Decision Maker Change-Factor for Churn

Chris Guzek
Chris Guzek Member Posts: 19 Thought Leader
First Anniversary
edited October 2023 in CS Org Conversations

We can all agree that when a decision-maker/executive sponsor leaves an organization it can be somewhat of an uncontrollable factor for churn. While we have some strategies in place, I would love to connect with anyone dealing with this same thing, or who has put checks and balances in place to address this situation. 
As you can imagine with the great resignation/reshuffle this situation is becoming more and more a factor in risk/churn.

Thanks for any help from the community! You all rock!


  • Ed Powers
    Ed Powers Member Posts: 180 Expert
    Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Anniversary 5 Likes
    edited June 2023
    In my experience, @Chris Guzek, executive sponsor turnover can sometimes be a churn factor, but it isn't always the case. Of course, establishing a relationship and uncovering any potential bias with the new leader should be a high priority. However, if the new sponsor's leadership style is more consensus-driven, a bias may not have any effect.
  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Comment
    edited March 2022
    Hi @Chris Guzek,
    We're all about "stakeholder engagement."  Yes, when any key stakeholder leaves (and people change jobs all the time), it's critical to have a strong bench of promoters/advocates from the rest of the stakeholder team (key champion(s), power users, project managers, that will have your back.

    In my experience (I'm old... been doing this for over 20 years), the best way to do this is to have a clear process that asks for feedback from the right people at the right time along the customer's journey, and then follow-up to address what they tell you.  Not rocket science, although there is some process automation that makes all this much easier.

    We find this isn't necessarily a difficult motion (although depends in large part on the alignment of the customer experience with how Sales and Marketing are setting expectations, i.e. how many detractors will need to be addressed) but does take some work to (a) engage those contacts through a simple process we refer to as Active Recruiting, and then (b) address what they are telling you in some way.  Not all persona and accounts necessarily "qualify" for the same follow-up strategy.

    I'm always happy to share details, especially as I love to network/contribute and "customer engagement" is my passion.  Drop me a note and/or check out this whitepaper that contains a detailed case story, examples, and templates...

  • TJ Adams
    TJ Adams Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    First Comment

    Attached is a simplified playbook for when a sponsor or champion is moving on. This was put in place as a triage measure when I walked into a CS org that was almost exclusively single threaded and almost no executive relationships. Of course the best way to handle this problem is to have multiple relationships so one person leaving doesn't cause a meltdown but I didn't have the luxury of time when this was created.

    Feel free to dm with any questions.