Website Cookies

We use cookies to make your experience better. Learn more on how here


The Danger of a Single Champion: How to De-risk your Opportunities

Securing a single champion in your opportunities might initially feel like a win. However, relying on just one person within an organisation to drive your deal forward carries risk. This risk is not limited to new business opportunities; even in existing customer accounts or renewal opportunities, having a single champion is a major red flag. It’s essential to recognise this risk and take proactive steps to mitigate it. In this short, but practical article, we will delve into the dangers of relying on a single champion, provide real-world scenarios that highlight these risks, and offer actionable strategies to safeguard your opportunities.

The Risk of a Single Champion
When you rely on a single champion, you are essentially putting all your eggs in one basket. This strategy is fraught with risk for several reasons:

  1. Internal Buy-In Challenges: Your champion might struggle to secure the necessary buy-in from other stakeholders within their organisation. Without broader support, your deal is vulnerable to internal politics and resistance.
  2. Blockers and Cold Streaks: Even if your champion initially makes good progress, they might encounter internal blockers that halt their momentum. This can cause them to go cold, leaving your deal stalled.
  3. Competing Priorities: Champions often juggle multiple projects. If they are overwhelmed with other priorities, your deal might not get the attention it needs to move forward.
  4. Loss of Clout: Your champion’s influence within their organization might diminish if they start underperforming in their role. This loss of clout can severely impact their ability to advocate for your solution.
  5. Role Changes and Departures: Promotions or new job opportunities can shift your champion’s focus away from your solution. Worse, they might leave the organization altogether without informing you.
  6. Absences: Personal circumstances such as annual leave, maternity or paternity leave can temporarily remove your champion from the equation, causing delays in your deal’s progress.
  7. Burnout: Champions who push hard to promote your solution might eventually burn out, especially during busy periods. This burnout can lead to decreased enthusiasm and effort.
For every stakeholder added the communication becomes more complex

Scenarios Highlighting the Risks
To illustrate these risks, let’s consider a few scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: The Internal Buy-In Challenge
    Imagine you have a champion who is enthusiastic about your solution but lacks the influence to secure buy-in from other key stakeholders. Despite their efforts, the deal stalls because other decision-makers are not convinced of the value your solution brings.
  • Scenario 2: The Role Change
    Your champion has been your advocate for months, but suddenly, they receive a promotion that shifts their focus to a different department. They no longer have the time or incentive to push your deal forward, leaving you scrambling to find another advocate.
  • Scenario 3: The Burnout
    During a critical quarter, your champion works tirelessly to promote your solution. However, the constant pressure leads to burnout, and they withdraw from actively pushing the deal. Without their energy and commitment, the deal loses momentum

Strategies to Mitigate the Risk
To safeguard your B2B sales opportunities, it’s crucial to diversify your points of contact within the client organisation. Here are some strategies to help you do that:

1.Identify Multiple Champions

  • From the onset, identify and engage multiple champions across different departments and levels of the organisation. This approach ensures that your deal has broader support and is not reliant on a single individual.

2.Build a Coalition of Support

  • Work to build a coalition of supporters who understand and value your solution. This coalition should include influencers, decision-makers, and end-users who can collectively drive the deal forward.

3.Maintain Regular Communication

  • Establish regular communication with your champions and other stakeholders. This keeps your solution top-of-mind and allows you to stay updated on any changes in their priorities or roles.

4.Create a Contingency Plan

  • Develop a contingency plan for scenarios where your primary champion might be unavailable or their influence wanes. This plan should include strategies for quickly identifying and engaging new champions.

5.Leverage Executive Sponsorship

  • Seek executive sponsorship within the client organization. High-level support can provide the necessary backing to overcome internal obstacles and maintain deal momentum.

6.Demonstrate Continuous Value

  • Consistently demonstrate the value of your solution through case studies, ROI analyses, and success stories. This reinforces the importance of your solution and keeps stakeholders engaged.

7.Foster Long-Term Relationships

  • Invest in building long-term relationships with multiple stakeholders. By understanding their goals and challenges, you can tailor your approach to meet their needs and maintain their support.

Relying on a single champion in your B2B sales opportunities is a risky strategy that can lead to stalled deals and lost revenue. By recognising the dangers and proactively diversifying your points of contact within the client organisation, you can mitigate these risks and improve your chances of success. Remember, the key to safeguarding your sales opportunities is to build broad support, maintain regular communication, and demonstrate continuous value. By doing so, you can navigate the complexities of B2B sales with confidence and achieve your business goals.

The Problem with Discounting

Salespeople often focus heavily on discounting. They might argue that their superiors are equally fixated on securing deals at any cost, prompting the use of discounts to create urgency. But does discounting actually work? While discounts have their rightful place in business, improper use can lead to issues. Consider the well-known UK sofa store, DFS,...

Are We Letting Sales Managers Down?

The role of a sales manager is often regarded as one of the most challenging yet pivotal positions within a company. Sales managers are the linchpins who drive revenue, motivate teams, and strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Yet, despite their critical importance, there is growing concern that we might be letting sales managers...

Enablement Half Year Review – What are the experts saying?

As we all know by now 2024 has been a somewhat unique time for the world of B2B sales and sales enablement has become a crucial component for driving revenue and growth whilst ushering in changes. It has been a fascinating year for enablement, marked by significant technological disruptions, particularly in AI, which is transforming...
Start a conversation

Get help to improve your sales team’s performance

Speak directly with Raff and Aaron by completing the following form.

This website is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.