Defining a Champion

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Michael Buccellato
Michael Buccellato Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
edited August 2023 in CS Org Conversations
Hey All -

What is your internal definition of a 'champion' within your accounts? How did your team get to that definition? 

We are starting to redefine this internally as a CS + Product Team initiative and would love to hear how you and your team have built a definition that represents both qualitative and quantitative characteristics. 

Look forward to all your feedback!

Best,
Michael

Comments

  • Jess Galenski
    Jess Galenski Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    First Anniversary
    edited January 2021
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    Hey Michael - Happy New Year!

    A few ideas below...

    Customer Champion typically acts as an advocate for you within the company. Likely does one or more of the following…

    Pre-Sales:

    • Direct liaison to the decision maker
    • Helps define purchasing criteria
    • Communicates the decision-making process
    • Participates in evaluation
    • Keeps out the competition
    • Helps build the business case

    Post-Sales:

    • Tracks metrics of success
    • Works on the implementation process
    • Continues to build off business case and finds new ones
    • Continues to keep out competition
    • Referral to new leads

    ------------------------------
    Jess Galenski
    Senior, Customer Success Leader
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  • Julie Chapman
    Julie Chapman Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited January 2021
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    Awesome stuff, Jess!  I would add, if your champion isn't at the executive level, that they represent the value you bring -- the metrics of success that you mention -- to the executive team.  In my experience, once things get rolling with a customer, the one who signs the contract or check is often left out or forgotten.  They may not need to be involved in the day-to-day, but your champion is going to need to keep feeding them data they care about if you are to secure a renewal.
  • Andres Morinigo
    Andres Morinigo Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    First Anniversary
    edited January 2021
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    Good timing as we are in the process of redefining our contact roles for our customers. Here's how we are going about defining our "Adoption Champions":

    The Adoption Champion focuses on day-to-day tactical implementation and execution of the agreed on desired outcome through our software. They may report to the Executive Sponsor and work strategically with this person by communicating wins, implementation advancements and quantified examples of how we are mutually working towards the agreed on desired and measurable business outcomes. This person is also responsible for helping advocate internally for our partnership. The CSM and the Adoption Champion will work closely together to coordinate trainings, EBR's with Executives, and gather feedback for feature requests and product improvements. 


    Something to also note, the "adoption champion" for us is typically not someone who holds the budget, but likely has some influence in the continued ROI and success of our partnership. For our smaller SMB clients, it's possible that the "Champion" can also be the Executive Sponsor so there's some flexibility around that. Hope this helps!

  • Bree Pecci
    Bree Pecci Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited January 2021
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    Hi Michael - 

    We just did a very similar exercise where we wrote a champion "job description". We pitch the job description to our main contact / admin and so they can identify an end user on their team to be a grassroots champion among all other end users. This way, the full team of users has buy in (from top-down and bottom-up).

    The job description includes key responsibilities like trainings, time commitment, etc., but also includes key attributes and behaviors for the grassroots champion:
    • Have strong communication skills

    • Outgoing, empathetic, and well respected among their colleagues

    • Speaks up in team meetings; proactively shares best practices with fellow team members

    • Frequently seeks out opportunities for process improvement

    • Strategically thinks about customer communications and engagement

    • Actively champions and advocates for your product with customers

    • Natural leader able to help team members adhere to internal deadlines

    We've gotten excellent feedback from our contacts on the attribute list. They say it really helps narrow down who is the best fit to spearhead adoption and usage across the team.

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    Bree Pecci
    Customer Success Manager, ChurnZero
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  • Michael Buccellato
    Michael Buccellato Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
    edited January 2021
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    Thanks, Jess! it's nice to see the comparison between pre-sales and post-sale.
  • Jess Galenski
    Jess Galenski Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    First Anniversary
    edited January 2021
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    Hey Bree - I really like this method! it holds that person accountable too and is great way to set expectations at the start. I am going to share with my team this would be great to start implementing.