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Sales Champion Programs – Essential to Successful Enablement Programs

[buzzsprout episode=’8077800′ player=’true’]

sales champion development programs - key to your enablement program successIn this session, Paul Petroski, Sales Enablement Leader on the IBM Watson Health team,  joined The Collaborator to share his thoughts on structured sales champion programs.  This is pure gold.

Champion programs help by:

? Providing insights about what the teams really need.

? Becoming proof points for the of the organization about the effectiveness and importance of the program being rolled out.

To learn how Paul and team are running these sales champion programs, give a listen and remain curious.

Or, just read our notes below the video.

What is a sales champion?

Sales Champions are the sounding boards and advocates within the sales organization.  They must be knowledgeable about the challenges the team is dealing with right now.

What is a Sales Champion Program?

A Sales Champion Program is where the Enablement team brings together a cross-section of the go-to-market team to understand current team needs better, validate concepts, and drive adoption through the business for new Enablement programs.

How does a Sales Champion Program help your Enablement program?

These internal champions help you better understand what your sales teams need to achieve current business goals.

The primary benefits of the program include the following.

Insight into current needs

Even if your Enablement team consists of people who were previously selling for your organization, their insights on day-to-day challenges become less valuable with each passing day.

Your internal champions allow you to understand what your teams are dealing with right now and will enable you to determine what programs are needed to overcome current challenges or take advantage of new opportunities.

They validate your programs


You listened to what your sellers.

You have a program in mind to meet their needs.

But is it the right program?

Your sales champions are your sounding boards to validate and improve upon your ideas before you build them.

They get people using the program

If you build a fantastic program and no one uses it, was it worthwhile?

Of course not.

Your sales champions will help others understand WHY the program is essential, how they are using it, and help drive adoption in the field.


If your program misses the mark, they will bring the field feedback to you, enabling you to make corrections quickly and achieve the outcomes the program was working to achieve.

How do you create and develop your program?

Getting started with a sales champion program is straightforward but requires hard work to do it well.

  • Define your goals and objectives for the program
  • Get buy-in on the program from leadership
  • Let other teams know about the program
  • Set rules of engagement with those teams on how input flows in and how you will share insights and information back
  • Remember to get a blend of high-performing and lower-performing sellers, global and diverse perspectives.

 In many ways, those are the easy pieces.

Selecting your internal champions

Your goals for the sales champion program will guide who should participate as a sales champion.

However, the following should always be kept in mind.

  • Diversity of thought and backgrounds bring better results.
  • Consider the length of the commitment. Will sellers participate for a quarter, two quarters, or some other length of time?
  • Include struggling sellers as well as your top-performers. Each will bring something unique.

The video

You can also find the entire interview on YouTube.