5 ways to influence champion lifetime value
5 ways to influence champion lifetime value

Many B2B companies focus their marketing efforts on customer lifetime value (LTV) — and it’s not hard to see why. 

Customer LTV (also called CLV or CLTV) has predictive and historical value, which enables a company to weigh the effectiveness of its sales and marketing strategies. A sales leader can easily compare the LTV of an account to the customer acquisition cost. These metrics help them to determine if the spend/profit ratio is good.  

However, a different dimension to LTV focuses on champions — individual advocates who already know and love your product.

Tracking champion lifetime value is especially crucial in B2B sales now that more people are changing jobs on a regular basis.

Christian Kletzl, co-founder and CEO of UserGems, sat down with Dustin Tysick on the Testimonial Hero podcast to share how to turn champion lifetime value into a pipeline-generating channel. 

If you’re wondering how to scale your champion tracking strategy, UserGems can help you identify when your champions have changed jobs and surface key contacts within their organization so you can sell to them again. Contact us for a free demo

How to influence champion lifetime value

5 tips to influence champion lifetime value

Simply hoping your champions will become customers again when they change jobs isn’t enough to help you hit your KPIs. After all, you share similar customer profiles to your competitors, which means they’re also trying to win over the same accounts.

The difference is that you have an edge with the prospect because they’ve used your product in the past. All you need to do is make the right move.

Christian recommends five strategies to increase your champion lifetime value and win back customers.

1. Track champion movement

As a company, start by tracking your champions to figure out whether it’s worth putting time and resources into champion lifetime value.

You can do this one of two ways: manually or using automation.

  • Manually

“You can track champions manually through LinkedIn URLs,” says Christian. “We've seen companies go through opportunity contacts grouped by LinkedIn URLs. And very quickly, they find that so many of these people buy for the first, second, and third time.” 

He adds, “Tracking job changes and guaranteeing that someone reaches out when a champion moves to a new company and adds them into a sequence are two different things. In fact, it can mean the difference between 1x and 10x ROI. Because of this, accurate and timely tracking is key.”

However, reaching out to your champions at the right time can be tricky with manual tracking since it’s prone to human error. In addition, it becomes much harder when you have a large customer base, making it inefficient and tough to scale.

  • Automation

Automating your champion tracking with a tool like UserGems is the second approach.

Automation in this context refers to two things:

  1. Automating tracking job changes so you know when your champion has moved to a new organization.
  2. And automating your outreach to make sure you take advantage of this trigger.

“The first piece of advice I have for doing this is if there's a job change, put your champion into a sequence,” says Christian.

“It’s also important to ensure that something happens when there's a change in a customer account, a target account, or an open opportunity. And that it isn’t just a notification, but some kind of automation, like a prepared message.”

Automating champion tracking and sales sequences guarantees that these leads are being acted on. With UserGems, for example, our customers have their champions automatically surfaced in their CRM, triggering an automated sequence that ensures they’re engaged.

2. Avoid making an ask in the first outreach

The most important thing to remember is that you're selling to humans even if you're doing B2B sales. That’s why the first step in an outreach is acknowledging that making a job change is a significant life event for your champion.

“They may have been at the previous company for many years,” says Christian. “They're making a big, big step there. So I’d simply congratulate them the same way I would a friend. Just acknowledging that, ‘Hey, that's a big change.’ But there's also a lot of opportunity based on if, for example, they get promoted.

“Depending on seniority, we also have a funny gifting step in there. Like, ‘Hey, this is a small token of appreciation to get you started in the first week.’ But more importantly, there's no ask in there. It's really about the relationship that we are building.

“This means we're also not only doing this for someone who joins a target account. We also do this if they join a company that might not be right for User Gems because this is about building a relationship. Then, once they settle in, somewhere between two and six weeks, often depending on seniority, we can say:

Hey, now that you’ve settled in, could it make sense to explore whether User Gems makes sense for your organization?’

3. Don’t ignore previous organizations

There are a variety of things to consider when a champion moves to a new company. 

As Christian explains, “First, there should also be an action on the previous organization. Wherever this person is leaving from, there's now a churn risk. A champion leaving is the second biggest reason for churn. So the first thing we do is notify the CSM manager saying, ‘Hey, John left here. Figure out who replaced them or who is now the leader of the UserGems project.’”

But it’s not just about the champion leaving. It’s also about who else is joining the customer account. 

Christian explains, “If there's a new decision-maker, a rev ops or a finance leader, the first thing they do is evaluate what tools they currently have and which tools they don’t need.

“When a decision is made, it can be challenging to change it. So, it's advisable to be proactive and have a conversation with the new decision-maker beforehand, and share the value and ROI of your product to their business before they make a decision that may not be favorable to you.”

“Then, the second piece is wherever John is now going”, adds Christian. “That's where we put the new SDR or AE on that account, saying, 'Hey, here's the previous CSM. Check in with them.'”

4. Treat a champion joining an account as intent data

“A champion or past user joining any account should be treated like intent data,” says Christian. “It should bubble up the importance of that account.” 

This means reaching out to other people within that organization. But you need to be smart about it. Is the person you’re reaching out to a champion’s colleague? Their manager? Or are they from a different department? 

“We always reach out to the manager of the champion with a message like:

‘Hey, noticed John just joined your organization. They previously worked with us here. Talk to them about their experience. And maybe this [your product] could make sense here [for their organization] as well.’” 

Christian continues, “And the more people you have who previously used the product, the better because you create groundswell. That's why we not only track the decision-makers but also track the users.”

He explains, “Let's say you have three SDRs that have used UserGems. If they go to another organization, we’d reach out to them. We'd also reach out to their managers and say: ‘Half your team already used UserGems before. Talk to them about the experience.’ 

“This changes pretty much all of my outreach from cold to warm because now I actually have a relationship. It's kind of like multithreading, and it changes the way you target that account.”

5. Don’t underestimate individual contributors

Individual contributors, like power users, are already talking about your brand, which is great. But they can also give you good insights into which tools they’re currently using and who you need to include in the conversation to move the needle on a deal. 

Christian says, “Often, the inclination is to go after the closed-won opportunity contact and then filter out whether they're a manager or not at the next job. But there's so much value in the end users.

“We always say optimize for love. We track the ones that love the product. I always quote Hamilton here: You are not in the room where the decision happens. But the power user or champion is there and can speak for you.”

Grow your pipeline with a champion tracking strategy

Keeping track of your champions and measuring their LTV ensures you’re always aware of when they change jobs. This makes it easier to win their business again. 

Use the following strategies to make your champion tracking strategy more efficient:  

  • Track champion LTV 
  • Avoid making an ask in the first outreach
  • Don’t ignore previous organizations
  • Treat a champion joining an account as intent data
  • Don’t underestimate individual contributors

Still not sure where to start? Give UserGems a try.

UserGems is pipeline generation software that helps revenue teams generate and protect revenue efficiently. With UserGems, companies can track and automate outreach when their champions change their jobs and capture the buying groups to find the warmest path into every account.

Companies like Mimecast, Greenhouse, and Medallia use UserGems to reach their revenue goals quickly and efficiently.

Want to get more pipeline with less work?