A friend and I were talking and he told me that the CEO of his company attended the sales ops team’s status meeting. This is a publicly traded company with 1,000s of employees globally. I would suspect that in an organization this size there are any number of team meetings happening throughout the week. I don’t know if it is his practice to randomly attend all of them, but he attended the Sales Ops team’s meeting. I am impressed!
He attended the meeting so he could tell them that he thought they were doing a great job and based on external feedback, they had an amazing Salesforce implementation.
Kudos to this CEO! Why?
- He appreciates the team and is telling them.
- He is an engaged executive stakeholder.
My experience with executive stakeholder engagement has shown more often than not that this key to success is inconsistent at best. I see so many team members at the director or manager level who struggle to get support for the CRM efforts. Even worse, there are often committed admins who try and entice users with awesome solutions but without support…their ingenuity brings no business value.
I have worked with customers who are spending millions of dollars a year on Salesforce with only an executive sponsor in name. These customers can experience pockets of adoption with significant user frustration due to lack of inconsistency. Users who see customers leveraging the power of Salesforce asking “why can’t we have that” but no one to champion the cause. I see implementations that get handed off and no internal champion to maintain and drive incremental value.
I have seen dedicated Salesforce champions reduced to Dashboard screen shots added to a presentation for a weekly executive leadership meeting!
If any of this resonates with you and your situation, below are some ideas as a starting point to try and change that situation. Bottom up is always more challenging…but there is too much at risk not to try.
Executive Engagement Suggestions
- Align to a corporate strategic objective – How can Salesforce move an executive priority forward?
- Share Industry Trends – How are competitors engaging customers?
- Cost Savings – How can you leverage the company’s Salesforce investment to save money?
- Risk – Highlight what the company will lose (leader position, market share) if they don’t keep up.
So, why was that CEO in the Sales Ops meeting? He was there because he has empowered his team to leverage Salesforce to drive his strategic objectives. He is leveraging the power of Salesforce himself. His teams know they are held accountable, so they use it too.
I find it interesting that he showed up to congratulate the team because he should be congratulated. His engagement IS the reason the sales ops team can be successful.
Do you need more help getting executive sponsorship in place?
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