When you're launching a program that is impacting the top 20% of your customers, representing 80% of your revenue, the program needs to be taken seriously. I know that seems so intuitive that you can't believe I mentioned it. However, the scary truth is, I have found very few organizations that have truly institutionalized this thinking and are laser-focused on driving results with the top 20% of customers through executive programs.
There are two components to a successful Executive Sponsor Program launch. They are the Center of Excellence and the Engagement.
The Center of Excellence provides organizations with a standard, repeatable process that is sustainable. Thorough discovery needs to be done with the key stakeholders and key operational leaders to define aspects such as :
- Goals of the program
- Number of accounts
- Number of sponsors
- Types of relationships you have today and relationships you want in the future
- Executive Sponsor Expectations
- Capturing and Communicating Customer Insight
Engagement - Once the Center of Excellence has been built, you can focus on the actual Engagement with your customer(s). The Engagement is all about creating the right environment to help solve your customer's toughest challenges to enable both companies to crate something that either company could not have created independently. The Engagement allows you to understand the specific environment, organizational goals, key challenges they are facing and depending on the agenda for the Engagement, you may even leverage subject matter expert(s) in both organizations to solve some of the biggest challenges.
I will discuss "Critical Success Factors to Launching and Sustaining an Executive Sponsor Program" in my next blog.