You wouldn’t send a member of your sales team into a meeting unprepared, so don’t do that to your champion. Get them ready to speak about your product and to tackle the obstacles they should expect to come up. They need to sell for you while you’re not around, and how well they do at making the case depends largely on how well you prepare them.
“To enable your champion to sell for you, it’s your job to equip them with the information they need at the time they need it and coach them as they sell internally for you.”
Avoid Communication Overload
Timing and the quantity of information are everything. Some people will try to deliver every bit of content and instruction their customers could possibly ever need all in the beginning. That’s the quickest way to overwhelm and confuse them.
“It puts the burden on the buyers to sift through material to find what is relevant to them.” Enabling requires giving only what’s relevant, which is a function of timing and readiness.
Don’t expect customers to have the patience or the skill to figure out what matters to each person and when. That’s your job.
“Your goal is to make the buying process easier for buyers, rather than adding to their workload.” Relevancy reigns supreme and makes them more likely to take it in.
Getting Tactical: The Tools and The Information They Need
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what your stakeholders need at each stage, and it can vary a great deal depending on the customer and your product.
To have a successful buying journey, you’ll need to at least provide 7 categories of information:
- Evaluation Guides. These cover how to evaluate and compare products in your industry, common issues or problems buyers are trying to solve, key questions they ask, types of solutions available, and perhaps even a scoring mechanism of some kind.
- Personalized demos by role. These could be done old school with PDFs or static recordings, but it would be ideal to use something more intelligent like interactive video demos. The goal is to educate each stakeholder and retrieve discovery information. Consider customer preferences on content type and channel, and make sure the content isn’t generic.
- Personalized FAQs by role. A detailed list of the most commonly asked questions for each role in the buying group through shared documentation, dynamic personalized FAQs, or a series of videos. These are especially effective if your champion can present these to stakeholders before they ask the questions themselves.
- ROI calculations. There’s some debate on the reliability of different ROI tools, but somehow collect agreed-upon inputs and assumptions from the customer to guide ROI expectations.
- Social proof by relevant role, problem, and segment. Offer relevant social proof. They want to learn about people like them successfully solving problems like theirs. Use case studies, whitepapers, quotes, video testimonials, references, video reviews, etc. Recency matters a lot. And be creative.
- Implementation guides and templates. Everyone gets nervous about the transition from sale to implementation and from implementation to broad adoption. Offer step-by-step guides, video instructions, frameworks to follow with areas for input and clear milestones, best practices, etc.
- Materials for secondary stakeholders. Secondary stakeholders (IT, legal, finance, etc.) can make or break the sale. Information to turn them into advocates might include security packets with end user agreements and privacy policies, detailed security policies, GDPR compliance documentation, sample contracts, and a pro forma invoices.
Iterative Frequently Early On
It takes time to create the ideal balance and effort to evaluate your buyer’s effectiveness in closing deals (which you must do), but teams generally see immediate payoff in the form of faster and smoother buying cycles. “When you have this arsenal ready, you can best equip your champion to do battle for you.”