Executive Briefings

What are Executive Briefings?

An Executive Briefing is a highly customized and customer-centric dialogue between key decision makers from high potential accounts and subject matter experts from the host company who have a high degree of business acumen, technical expertise, and a deep understanding of the customer's business and markets. These engagements offer exceptional opportunities for relationship building, contribution to business results, and customer insights that might inform the host company's future strategies and solutions. The engagements take place in a center designed for the purpose, usually at the host company's headquarters (although companies with well-established briefing programs may have regional briefing centers as well).

Why Do I Need Executive Briefings?

Executive Briefing Programs deliver significant results, including:
  • expanding existing customer base
  • attracting new customers
  • beating the competition
  • strengthening customer relationships
  • growing your partnerships
  • increasing your deals sizes
  • accelerating your overall sales process

Are you Ready to Implement your First Executive Briefing Program?

Establishing your first Executive Briefing Program is not a sequential process. Multi-tasking is the name of the game, so get ready to roll up your sleeves from an operational perspective and put your strategic-thinking hat on at the same time. The initial process of planning your program begins when you can envision your ideal customer experience and are willing to create a roadmap to accomplish your dream. It will be critical to ensure that your new program’s goals and objectives are aligned with those of your company’s leadership. And, since you cannot go from Zero to Sixty without Leadership advocacy, you shouldn’t press the pedal to accelerate until there is a complete understanding by all key stakeholders of the value your Executive Briefing Program can bring to the business, and you have shared your plans to achieve success.

To kick-start your program, you will need to create a Steering Committee of key company decision-makers who are invested in you and your program’s success. Their collaboration, guidance, and overall support will help you stay on track to reach your goals. Your Steering Committee members can serve as champions and help you market your program right from its inception.

You’ll want to garner support from Sales Leadership and their teams to ensure your program is highly leveraged. An education process about your value proposition, briefing industry best practices, how and when to best use your services, and what your expectations are of your internal stakeholders will need to take place during the early stages of your program’s development.

Determine your program model and make certain it is flexible and meets the needs of your customers and your business.  If you don’t initially have a physical center, you can start by creating a virtual briefing program. While your virtual program is being developed, you can lay plans for a briefing center that will accommodate in-person, virtual, and hybrid engagements. The space should be designed with a flow that takes your customer on a journey (both in a digital and physical sense) and allows them the opportunity to share their insights with you, as well.

Creating a staffing model is one of the initial steps you must take in your program development process. How will your program evolve, how fast will it grow, will it at some point scale to become a multi-site or global program? Understanding the necessary operational functions and identifying roles early on, will help you plan for growth and scale.

You’ll want to throw away those spreadsheets and invest in an Automation Tool that is completely integrated with your company’s CRM system. This is not a task that can wait until your program matures. Choosing and implementing an automation tool should be one of your biggest program priorities. You must be able to schedule, track, report and analyze data gathered from your program at the outset.  You can’t highlight successes without accurate data and metrics and/or justify your program’s value to the company without automation capability. There are new trends such as artificial intelligence that you’ll want to take advantage of in the data and metrics department replacing manual tasks that were prone to inaccuracies.

Your subject matter experts are your program’s secret sauce. A discussion leader identification and onboarding program will be a necessity from the inception of your briefing program. Make sure you have adequate funding to provide presentation delivery, facilitation skills, and storytelling capability for your discussion leaders across all organizations.

Don’t forget that marketing your program is also key to your success. Develop a marketing strategy and plan that can be executed based on your goals and objectives and those of your various internal and external audiences. Your marketing efforts should be an ongoing priority for your program and at some point integrated with marketing and sales campaigns happening throughout your company.

Creating budgets and timelines that are aligned with your strategy will be critical. Work with cross-functional stakeholders for input and plan to update and/or modify those plans on a quarterly basis when changes or needs in your program arise. Be realistic, be aware and understand the position of your company in the marketplace at any given time as that will have an impact on your program.

At the end of the day, it’s the Customer Experience you wish to provide that will drive all other aspects of the development of the program. Begin at the beginning by holding collaborative, envisioning sessions with your Leadership and/or Steering Committee to determine the type of customer experience that will enable customer relationship development, positively impact customer satisfaction and loyalty and accelerate your business!

Finally, check out the Association of Briefing Program Managers (www.abpm.com) and become a member today! This professional association provides invaluable ongoing networking and learning opportunities with other colleagues across the briefing industry.