Customer Success Leadership Community

Establishing Executive Connections

  • 1.  Establishing Executive Connections

    Posted 04-26-2021 11:31
    Hi - We have a current push to assign executive sponsors and get them connected to customer execs. We are heavily focused on the enterprise and our key executive persona is the Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel.

    What type of framework have you used to incentivize either your champion to introduce your team or directly incentive the exec? 

    Understanding the 'what's in it for me', how can you provide value that would interest execs to carve out time? 

    One idea we had was we would like to hear their feedback to have the opportunity to influence the product roadmap.

    What are your thoughts?

    #CustomerHealth
    #CustomerJourney
    #Outcomes
    #PeopleLeadership
    #Roles&Responsibilities

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    Michael Buccellato
    Enterprise Customer Success
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  • 2.  RE: Establishing Executive Connections

    Posted 04-26-2021 11:44
    Michael,

    So right of the gate, the product map influence is a big one for a senior executive. Just make sure that's genuine. I've seen teams offer that up but then very little of what the executives suggest are actually followed through on. 

    As far as the WIIFM for a "Champion" introduction, I would play that same card: "You'll be the bridge to your executive that will help us shape the product roadmap. That will undoubtedly reflect positively on that individual with the senior suite, ESPECIALLY if you're committed to shaping the product roadmap based on executive input.

    Are you going to do this as part of an advisory board type of model? If so, another incentive could be networking and discussion sessions with peers in their community. How about a webinar series where these executives could elevate their own personal brand in their respective communities?

    Andrew

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    Andrew Marks
    SuccessHACKER
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  • 3.  RE: Establishing Executive Connections

    Posted 04-27-2021 14:20
    Great insights, Andrew! Bridge to help shape the roadmap and opportunity to network with leaders/thought leaders is compelling.

    Definitely keep the 'personal brand' angle in your pocket if the connection materializes!

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    Michael Buccellato
    Enterprise Customer Success
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  • 4.  RE: Establishing Executive Connections

    Posted 05-03-2021 09:54
    Hey Michael!

    A couple of things that have worked well for me:

    • Instead of offering an opportunity to hear about our product roadmap, I'll often pitch a conversation about where our industry is headed. We're a product analytics solution, so I might say "Our VP of Product would love the opportunity to share her perspective on where we see the future of Product Analytics heading, and to get your feedback on areas we plan to invest". Oftentimes the C-level you're reaching out to doesn't care about the individual features your product has to offer and thus they might hesitate to get on the phone if the expectation is that they share an opinion on feature-level investments.

    • Assuming the client relationship is 'healthy', be transparent with your Champion "I want to meet with [insert c-level] because I think it will help our long term relationship". Then, offer your Champion an opportunity to shine in front of his/her boss. That could mean they help you put together a 'win' story that you present to the C-level person yourself, or invite the Champion to present it his/herself.

    Hope that helps!

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    Carly Agar
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