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I have worked with various consulting firms and agencies over the years but found the insights and knowledge shared by this team to be valuable and seeped in exec insights. The inputs helped us redesign the client messaging and launch a year long program to improve the customer experience.

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I have worked with various consulting firms and agencies over the years but found the insights and knowledge shared by this team to be valuable and seeped in exec insights. The inputs helped us redesign the client messaging and launch a year long program to improve the customer experience.

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I have worked with various consulting firms and agencies over the years but found the insights and knowledge shared by this team to be valuable and seeped in exec insights. The inputs helped us redesign the client messaging and launch a year long program to improve the customer experience.

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I have worked with various consulting firms and agencies over the years but found the insights and knowledge shared by this team to be valuable and seeped in exec insights. The inputs helped us redesign the client messaging and launch a year long program to improve the customer experience.

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I have worked with various consulting firms and agencies over the years but found the insights and knowledge shared by this team to be valuable and seeped in exec insights. The inputs helped us redesign the client messaging and launch a year long program to improve the customer experience.



You're In Good Company

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The team did a brilliant job in turning around the Customer Advisory Council. The sessions became more meaningful and inclusive...Read More

Steve CardellPresident, Enterprise Services and Diversified Industries, HCL Technologies

Jeremy and I first crossed paths in Jakarta, Indonesia in the mid 90’s. As a fellow for Gartner, he represented...Read More

Jonathan McCloud Co Founder and Executive Director, MotherShip Inc

I have worked with various consulting firms and agencies over the years but found the insights and knowledge shared by...Read More

Samir Bagga CMO, L&T Technology Services



Building and expanding relationships with your customers is foundational to achieving sustainable, profitable growth. Customers need to see your commitment to their success and your willingness to invest time with them to cement true long-term partnerships.

Successful companies move beyond discussions with individual executives to engage their customer executives systematically. This can be done in group settings such as Customer Advisory Boards, or individually through Voice of the Customer programs and Account Alignment workshops.

Customer Advisory Boards

Customer Advisory Boards allow you to augment top-down strategy formulation from your Board of Directors with rich, bottom-up insights from your most strategic customers. They allow you to understand the reality of how you are perceived and how new initiatives will be received by the market, with the unimpeachable authority of the organizations who support and endorse you as customers.

Customer Dialogs Img 1
Improve Trust And Alignment

Actively explore topics of importance to you and your customers to build consensus.

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Strengthen Relationships

Network with customers to better understand them as people and develop rapport resilience.

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Improve Account Retention

Leverage improved customer confidence and trust to extend contracts and avoid re-bids.

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Stimulate New Spending

Build customer understanding and interest in your capabilities to promote account growth.

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Cultivate References

Capitalize on customer goodwill to create references for analysts, advisors and prospects.

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Co-Innovate New Approaches

Collaborate with customers to unleash the group’s creativity to solve shared challenges

Voice Of The Customer Programs

Voice of the Customer programs allow you to engage senior executives of your most strategic customers in a minimally intrusive way to gauge how your partnership is progressing and where actions may be taken to strengthen your relationships with them. They allow you to understand customers’ perceptions of you holistically and specifically and identify areas of possible account growth.

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Understand Customer Strategies

Discover where customers are in their strategic journeys and their plans for the future

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Identify Problems & Opportunities

Gain early warning of hidden areas of concern and identify potential collaboration areas

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Probe Customer Perceptions

Deeply examine customers’ perception of you and find value gaps upon which you can act

Account Alignment Programs

Account Alignment Programs allow you to stabilize and re-energize stagnant and at-risk accounts by bringing your executives and those of your nominated customer together for short workshops to establish consensus and define mutual commitments. They illustrate your unified commitment to the account and re-connect your account management function to the customer’s strategies.

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Unearth And Examine Problems

Constructively discuss complex account issues, negativity and mistrust in a safe setting

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Rebuild Trust And Consensus

Proactively identify ideas to build on points of agreement and isolate harder problems

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Jointly Commit To Solutions

Establish a positive way forward with responsibilities & accountability for both parties

Business Benefits

Strengthen Your Brand

  • Consistently deliver on customer promises
  • Develop a reputation for active listening and honest communication
  • Improve customer referenceability based on trust and alignment

Improve Account Retention

  • Develop strong and resilient customer relationships
  • Arrive at account consensus through deeper understanding
  • Align products and services with customer needs

Improve Revenue & Margin

  • Stimulate new customer spending
  • Co-innovate to foster new high-value collaborations
  • Connect revenue growth to customer outcomes

Case Study

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Service Provider Redesigns And Re-Launches Cybersecurity Practice

In the early Covid pandemic, our client saw an opportunity to evolve its cybersecurity practice to a more advanced level to meet growing customer demand. It brought the topic to its Customer Advisory Board, and set up a voluntary subcommittee of members to examine the question in more detail.

