I recently spoke with Sherry Smith, Program Manager of the Executive Sponsor Program (ESP) at Dell to learn about the launching of their ESP.
· Dell built their program in January of 2010 and officially launched the program in July 2010
· Currently there are 80 accounts in the program and 35 executives
Like most organizations Dell has aspirations of what they want ESP to accomplish for the organization. They want to enhance executive relationships, loyalty, retention and revenue.
Through the launch phase their executives have been very supportive of the program and eager to participate. The executive matching process and the kick off calls with each Global Account Managers/Account Executives have gone well.
As with any program launch there are always a few challenges encountered along the way. Dell faced some obstacles with solidifying an overall program sponsor, the program structure and monitoring their program. The Dell team has been working hard on these common challenges as they know it will help sustain their program long-term.
I asked Sherry what she would have done differently when launching the ESP. She said “start with the basics first. Clearly defining what you want the program to look like and working backwards with the tools and reporting you are going to need.”
Sherry shared some advice she would have for any organization considering launching an ESP. She said there are four components that are critical to success. They are:
1. Do it right the first time. Don’t try to do it on your own. There is an art and science to successfully launching a program.
2. Focus on the basics – focus on setting up the proper structure so that the program can be measured and you are able to celebrate the successes along the way
3. Program Manager – Having a Program Manager with good people and program management skills
4. Program Sponsor – the CEO or a BU President that can play their small, but vital role to champion the effort