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Track your champions

February 27, 2024
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In the fast-changing SaaS industry, success goes beyond a great product; it's about building strong connections with those who use and support your product in client companies. These supporters, called 'champions,' are crucial for your product's acceptance, expansion, and customer satisfaction. The Champion Playbook is your complete guide to recognizing, nurturing, and making the most of these essential allies through strategic marketing automation and CRM integration.

In many ways, it’s the best referral you can get. 

We’ve had champions who implemented Captain Data in several companies, bringing us along whenever they changed jobs. They already know the product and will want to showcase their knowledge in their new companies. It’s a lot of time saved in onboarding and securing the relationship with the client - and pretty much free acquisition

The best case scenario is to talk to them as often as possible, you can easily automate check-ups, and ensure you anticipate that. However, you don’t always know everything in advance, and, in that case, it’s better to track them!

By doing so, you will also be able to track any promotion they have - which is an important signal. More responsibilities, more budget… are they still your champion? Utilizing CRM marketing automation enables a seamless integration of data extraction tools and LinkedIn automation to monitor these job and company changes effectively.


Build your champion spreadsheet

Who are your champions?

The first thing you have to do is to know who you want to track.

The easiest way to do this is if you already have a way to identify them in your CRM. In this case, you’ll just need to export the contacts in a spreadsheet.

As you export your contacts, include their LinkedIn profile URL.

If you don’t have it, you can use the LinkedIn automation “Find LinkedIn profile with full name and company name.

If you don’t have a property to tag them, you can export contacts associated with the deal and to the organization and ask your customer success team to remove the ones who are not as relevant.

You could do this for all your customers if you want, whether or not they are champions. In our case, we’ll focus on one to three champions per company.

Build the basis for comparison

In our template, we kept only six columns based on the data points that were important for us to track the champions, but feel free to add more if needed:

  • Row_nb
  • LinkedIn_profile_url
  • CRM_link
  • First_name
  • Last_name
  • Previous_job_title
  • Previous_company_name
  • previous_company_ID

Here, anything that has “previous” before the variable corresponds to the data from the last check. As the sheet is updated automatically, it will always take on the value from the previous extract.

We also added columns to add the latest values for the contact’s current company name, company LinkedIn ID, and job title. This way, we can compare the data and celebrate milestones with them. For example, even if your champion did not change companies or get promoted, it might be nice to reach out for their first anniversary on the job.

The property change is used to detect what happened.

There are three scenarios:

  • Nothing changed -> both the company ID and job title remained the same.
  • Champion was promoted -> the company ID is the same, but there is an update on the job title.
  • Champion is in a new company -> the company ID has changed

We’ll see how to check this automatically with Make in the last part of this playbook.

Run the process automatically

Whether you do it with Captain Data or another data automation tool, the logic is the same: each month, you want to: 

  • run a search on the people in your Google Sheets
  • extract the data to see if their job title and/or associated company changed
  • update the Google Sheets and CRM accordingly
  • notify your team

In our case, we’ll use the two data automation tools Captain Data and Make to be able to run this without touching anything.

The only modification you’ll need to do is when you want to add new champions - and even then, you can add them with a simple Make scenario to add new Google Sheets rows for each newly added champion based on a CRM filter.

Build and automate a custom workflow with Captain Data

For our specific use case, we’ll use a custom workflow to: 

  1. Get all the rows from our champion spreadsheet 
  2. Extract our champions’ LinkedIn profiles
  3. From the second step, we’ll be able to get the company’s LinkedIn page and then extract the information, especially the company’s LinkedIn ID.
  4. Aggregate the data between the champions’ LinkedIn profiles and their company’s LinkedIn profiles

Most of the mapping will be done automatically but make sure that check at least these 2 steps:

  • Step 2: map the right column for the champion’s LinkedIn profile URL based on your Google Spreadsheet

  • Step 4: set up the generic aggregation to map each result of the people profile extraction to the correct company profile based on the company’s LinkedIn URL.

To be able to trigger the workflow automatically, you can edit the launcher settings and schedule the job to run each week, month, every two weeks… Up to you!

Now that you’ve scheduled your workflow, you need a way to get the results automatically.

To do this, we’ll add a webhook on Captain Data and go to Make for the rest of the workflow!

Update your data points and notify your team

We’ll create a Make scenario to

  1. Set up a webhook that notifies us the second a new update is ready to be processed
  2. List Captain Data job results to get the information from our latest check
    Update our range values directly and see what the change

It should look like this:

These 3 steps should be rather easy, if not you can have a look at this article on how to get job results with Captain Data.

What’s going to be interesting is our last step, you’re going to update the champions’ rows based on the row number that you caught in the job’s meta:

  • Current job title
  • Current company ID
  • Current company name
  • Change status

To check the status automatically, we’ll use this formula in our column L:

{{if(2.meta.previous_company_ID != 2.linkedin_company_id; "Champion is in a new company"; if(2.meta.previous_job_title != 2.current_job_title; "Champion was promoted"; "Nothing changed"))}}

This formula contains one IF inside of another IF because there are 3 possible exit scenarios.

Let’s break it down together.

The first thing I want to check is whether the champion changed companies or not. If they changed companies, the job title change is not very important.

To do that, we compare the two LinkedIn company IDs: previous and current.

{{if(2.meta.previous_company_ID != 2.linkedin_company_id; "Champion is in a new company";

=> In this case, we want to update the status column with the text “champion is in a new company” when the two IDs don’t match.

Then, if the two company IDs (previous and current) are a match, I have 2 choices.

  • There is a change in the job title.
    if(2.meta.previous_job_title != 2.current_job_title; "Champion was promoted";
    => We update the status column with the text “Champion was promoted” if the two LinkedIn company IDs match but the two job titles do not match
  • There is no change at all.
    "Nothing changed" is written in the status column if none of the two previous conditions are true i.e. the champion did not change companies or job title.

Your sheet will then be updated with the right data:

Here we added a simple conditional formatting on column L to visualize easily what happened from month to month.

After these steps, you can add modules to notify your team of what’s happening, by adding for example a Slack notification when a champion changes company and updating the CRM with the info you gathered.

⚠️ Don’t forget to add another Google Sheets step to update the rows after having tagged these changes so your current job title, company name, and company ID replace the previous job title, company name, and company ID for the next time your job runs!
For example in my spreadsheet:

  • before I ran the job I saw Beedeez as the previous company and nothing in the current company column
  • Right after my job ran I had Beedeez as the previous company and Captain Data as my current company
  • Once I have notified the team and posted the info where I wanted to (CRM, Lemlist etc), I can reset the previous company to be Captain Data and the current company to be empty so I can run the job again in one week using the same logic.

You got it? Skip the Google Sheets step!

Create a trigger directly from your CRM and directly update your property “CRM change”.


Your champions enable you to create growth opportunities within their companies but are also a great source of referrals.

In an ideal world, they tell you everything. However, change can happen very quickly and you don’t always let everybody know that you’re leaving the company in advance. 

To be able to stay on top of what your champions are doing and congratulate them on their career changes, whether that be an internal or external promotion, it’s better to track them regularly. 

Combine the power of Captain Data and Make to make this happen!

Guillaume Odier
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