The current health and economic environment is challenging businesses to reassess their investments and to optimize every dollar spent. In making these assessments, it is important to look at the impact on existing customers and how to retain and grow existing relationships, not just move dollars to net new clients. Building an executive engagement program that pushes your organization to develop account-based plans that will ensure retention and growth planning in each of your top accounts is more important in challenging times. While your competitors are taking their foot off the investment pedal, you will differentiate your organization by investing in your existing customers and delivering value at every touch point.
We often hear the question of how to get started with an executive engagement program. Here are some things to consider that will help you get started and bring some quick wins in the process.
You don’t have to boil the ocean to find revenue. Focus on 8-15 clients where you already have some level of executive contact or see potential. Target the small group with your strategy and stay focused on that group until you see results.
Executives engage on insights. Assess the content that is uniquely yours and think of ways to package it for your sales organization or other marketing avenues. Bringing unique insights to the relationship will elevate your position as a thought partner.
Executive engagement – like all relationships – is a commitment. Do not proceed in an executive engagement program if you are thinking about it as a one and done approach. Results will come from focusing on a set of interactions over time that will bring your executive clients in closer to your organization. Enlist your senior executives (the peers of your clients) to join you in this effort and commit to the relationship building process.
Customer Advisory Boards Work.
I’m biased on this of course, but our work proves this to be true. Our clients that built customer advisory boards are seeing results in the depth of relationships, pipeline progression and increased share of wallet.
For more tips on how to make executive engagement work I recommend reading Bev Burgess’ new book “Executive Engagement Strategies” it is full of great nuggets and case studies to help you get started and continue to progress if you are already underway.