With myriad tech and other industries conducting significant layoffs, the start to 2023 has indeed been rocky. Also, 2022 was terrible for financial and real estate markets. And economists and pundits are uncertain and even contradictory as to what this year will bring. With such persistent economic uncertainty, many companies may be uncertain how to plan their budgets. And where to invest their seemingly scarce resources. As such, for them, outsourcing is making a lot of sense – especially in areas where the stakes are high and internal resources may be limited.
This is certainly the case for customer advisory board (CAB) management. After all, while collaborating with executives representing your best customers can lead to material improvements and increased revenue to your company, the opposite is also true. Mismanaging a CAB can leave a negative impression on your customers and deliver reduced spending and even attrition.
As such, here are the top six reasons we are seeing companies outsource the management of their CAB programs.
1) Limited finances
Companies facing uncertain finances may have less budget to hire full-time employees to assign to desired initiatives. The hiring process, onboarding, training, benefits, supplies and office issues can be additional deterrents to bringing on resources to start a CAB program. Outsourcing CAB management is cost-effective in launching a program to become operational and successful at the earliest opportunity.
2) Staffing pressure
In line with above, asking a marketing, event or product manager to run a CAB program as a “hobby” to their regular “day job” can (and often does) lead to inferior (or disastrous) results. They simply have too much on their plate to dedicate the time needed to manage the CAB. In addition, “shared” program responsibility by many also doesn’t work well, as a robust CAB requires not only dedicated resources but strong managerial leadership.
3) Lack of experience
Effective CAB management can take years of experience and “seasoning” to balance the science and art such initiatives require to be successful. Too often, management of CABs is assigned to well-meaning but inexperienced junior associates whose training or experience lie in other disciplines. As such, they will learn (and make mistakes within) their crucial CAB program “as they go” with key clients as “guinea pigs” in the experiment.
4) Required urgency
A well-run CAB can be a key component of a strong customer-focused business strategy. You may, for example, need feedback to your product roadmap in order for such input to be incorporated into the next version. Maybe you need input from your partner advisory board (PAB). You want to ensure your sales programs are aligned for revenue generation within the current fiscal year. In other words, you need a CAB/PAB program NOW. Yet a properly designed and managed CAB can take months of prep work to ensure optimal results. However, outsourcing CAB management can ensure CAB creation goes as quickly as possible. Establish a strong foundation and the necessary steps within a short timeframe.
5) Need to reduce risk
These days, mistakes can be costly. Many companies misjudge the risk of not following best-in-class CAB processes and methodologies. You want to design and deliver an optimal CAB experience for you most important clients. For smaller companies, the members of the CAB quite often are what keeps the business running. For Fortune 500 firms, the CAB members could represent billions of dollars in revenues. Also, CAB members often belong to several boards, so they can judge what is best in class, what is average, and what is below average. They will not waste their time and provide your company another opportunity if their expectations are not being met.
6) Desire for quality
Companies often approach us with a desire to establish a world-class experience for their customers. And they want to use experienced, proven experts to provide the strongest program possible for their clients. Working with CAB experts lends credibility to your program and prestige to your customers. It also helps deliver optimal results to your program. Your customers will respond well to the “executive experience” they are used to.
Leading companies recognize the advantages of outsourcing CAB management to the proven experts. With all that’s at stake, outsourcing allows companies to reduce risk and use internal resources more efficiently. If you’re thinking about outsourcing management of your CAB, let’s talk. Contact us to talk to an Ignite CAB expert.
Ignite Advisory Group is the leading global authority on Customer Advisory Boards. Ignite’s proven methodology for managing and evolving Customer Advisory Boards includes a 4-stage process, encompassing 48 deliverables and measured by 20 metrics to deliver a clear ROI. To learn more about how your company can benefit from Ignite’s CAB methodology and process, contact us today.