Gary Vastola, Vice President of Field Marketing & Service Support from Xerox and I participated in a Whale Hunters Expert Series call last week. The call and discussion was focused around the common challenges companies faced as they closed out 2011; flat sales, retention, and customer satisfaction issues.
As we kick off the New Year companies want to turn the tide towards exponential growth. The quickest way to achieve exponential growth is by focusing on your most important customers at a decision maker level. That sounds so simple but so many companies become distracted trying to do that with all their existing customers. The truth is that all customers are all not worthy of that type of attention and resources. As we all know, if you don’t prioritize your efforts than the efforts get diluted and so do the results.
Once you have focused on your most important customers at a decision maker level, the next question is what do you do with them? The days of “howdy calls” are over. You remember those days, an executive comes in to visit one of your important customers and basically the executive takes them to breakfast, lunch or dinner or meets in their office to introduce themselves and talk about sports and something else that is meaningless. The executive leaves and the customer executive is thinking nice guy, but I don’t have time to waste doing that again. One way to engage your decision makers in a meaningful valuable way is through an Executive Sponsor Program (ESP). An ESP is that one on one relationship (executive to executive) that is outside of any sales transaction. When launched well, the results are undeniable.