Drivers of Consistent Program Execution

I know you are anxious to start working on what the Annual Customer Review content and meeting might look like, but we need to take some time to better understand what it will take to support your new program.  Do you have the infrastructure to support the program, or will you need resources allocated to assist?  Two key roles to ensure success in any Annual Customer Review Program are the Program Manager and the Program Administrators.

The Program Manager ensures the consistent execution of the documented processes for the program.  Most Customer Review programs fail when implementation is left to the sales force.  In my experience, the processes are not followed and the actual content of the final customer deliverable is often changed.  The Program Manager will maintain a standard template that has content relevant to the customer audience, which ensures a consistent message, is being relayed to all recipients of a Customer Review document.

As the single point of contact for the Annual Customer Review program, the Program Manager communicates on a regular basis with internal teams and Sales.   The content of the Customer Review document requires quarterly touch-points with contributors to make certain no changes or additions have occurred.  Touch-points should also be made with “star” performers in the sales force to incorporate any of their meeting feedback into templates or program processes. 

Another behind the scenes role that is often overlooked is the Program Administrator.  Program Administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program; they are essential to maintaining a consistent, repeatable process for the creation of each Annual Customer Review document.

Question 1:  Do you have administrative support that can assist either in a full-time or part-time capacity for this program?  The Administrator’s responsibilities can include the following activities:

• Receives requests for the creation of an Annual Customer Review document from Sales
• Initiates requests for information from various contributors of content to the customer document
• Compiles all content into a final customer document
• Tracks the status of each Annual Customer Review request (initial request through delivery)
• Requests approval on final customer document from designated Sales leaders
• Sends customer document to print and assures timely delivery

Question 2:  Do you have automation available that can replace the need for some administrative support?  Organizations that have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool or the ability to create an intranet site can eliminate some of the administrative tasks, thus requiring the Administrator role to be one of oversight instead of manual tasks and processes.  Tasks that can be automated include:

• Requests for creation of an Annual Customer Review document
• Tracking the stages of a request
• Initiating customer document approvals
• Print requests and shipment
• Meeting feedback and follow-up

The internal team that is built to support your Annual Customer Review program, including the Program Manager and the Administrators, is one part of the people equation for your program.  The other side of the people equation is Sales.  In my next blog I will spend time reviewing the knowledge, skills and attributes your sales force will need in order to deliver an Annual Customer Review meeting.

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