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Designing Your Customer Success Executive Sponsor Program

Building a customer team can sometimes include trial and error. From your internal side, you need people on your team who understand the product, your customer’s goals, and what they are trying to achieve with your solutions. On the customer side, you need to work directly with advocates of your product, leaders who understand the value of adoption and growth, and other critical contacts.

This is why establishing an executive sponsor program is critical to customer success – with an executive or team leader on your team working directly as an advocate for your customers, it’s easier to get more done both on the product side and on the customer success side.

Here are five key steps for designing a customer success executive sponsor program:

  1. Define your objective. As with any new customer-focused program, you must establish clear and measurable early goals. What are you hoping to accomplish by building out this executive sponsor program? 
  2.  Design your engagement strategy. Next, you need to identify precisely how you plan to engage and who you plan to engage with. What will your program look like? What is the value-add for a customer to actively participate?
  3. Benchmark and measure impact. No customer-facing program is complete without measurable KPIs, and an executive sponsor program is no different. Determine your program KPIs and create a baseline to benchmark success. What will a successful executive sponsor execution look like? What business impact will this program have (consider both your team and your customers)? 
  4.  Map your customers to your executives. Now that you have the strategy in place, it’s time to plan for action. Identify which of your customers would benefit the most from this initiative, and then thoughtfully and carefully pair your participating executives with their customer counterparts.
  5. Communicate and engage. Finally, it’s time to launch your new program! Once you have designed the program and mapped things out internally, communicate this new initiative to your customers to get the ball rolling.

Want to learn more?

Establishing an executive sponsor program can help give your executive team more insight on customer issues, build transparency within your organization, and ensure your customers feel valued and seen by your entire organization. Keeping executive contacts in the loop on customer situations is a critical part of setting up customer success as a company-wide initiative and ensuring that every department – from marketing to finance – is fully aware of customer relationships and how your customers are driving your company forward. 

You can get more information and resources on building strong executive relationships with customers with these additional resources from ClientSuccess:

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