The true power of the Executive Briefing Center as a marketing and sales platform lies in the fact that it often brings together representation from multiple internal groups to provide the customer the most in-depth, informed presentation possible.
Although the marketing team might be the department most involved with getting the EBC up and running, the center will be nothing but an empty, ill-used space without a sign-on from internal constituents. To get employees and executives motivated, the big step is to get all involved parties together to both determine and answer the big question: How will the space be used?
“I think its very important to do a full internal stakeholder analysis,” says Trevor Westoby, director-global briefing network at Sun Microsystems. “You have to hold a meeting and get together the executive representation, the subject matter experts and the account teams and ask, "What do we want to do here? What are the takeaways of these briefings?"”
Such collaboration sessions will go a long way toward getting internal stakeholders both informed and excited about the possibilities for the EBC. “Find out how customer visits are being conducted, and then develop a wish list from an internal perspective,” advises Candace Mailand, manager-Innovation Center at 3M.
A targeted communication plan will also be beneficial as a way of answering concerns as quickly as they arise. “We did have a few skeptics at first,” Mailand says. “When we were building the facility, there were a lot of questions about whether it would be used and how we would ensure that it wouldnt just be static.”
To answer those questions, the team behind the EBC held a series of regular internal “open houses” during which 3M employees could come see what the center was about. The team also developed communication packages for the sales organization so they could get the word out to customers.
“Through some of these very simple things, we generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for what we were intending to do here,” says Mailand.
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