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Executive Sponsor

An executive sponsor (or sometimes, product/project sponsor) is someone on the management or executive team who is responsible to the business for the success of the project.

Typically, in SaaS, there are two types of executive sponsors—one from your side and one from the prospective customer’s side. 

An executive sponsor from the customer side may be your contact’s manager, the CFO, the CMO, or even the CEO. When choosing a sponsor, make sure you pick someone with the right level of credibility and decision-making/influencing power in the customer company. The ideal executive sponsor will be someone with the right balance of seniority (to align the project to the larger organizational goals), subject matter expertise (to support problem-solving and prioritization), and commitment. 

Best practices 

  • Before you begin onboarding and implementation, make sure you identify an executive sponsor by mapping out the key stakeholders at your customer's organization. 
  • Make sure the executive sponsor is part of the project kickoff and key groups/events such as steering committees, status updates, etc. 
  • Use the executive sponsor’s presence at key meetings such as the kickoff to get them to articulate the vision for the project and its importance at the organizational level. This can have a huge impact on the rest of the team and make a strong case for your project. 
  • Operationalize a regular cadence of meetings and updates to the executive sponsor.

Related terms

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