An Executive Sponsor Program is a program that focuses on your organization’s most strategic customers providing them with a one-to-one relationship: An Executive within your company and an executive from your Customer. I have observed that the best Executive Sponsor Programs focus the Executive Sponsor’s role on building relationships at the highest level with your customer and keeping it completely outside of any particular transaction or pending deal.
The Executive Sponsor Program is all about achieving interdependency with your top customers and giving one another more leverage. By leverage, I mean gaining insight and knowledge on both sides into the environment, culture, strengths, weaknesses, issues and desires. This gives the Executives from your company and your customer’s executive an opportunity to collaborate on something neither could accomplish on their own. Some of the key benefits organizations see from an Executive Sponsor Program are:
· Aligning your company’s executive with your most strategic customers’ executives to create interdependency
· Improving client loyalty through testimonials, referrals and case studies
· Providing a programmatic approach for the overall program to build standard, repeatable process that is scalable
· Capturing key findings from the engagements to funnel the right information to the right people within the company so they can take action.
Russ Johnson, Vice President of Sales at Harris Broadcast Communications has seen firsthand the impact an Executive Sponsor Program has had on their company. Russ states that “It's important to separate Executive Sponsor Programs from traditional every day account management and strategic account management models. Through this new approach, we were able to connect to our customer at a more senior and strategic level, which Geehan facilitated the process.”
“Historically, the sales team could bring our executive into the account. By bringing in experts in preparation and planning, we were able to deliver a mutually beneficial meeting where the customer was able to bring something to the table too."
Stay tuned for my next blog about "Win-Win: Determining if an Executive Sponsor Program is right for you and your customer”