CIOs from 12 organizations joined the subcommittee, 3 of which brought their CISOs to the discussion. As the subcommittee progressed, our client came to a new understanding of how CIOs needed help with their Board presentations for funding, that they should better leverage their comparatively advanced penetration testing capabilities, that new buyers could be engaged during active breaches and how their capabilities could be woven into their healthcare-specific service offerings.

The Client implemented the findings, reorganized its cybersecurity delivery model and has doubled its revenue in the space over the last 3 years.



Our Thoughts Img 1

CAB Dynamics: Guest Speakers

CAB meetings should be memorable, valuable experiences. Hearing from business luminaries, industry analysts, celebrities, politicians or your CEO can be fascinating contributors, but – if they’re not managed correctly...

Read More
Our Thoughts Img 2

CAB Dynamics: Venue Selection

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) can bring immense strategic value to your company. But gaining that value takes considerable thought and careful detail-oriented planning. Choosing the best location, hotel, and meeting...

Read More
Our Thoughts Img 3

CAB Dynamics: Host Value

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) are the single most effective long-term platform to guide, protect, and grow a B2B tech business. To understand why, it’s important to have a clear picture of what a successful CAB looks like and...

Read More
Our Thoughts Img 4

CAB Dynamics: Member Value

Customer Advisory Boards can be extremely valuable. But when you’re planning one, it’s easy to get caught up in the anticipation and only focus on how your organization is getting value...

Read More
Our Thoughts Img 5

Advisor Deal Dynamics

Sourcing Advisors manage the largest RFPs in the market. Of the 1500+ service providers, only a few dozen make it onto a recommended provider list, and of the ones that do even fewer are placed on a long list...

Read More
Our Thoughts Img 6

Core Coverage Vs Broad Coverage

Analyst firms can be thought of as delivering two types of exposure for your company, dependent on their influence and scale – Core Coverage and Broad Coverage. An effective Analyst Relations (AR) program needs to...

Read More
Our Thoughts Img 7

Case Study — Contribution To Business Growth

This Client’s innovation lab was not generating customer traction. Customer executives and users consistently voted it the lowest of its type. We examined the reasons for this with mock walkthroughs and live customer walkthroughs...

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Team Img 1
President & Founder

Jeremy Grigg

Jeremy Grigg is the founder of Council Vision, & has a background in research, analytics and executive...

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Team Img 2
Principal

Keith Morton

JKeith Morton is a Principal at Council Vision who leads Council Vision’s business consulting...

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Team Img 3
Senior Consultant

Stuart Drew

Stuart Drew has a 25 year of achieving results in roles spanning rookie manager to board level, in organizations...

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Team Img 4
Director Sales & Business Development

Anup Singh

Anup is an result oriented sales leader with over 25 years in the IT services industry. An accomplished...

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Team Img 5
Program Manager

Deepak George

Deepak is a Program Manager at Council Vision’s Executive Programs Business Unit, specializing in Global Customer...

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Strong Influencer Relationships Grow Your Business

Productive dialogs with industry analysts and sourcing advisors are critical to a strong and credible market presence and a healthy sales pipeline. Having good influencer relations (IR) delivers visibility, credibility and validation for companies of any size.

Influencer Dialogs Img 1

Awareness

  • Provides access to new buyers
  • Validates competitive relevance
  • Endorses business viability

Credibility

  • Reinforces brand value
  • Improves ability to value price
  • Lowers perceived counterparty risk

Deal Flow

  • Improved RFP win rate
  • Invitation to advisor-led deals
  • Improved ability to win large deals

Influencer relations aren't taught in business school. There's a very small pool of experienced IR professionals who've learned on the job. These skilled individuals are in high demand, so it can be costly to build an internal team from scratch.

How Council Vision Can Help

Benchmark & Influencer Strategy​

Our reference management services review and manage all your customer references

  • Engage the customer
  • Manage the customer list
  • Regular reference submission

Visibility &Brand Building​

Our team can help you create credible, trustworthy and engaging content

  • Case Studies
  • Exclusive Mentions
  • Investor Pitchbooks

Improve Competitive Rating Scores​

Our experts can set up your entire team and run the influencer relations practice across geos

  • Set up entire team
  • Empower influencer dialogues
  • Participate in all relevant rankings

Case Studies

Case Studies  Img 1 OCT
2
Posted by Andrew Epps

Cab Dynamics: Guest Speakers

CAB meetings should be memorable, valuable experiences. Hearing from...

