The third and final Critical Success Factor for the Executive Sponsor Program (ESP) is Pace. The Executive Sponsor Program is a journey, not a destination. I realize this sounds cliché. However, you can’t image how many organizations are not in alignment with this very simple principle.
Why? It’s typically because the Executive Sponsor at a high level knows what they want to achieve. They want improved client loyalty at an executive level, retention, increased testimonials/referencability and increased wallet share with these accounts, which is all very obtainable.
However, what they don’t understand are all the factors to help them achieve this objective. The Executive Sponsor Program (ESP) should be an executive relationship that is outside of any sales transaction. It should be about strategically collaborating with your most important customers to help them solve critical business challenges or innovate something together that neither company could have achieved on their own.
You won’t achieve that by saying "I want our top 50 customer matched with our top 15 executives in the next two weeks." This is where the Pace comes in.
The graph below shows the journey based on our experience and research. The red graph shows when a company tries to implement themselves. You’re probably saying to yourself, we’re better than most organizations our results will be in the blue.
Sometimes, you need to go slow to go fast. Meaning, if done right, 80% of a successful launch is about the plan and 20% is the execution. We recommend that organizations start with no more than 3-10 pilots. This also goes back to Executive Sponsor alignment (CEO/President) and clearly understanding and communicating the goals, objectives and where this falls in the company’s priorities.
I will discuss "Common Myths in Building an Executive Sponsor Program" in my next blog.