Image of an email template to use when running champion tracking
Image of an email template to use when running champion tracking

Originally published on LinkedIn. This piece further expands on my leveraging buyer signals post.

In B2B, we often call every former/power user of your product or service a “champion.” 

Let’s say you have a power user named Max, and they move to a new role at a business that fits your ideal company profile (ICP). At that moment, Max goes from being a power user to an advance scout — an ambassador sent ahead of the troops(AKA your sales team).

Max knows your product or service. They understands its use cases. So, it’s pretty likely they’ll become your champion at their new company. 

TL;DR: The champion job change signal lets you track customers when they change jobs. Think of it as step-changing the new hire sales trigger.

Before we dive in, here are five reasons why the champion job change trigger should be one of your biggest pipeline generation bets: 

  • According to Forrester, being in front of buyers before the competition increases your chance of closing the deal by 74%.That’s why it’s so important to explore automating outreach, especially when it comes to new job changes, which can happen fast
  • Every year, at least 30% of people change their jobs ( UserGems internal data)
  • As per UserGems, new decision-makers spend 70% of their budget in the first 100 days 
  • Craig Elias (author of Trigger Event Selling) says the average C-level decision -maker spends $1M in capital on new solutions within the first 90 days in a new role
  • On average, 2-4% of a company’s users switch their job every month (UserGems internal data)
Christian Kletzl, our CEO describes the value of tracking champions in a LinkedIn post

What are the benefits of taking advantage of champion job changes

There are a lot of different B2B signals or sales triggers to consider. But few triggers or signals beat the 3X average close rate you get with champion tracking. Not to mention when your sales reps reach out, they aren’t calling a COLD prospect 🥶

But those aren’t the only benefits champions bring to the table. 

Many champions are highly motivated to make an immediate impact in their new positions. That usually means hiring team members and investing in new products and services like yours. And since they’ve already used your solution before, they know what to expect. This makes them ideal leads for your sales team to pursue.

Ex-power user of Spendesk that just moved to a new company.

Champions typically fall into one of two categories:

  • Decision-makers. These are ex-users who have the authority to make a purchasing decision in a new role. They usually have a budget and their employers expect them to use it to build new processes and implement new tools. Remember: New executives spend 70% of their budget within the first 100 days and $1M in implementing new tools. The only downside is that there are typically fewer C-levels and VPs compared to end-users.
  • End-users. These are former users of your solution but who aren’t in a position to have much influence over decision-making process. Still, they’re the best folks to reach out to when you’re looking for insights about their new company. And many of them will be  open to setting up an intro with a decision maker, like their manager or a department head. They’re the perfect candidates for a bottom-up approach where the goal is to further qualify the account and get internal referrals. As Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link, says, “Any successful salesperson will tell you that referrals from happy clients are the best prospects. They take your call, you start the relationship with high credibility, and they rarely shop for other vendors”.

The beauty of this sales trigger is that it scales as you grow — the more customers you’ll have, the higher the volume🤓

For each type of champion job change signal, you’ll need to have a dedicated process and separate messaging.

1. Champion job change outreach for key decision makers

With key decision makers, you want to have more touchpoints than with end-users as they’re more strategic.  A great way to begin the conversation is to start with providing value for free.

For instance, offering direct access to relevant and helpful gated content. If your content truly is valuable to the lead, you’ll be adding some reciprocity bias to the mix 😈

Ideally, this email should be sent from the Customer Success Manager ( CSM) that managed the account when the decision maker was at their former company. Then, sales can take the lead on any communication going forward.

Here’s what a potential sales sequence looks like with a champion decision-maker:

email outreach sequence for key decision makers when implementing champion tracking

And here’s what your initial outreach email to one of them could look like:

email examples

2. End users

End-users might not be in a decision-making role, but they can introduce you to the people who are. Here’s an example of an email you could send to a champion end-user:

email examples for champion job change outreach to end users

To maximize coverage, have a “fallback” strategy. This could be a second sequence to target the decision-makers in the company.

In case your champion doesn’t make the intro — not necessarily because they don’t want to, but because they don’t have time, or it’s not a current priority. In this sequence, you can mention the champion end-user by name to engage and create trust with the decision-making lead.

email sequence for end users

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How to track champion job changes manually (a DIY version)

So how do you track champion job changes manually before jumping to purchase a third-party solution?

To start, you’ll need a list of your customers companies, related contacts, and their LinkedIn profile URLs. 

Once you have their LinkedIn profile URLs, you can extract their job title and company information by using a LinkedIn data extractor (such as, Snov.io, Phantombuster, or Captain Data.)

Next, check if the current companies of these contacts match with any of your target accounts. You can do all of this with a spreadsheet and an “IF” formula.

The DIY version is not ideal nor sustainable because it’s time-consuming. But it could be enough to prove the value and ROI of tracking job changes to your team and management before scaling to an automated solution.

Automating your manual champion tracking solution

Now things are getting interesting. You have a big enough customer database to ensure that tracking job changes will make an impact on your bottom line, and you have the data to prove it. 