Read More
Case Studies  Img 2 SEP
22
Posted by Andrew Epps

Cab Dynamics: Venue Selection

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) can bring immense strategic value to.....

Read More
Case Studies  Img 3 SEP
10
Posted by Andrew Epps

Cab Dynamics: Host Value

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) are the single most effective long-term.....

Read More


Technology Specific Advisory Boards

Technology Advisory Boards allow you to dive deeply into critical and complex technology areas and innovate collaboratively with your most strategic customers. They allow you to tailor your offerings to customers’ needs and incorporate fresh thinking, while strengthening your relationships and relevance.

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Cloud Advisory Boards

Help customers maximize their cloud effectiveness and realize their business goals

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GenAI Advisory Boards

Collaborate to define best practices in GenAI and help customers realize ROI

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Data Advisory Boards

Drive customer adoption of enterprise data best practices, standards and governance

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Cybersecurity Advisory Boards

Stay at the cutting edge of cybersecurity strategy, risk control, technology and planning

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Digital Advisory Boards

Join forces with customers to help them realize their digital transformation objectives

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ERP Advisory Boards

Guide customers towards success in complex, high-stakes ERP transformation journeys

Market-Facing Councils

Market-facing Councils allow you to look beyond internal and customer perspectives to understand and incorporate market realities into your go-to-market. They allow you to collaborate with your partner ecosystem and superusers on how to stay ahead of the market on functionality, pricing and offering design, as well as generate real thought leadership to boost your brand.

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Partner Ecosystem Councils

Propel go-to-market success through candid discussions with strategic partners

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Product Advisory Councils

Harness customer expertise to advance product functionality and market demand

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Thought Leadership Councils

Create true thought leadership to elevate brand and improve market perceptions

Business Benefits

Strengthen Your Brand

  • Consistently deliver on customer promises
  • Develop a reputation for active listening and honest communication
  • Improve customer referenceability based on trust and alignment

Improve Account Retention

  • Develop strong and resilient customer relationships
  • Arrive at account consensus through deeper understanding
  • Align products and services with customer needs

Improve Revenue & Margin

  • Stimulate new customer spending
  • Co-innovate to foster new high-value collaborations
  • Connect revenue growth to customer outcomes

Case Study

Service Provider Reimagines Cloud Offerings Based On Cloud Advisory Board Feedback

Responding to the crowded and undifferentiated nature of the cloud services market, our client saw an opportunity to develop market-leading cloud offerings by collaborating closely with its global customers. It established a Cloud Advisory Board program in North America, Europe/Middle East and Asia-Pacific, bringing together 50 C-level cloud executives to lead this initiative.

The program kicked off with consultative meetings in all three regions, followed by a series of vertical subcommittees spanning the global membership. Members told our client that they had specific vertical industry needs which were not being met by hyperscalers and other service providers. They needed fully-compliant vertical solutions which were easy to consume, help in realizing their cloud cost management goals and assistance with negotiating and realizing value from hyperscalers.

The Client redesigned its portfolio of interconnected cloud offerings under a unified offering banner, which it launched with analysts and the press to great acclaim. Delighted with the new orientation, Cloud Advisory Board members increased their cloud spending intensity with our Client by over 15%.

Case Study Alt Img


Introduction

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Tempor Invidunt

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Ut Labore

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CAB Dynamics: Guest Speakers

28 Feb, 2023 By Brittany Day

CAB meetings should be memorable, valuable experiences. Hearing from business luminaries, industry analysts, celebrities, politicians or your CEO can be fascinating contributors, but – if they’re not managed correctly – those same speakers can also detract from your ROI as a host.

CAB time is expensive time, each hour you spend in a CAB is 20-30 hours of C-level time. That means that each hour of your CAB needs to meet a very high bar of value creation. Picking the wrong speaker can end up wasting time and distracting members. You want to choose a speaker who will act as a catalyst for CAB member conversations without distracting from the main agenda of your meeting. Certain kinds of speakers carry more risk than others.

In this post we’re going to explore:

  • What’s the risk of having a guest speaker?
  • Which guest speakers are easy wins for a CAB meeting?
  • Which guest speakers are more demanding for a CAB meeting?
  • How do you harness the dark magic of your own CEO?
Guest Speakers Img 2

What’s the risk of having a guest speaker?

When it comes right down to it, you expect a return from your investment as a CAB host. It’s a sound strategy to make members the star of the show, as their insights and trust drive the receipt of that return. Guest speakers can compete with your members for precious speaking time.

Every guest speaker has to contribute a lot of value to justify a spot in the agenda. Your job is to maximize value by making sure the right person is speaking and they understand the role you have for them in the meeting.

Which guest speakers are easy wins for a CAB meeting?

