The War Room
Question
Post

How do you get around an initial contact to find your champion?

It's only recently I've realized the initial contact I meet on an intro / discovery call is almost never my actual champion, they're just the initial point of contact from the customer's side.


But I'm struggling with figuring out how to get around them, and so am running full deal cycles without ever having an actual champion and so am unsurprisingly losing these deals.


All advice welcome!

๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
โ˜‘๏ธ Qualification Calls
๐Ÿ‘ฅ Social Selling
5
sfsalesdude
Opinionated
6
Sales Team Lead
Ask questions they likely wonโ€™t have the answer to. When they inevitably push to chat with the right people internally and get back to you, use that as a crutch to schedule a call with everyone in the room.

โ€Actually, I have an idea. Itโ€™ll be most productive if we all jump on a call. There will be some back and forth and your (VP) will likely come back to you with questions Iโ€™m equipped to answer. Last thing anyone wants is to exchange a hundred emails about something we can hash out in 30 min.

How about we look at calendars and find a time for this session?โ€
endofquarter
Fire Starter
1
EAE
I like this, thanks for sharing.ย 

If I'm getting a lot of "oh I don't know" answers, do you think it's reasonable for me to hold up any next steps until they intro me to the person who would know?ย 

The questions I'd have in mind would revolve around the company's strategic goals and priorities, and quantifying the high level pains the initial contact has highlighted.ย 
sfsalesdude
Opinionated
0
Sales Team Lead
This is where the Challenger mentality comes in. In these situations I regain control by being the advisor. I let them know Iโ€™ve seen how this plays out, with too many emails exchanged, me banging down your door for updates, all while your problem continues to grow and eat away at (productivity, profits, etc.).ย 

then go for the close on the next meeting again. And if they still push back, use a similar customer story. Third push back then youโ€™re in trouble and should move onto people who respect your process.ย 
305SalesGuy
1
Business Development Manager
I always let them know I am going to bother them until we get to where we need to be, brining on the champion early is not just beneficial to us but for them too. They might be missing key questions they need to ask us and it could end up hurting them

TennisandSales
Politicker
1
Enterprise Account Executive
a few more details would be helpful.ย 

are these deals inbound? or created from outbound?ย 

what level is the initial contact? (manager, director, vp, ect.)


i have a few thoughts depending on your answers
endofquarter
Fire Starter
1
EAE
Mostly inbound up to now, but I'm hoping to be generating more outbound going forward. If the latter, I'll still invariably need to get around the initial contact assuming I don't start with the CxO.ย 

Initial contact is usually a manager, e.g. finance manager, maybe a director.ย 
TennisandSales
Politicker
2
Enterprise Account Executive
ok so I guess im confused on why you need to "get around" them.ย 

if they come inbound they have interest.ย 

Do they all of a sudden try to STOP the deal from going forward? Do they think its not a good fit? do they think they ARE the DM?

In my experience, when Im dealing with managers/directors that cant really get shit done, I try to work with them on getting the next level engaged.ย 

I look to get a really detailed picture of the buying process and who is involved. Then start to ask what their VP or CxO cares about and what message we need to deliver to them.ย 

if that contact wont help with this then the deal will die. So you just need to go around them.ย 

If i have done the work to understand who else needs to be involved I will go reach out my self.ย 
endofquarter
Fire Starter
0
EAE
"if that contact wont help with this then the deal will die. So you just need to go around them. "

This is it exactly. I'll have my main point of contact, but they might only have the power to say "no" to me. In reality they have zero influence, and mightn't even know how the true EB and DM are.ย 

If you ask to be introduced to the senior stakeholders and they say "no", what do you do?
Pachacuti
Politicker
1
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
If I had the golden answer to that question I'd write a book about it and retire.

Real Champions are often cultivated over time --OR-- you just get lucky.ย  Finding someone who's passionate about you sell and likes you well enough to stick their neck out for you is that unicorn we all look for.

Good luck in your search!
DungeonsNDemos
Big Shot
0
Dialing for Initiative
I'm just hear to see everyone else's answers lol
CuriousFox
WR Officer
0
Senior Account Executive
Are you deliberately getting blocked at one prospect or are you asking in general?
CatMom
Politicker
0
Account Executive
Honestly I would just go around them. Iโ€™ve had to do this a few times and as much as I get terrified that it will backfire, it rarely does. And if it does, the deal was stalled and not moving anyway. You can get creative with going around. Like have your BDR/SDR do a cold outreach to someone with a title that looks like maybe their manager or the title that youโ€™d like to connect with. You could ghost write an email from your boss and have them send to your contacts boss and have it be like hey, weโ€™re working with so and so on your team and wanted to reach out to you to introduce myself from a leadership perspectiveโ€ฆdo you have a few minutes for a quick chat this week? And try and get a call with them. Worst case they either wonโ€™t respond or theyโ€™ll respond saying oh Iโ€™m not super involved with that, youโ€™re better off chatting with so and so whoโ€™s leading the project.
I also agree with others on here that itโ€™s super helpful to ask them on the first call what their buying process looks like. If they were inbound, they should definitely be able to share some sort of detail on their buying process.
GrizzleMcThornBody
Arsonist
0
See? Sweeeeeeet.
champions are the worst people to advocate for you internally.

the champion for you is the champion for anything and that person is annoying as fuck to the decision maker.

i can't find my old post cause im lazy but i wrote a pretty long reply to someone about why champions should be avoided in b2b sales
4
Champion Can't get through to C-level
Question
7
17
How to bring in key decision-makers in a conversation without offending your first point of contact?
Question
26