When it comes to automating tracking job changes, you have two options:

  1. Build it internally, or
  2. Use a third-party solution.

1. Building an internal champion tracking solution

In most cases, building an internal job tracking solution can be done using a LinkedIn data extractor as described earlier. 

But if you want to make it less hands-on, you’ll need: 

  •  A LinkedIn extractor tool that automatically runs each month 
  • A warehouse to unify data (or a spreadsheet, or Airtable, etc.) 
  • A way to manipulate data (DBT)
  • And, potentially, a reverse ETL tool to dispatch the cleaned data into a dedicated campaign (you can use Cargo as well for post-extraction).

Ideally, a good internal solution will include:

  1. An extractor tool( such as Captain Data or Phantombuster if you are on a budget) that extracts data from the input source (the LinkedIn profiles of your customers).
  2. A dedicated data model to automatically clean and keep only the customers that change jobs.
  3. A synchronizing tool such as Hightouch or Cargo's prospect relationship management function to sync the new job change details to your CRM and outreach tool.
  4. Routing leads back to the appropriate sequence (decision-makers or end users).

At Spendesk(where I previously worked), we were tracking customer job changes by:

  • Listening for people removed from Spendesk (your solution) ⇒ We have it in our warehouse, and we were doing an automated check on their LinkedIn profile to check their new company
  • Refreshing all of our Spendesk users every month so that we weren’t only relying on deleted users.
See the top right custom object with “Champions” information.

To track this intent, we used the following data:

  • Updated contact details 
  • The contact’s LinkedIn profile
  • Persona level (key decision maker OR finance employee OR end user)
  • Champions - Past company (the company that’s currently a Spendesk user)
  • Champions - User type (account owner, controller, requester, team manager, etc)
  • Champions - Last Net Promoter Scores (if we got the data)

As you can see, building an internal job tracking system requires some software engineering skills and tools such as Cargo and Hightouch. 

Additionally, it also requires ongoing resources to maintain and fix product issues. If you don’t have the time or resources to plan, build, maintain, and use an internal job tracking system, a third-party solution like UserGems is probably your best bet. 

2. Using a third-party champion tracking solution

Using a third-party job tracking platform like UserGems comes with a lot of benefits. Especially since they’ve made the entire process automated and user-friendly. Plus, when it comes to use cases, they’ve mastered them, hands down. 

Here’s what implementing UserGems looks like:

  1. Connect your CRM to identify customer accounts and customer contacts. (Optional: connect calendars and product databases to identify more contacts, such as power users vs. casual users).
  2. Update UserGems job change settings for your list of target prospect accounts and criteria for target personas (buyers vs. users) to highlight the most relevant job changes.
  3. UserGems then creates new records in your CRM for all job changes and provides their new information (new job title, company, email address, phone number, LinkedIn URL). It also connects the new record with the old record, carrying over any past info (last NPS, user type, etc.).
  4. Next, UserGems alerts account owners (SDRs and CSMs) and flags outdated records as “No longer at company.”
  5. Depending on the type of job change, UserGems automatically adds the new contact into the relevant sales sequence.

For example:

  • Previous Customer Buyer —> Now at ICP Company and  Director + title
  • Previous Customer Buyer —> Now at ICP Company and User title
  • Previous Customer User —> Now at  ICP Company and Director + title 

If you need messaging inspiration for your champion audience, you can take a look at their customer job changes messaging playbooks.

With a third-party solution, your team only needs to focus on reaching out to your champions instead of researching or manually adding them to sequences. This ensures your team can act on these most valuable leads immediately.

Extra tips to take full advantage of the champion job change signal

To get the best out of this sales trigger, you need a suitable ops and enablement processes.

For sales:

  • Always check the history of the account (previous discussions, tasks, etc).
  • Take a moment to look at the LinkedIn profile of your champion to see when he/she used your product/service.
  • Based on the last time a lead used your product/service, you can also give them a couple of product updates that could interest them (depending on their role) since their last usage.
  • For decision makers, ask the CSM in charge of the previous account for any important historical information.
  • If the champion decision-maker is not fully onboarded yet and the timing is too early, add a task in your CRM for a few months down the road to keep the account in mind so you don't lose momentum.

For ops:

  • As it’s often a low-volume but high-quality account, it’s great to start with a small sample size and a lean cross-functional team. Starting small enables you to share what you’ve learned, iterate, and improve the process before expanding it to every sale or making it a company-wide initiative.
  • Dedicated Slack notifications associated with a round-robin process to auto-allocate the account.
An example of a Slack notification of a champion job change sales trigger
  • A dedicated dashboard to help your sales address leads with intent in priority.
  • Always set the CRM origin to “champions,” so you can do analytics and compare this to your outbound average.

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Tracking champion job changes comes with a huge ROI

Your champions are some of the warmest and most qualified leads you can get. But if you aren’t tracking job changes, you could miss out on some of your best opportunities to close a deal. 

Manually tracking your champion job changes can be done, as long as you have the time and resources to do it. 

But if you don’t, let UserGems automate the entire process for you. From updating contact information and noting relevant connections to updating roles and merging account details, UserGems has you covered. Try a free demo today to find out exactly what it can do for you.

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