The best CAB speakers stimulate conversation without derailing the flow of the meeting. You can use short sessions with a speaker to create mental breaks for your members. Ideally, your guest speaker amplifies and enhances your other CAB sessions.

CAB Members are ideal speakers. They know exactly what the CAB is set up to do and their role in it. Their credibility as peers to the other members is irreproachable, and case studies about their experiences and perspectives are interesting to everyone. They also don’t bend light like celebrities or CEOs can – more on this shortly.

Politicians make great speakers because they’re masterful communicators who frame the world in interesting ways. They tend to stick closely to your meeting objectives, since they are used to speaking with clear goals in mind. Their top-down perspective also provides your members a nice mental break from a close business agenda.

Specialist thought leaders can often surprise and delight your members. Genuine luminaries abound in the world, and a good one is absolutely fascinating to CAB members, and their relative anonymity frees them from unreasonable expectations. Plus, of course, they tend to be much cheaper than recognized thought leaders, which is nice.

Which guest speakers are more demanding for a CAB
meeting?

Industry Analysts are extremely high value and very expensive. As a consequence, they typically try to maximize their value by sharing as much knowledge and insight as possible while they are part of the meeting. This makes them demanding, as the delicate balance of CAB interactivity can be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of their inputs. Try to ensure analyst sessions are succinct (1 hour max) so that you can get back to engaging with CAB members and hearing what they think about the analysts’ content and perspective.

Recognized thought leaders like Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, or Brene Brown can be phenomenally interesting. Personalities of this scale stimulate your executives and members to “think big”, and it’s often hard to return to the more prosaic elements of a CAB agenda after hearing from them. We recommend setting up a separate “CAB Member Only” event or dinner to ensure they get the spotlight they need while preserving the integrity of your CAB agenda.

Celebrities such as actors, athletes or astronauts contribute more to the experience than to the personal and professional development of your attendees. The best way to use these folks is to add interest to the pre-meeting dinner or reception, rather than in the main agenda.

How do you harness the dark magic of your own CEO?

Your CEO can be a phenomenal addition that makes your members feel privileged and prioritized. However, since they are public figures with large personalities, comments tend to be addressed directly to them, eclipsing your other executives and breaking the discussion flow. This means that their participation must be managed carefully.

Try to bring your CEO in for a handful of short, structured sessions and then get them out of the room right afterwards. You should also set up a private room at the venue for the CEO to have 1-on-1s with your CAB members to underscore the value of their presence.

This separation efficiently manages your CEO’s time while helping them build deeper personal relationships with customer executives – and protecting your CAB agenda.

Wrapping up

The right guest speaker, fitting seamlessly into your agenda, can easily become the highlight of your CAB. Choosing a speaker with care and defining their session appropriately sets a host on track for a memorably successful CAB.

CAB Dynamics: Host Value

Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) are the single most effective long-term platform to guide, protect, and grow a B2B tech business. To understand why, it’s important to have a clear picture of what a successful CAB looks like and what kind of ROI you can expect.

Read More
Guest Speakers Img 2

CAB Dynamics: Member Value

Customer Advisory Boards can be extremely valuable. But when you’re planning one, it’s easy to get caught up in the anticipation and only focus on how your organization is getting value.

Guest Speakers Img 3

Building a CAB program that offers strategic insight to your team over the long term, means incorporating serious respect for your CAB member’s time as well as their strategic priorities.

Read More


Individual Team Img

Jeremy Grigg

President & Founder

Jeremy Grigg is the founder of Council Vision, and has a background in research, analytics and executive facilitation spanning over 25 years with global expertise in financial services, government, telecommunications and IT services.

He led the Customer Advisory Council program at HCL Technologies until 2017, and was responsible for driving engagement from and strategic alignment with the executive leaders of HCL’s most critical customers worldwide. Prior to HCL, he was a Senior Consultant at Geehan Group, a specialist provider of Customer Advisory Council facilitation services. In this role, he designed and ran Customer Advisory Council, Partner Advisory Council and Executive Sponsor programs for several firms in the technology product and service sectors including Red Hat and Cisco.

Jeremy formerly served as Gartner Inc’s global lead analyst for Financial Management of IT and a member of its Executive Programs team, facilitating hundreds of executive briefings and telephone consultations on business management topics across the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Jeremy also served as Chief Financial Officer of Paktel, Indonesia’s largest telecom outsourcing firm, and as Economic Advisor to several ministers in Australian governments. In the early 1990s, he traded options on the Hong Kong Futures Exchange and founded Decisive Publishing, Australia’s most awarded telecom trade publisher.

Jeremy is an Australian citizen currently residing in Austin, Texas who has lived in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.



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Council Vision LLC 7600 Chevy Chase Dr Suite 300 Austin  TX  78752