In MEDDIC the Champion is a critical part of the framework. As Jack Napoli would say: “No Champion, No Deal.”
Many Sellers will refer to their Champion in deals, but, what defines a Champion?
For me, a true Champion has to meet three criterion:
1. Your Champion must have Power and Influence
The most critical criteria that a Champion must have is Power and Influence. Without this, you have someone unable to be more than a Coach, unlike criteria 2 & 3 on this list in which can be evolved from Coach to Champion.
Power and Influence doesn’t necessarily mean seniority
A common misconception is that a Champion needs to have a certain level of seniority to be a Champion. While rank and a person’s Power and Influence are often linked, they aren’t exclusively so. In today’s rapidly evolving world, the most experienced and tenured professionals rely on the input of junior executives more than ever before, and often what these junior executives lack in career tenure and seniority related influence they make up for by having domain expertise.
2. Your Champion must be Selling Internally for you
Throughout the lifecycle of your deal there are going to be many conversations about your solution and your competitor’s solution that go on when you are not there. When these conversations happen you need to be able to rely on your Champion to speak up and sell on your behalf.
3. A Champions have a vested interest in your success
If we fail, they fail.
If we win, they win.
Put simply, a Champions success should have some form of alignment with your success.
Their desire for success with you could be external such as wanting to work with your solution to elevate their career prospects or internal where it will enhance their chances of promotion or to receive a bonus. It is essential you uncover what is in it for them, and keep that front of mind when engaging with your Champion.
Elite Sellers manage to stay aligned to their Champion’s success without making their Champion feel uncomfortable or bias for supporting them.
There will likely come a time in your deal where you will rely on your Champion to stick their neck out or go the extra mile for you. Having strong alignment with their win will help encourage this when you need it.
A Champion without those three criteria is not a Champion.
At best you have a coach and some work to do!