improvement and success of your product. This engagement level often goes beyond mere satisfaction and shows a deeper commitment and understanding of your product's value.
Identifying a champion in a SaaS setting involves recognizing these key behaviors and interactions. By paying attention to these factors, you can effectively pinpoint individuals who are not only enthusiastic about your product but also possess the influence and willingness to drive its adoption within their organizations.
This can be a difficult process especially if you have a large number of users from a given organization. Tools like Upollo can help by highlighting the most actively engaged users, their roles within the organization and a number of other factors which can help quickly hone in on likely champions.
Testing your champion
Once you’ve identified a potential champion, test their commitment and influence. Here’s how:
Share Information: Provide them with detailed product information and see how effectively they communicate this within their organization.
Seek Feedback: Ask for their input on your product and note if they offer constructive suggestions.
Observe Engagement: Watch how they interact with their team regarding your product. Are they persuasive and enthusiastic?
Gauge Influence: Measure their impact by the responses and engagement of other stakeholders in their organization.
Finding and nurturing a champion is a strategic process in sales and customer success. Champions not only accelerate the sales cycle but can also become long-term partners, fostering growth and collaboration between their organization and yours.
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