Champion lifetime value: An untapped revenue metric for B2B sales and marketing teams

Learn all about champions lifetime value and how sales and marketing teams can use it to grow sales pipeline and boost revenue.
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Winning a company as a customer isn’t enough anymore. The future of B2B is in building lasting relationships with as many end users as possible. And generate repeat business beyond renewal and upselling.

Taking advantage of past relationships and buyer job changes is a great way to reel in new customers. How?

Companies purchase. But champions become repeat buyers, referrers, brand evangelists, and trusted advisers (think customer advisory board). And now, individual champions within companies have more influence on purchasing decisions than ever. Acquiring one customer is a step toward acquiring many more.

The Great Resignation highlights a recent trend: The average job change rate is on the rise. People are changing jobs more often, and B2B purchasing habits are evolving to include more decision-makers on buying committees. Is your revenue team keeping up with this new reality?

What is Champion Lifetime Value?

What is champion lifetime value

Many B2B companies religiously track customer lifetime value (LTV) to measure:

  • Product stickiness
  • Product profitability
  • And effectiveness of their retention and acquisition strategies.

But in my view, that’s not enough. Your customer LTV is only a fraction of the worth of a customer (i.e., a company) because it doesn’t capture the value of those who moved on to a new business.

These individuals — who have bought, used, championed, or simply evaluated your product — have a high likelihood of doing so again.

Enter Champion Lifetime Value (LTV): the estimated dollar value of individuals (primary contacts, decision-makers, admin users, and end users) in your CRM who have moved on to new jobs in businesses that fit your ideal customer profile. Combined with customer lifetime value, these two metrics can significantly boost your business profitability.

Here’s why I believe Champion LTV should take a front-row seat for B2B revenue teams.

B2B is human to human

It’s time to reframe the conversation around B2B sales and marketing. It’s not about business-to-business connections; it’s about developing human-to-human relationships.

Individuals at a company can bring in revenue far beyond their initial participation in the purchasing decision. When they take on a new role at a new organization, the buying process repeats. Even if they’re not the decision-maker, they can influence and/or refer others.

It looks like this: A customer evaluated our product, but he left his company mid-deal for a new opportunity. When he started his new role as chief digital and demand generation officer at a new company, he and his team evaluated and bought our product. Later, when he moved to another new company, this time as a CMO, he purchased from us again.

The right lead source can grow your business exponentially

Nurturing relationships with individual champions is a sensible strategy for extending the lifetime value of your CRM contacts. Previous customers are your most likely buyers because they already understand your product and the value it brings

Consider this: At my own company, we can pinpoint individuals who have championed and purchased our product in their roles at three different companies, with a six-figure average contract value (ACV). We were able to keep in touch with these champions across their job movements and win their business again.

Revenue teams should consider tracking their champion movements to multiply growth. As job change rates increase, so does the outcome of this revenue play.

Champions can accelerate deals

Previous customers can be your deal accelerators. Even if your champion’s new role isn’t a decision-maker, they can still help influence a purchasing decision. They are uniquely positioned to help revenue teams multithread within the organization to connect with the right people.

You have already established a relationship with these individuals, and they can provide firsthand information about the value of your product. This feedback is not only a great entry point for your sales team, but it’s also invaluable information for decision-makers by bringing past users into the conversation and is a win for both parties.

How to implement champion lifetime value

Follow these four steps to implement champion LTV in your pipeline generation playbooks:

How to implement champion lifetime value
  1. Identify your most valuable contacts. Champion LTV highlights the value of individual users in your contact list. Your champions may include primary contacts, decision-makers, power users, and end users of your products. These people are familiar with the value you bring to the table and are primed to influence purchase decisions within their companies.
  2. Develop a tracking process to track these individuals as they switch jobs (and companies). Whether your process is manual or automated, it’s important that you stay on top of champion job changes so that you can stay top-of-mind when they start in their new role.
  3. Set up a process for contacting your champions once they’ve settled in at their new jobs. While it’s possible that a champion will feel strongly enough about your product to buy right away, they might need a little push via marketing and sales outreach. Even if your champion is not in a position to make a purchase decision, they can be critical for helping your revenue team push past gatekeepers to reach the right decision-makers.
  4. Keep track of the dollar value these individual users contribute to your revenue numbers. When they switch jobs, are they influencing purchase decisions that bring your business new customers? When they are promoted within their current company, are they influencing upsells and cross-sells? How many times has a champion influenced the purchase of your product at a new company? As you track champion movements from job to job, you will form a clearer picture of your overall Champion LTV.

Every other lead source gets harder as you grow. But champion tracking grows naturally with your business.

So, if you’re looking for a repeatable way to increase revenue, think about how:

  • Your company can increase the number of product users
  • To turn your product users into product champions
  • To systemize a method for tracking champions across job movements.
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