Customer Advisory Boards
Welcome to Mike Gospe’s CAB Resource Center.
I am your CAB Strategy Advisor. I’ve been facilitating CABs since 2002, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. This website is dedicated to being a repository of best practices and insights. I hope it will aid you in your quest to deliver your own world-class CAB experience.
In addition to CABs, I facilitate Partner Advisory Councils, and Executive Strategy workshops (vision, corporate strategy, & go-to-market strategies). Contact me to learn more.
How Well Do You Really Know Your Customers?
Do you know the trends and drivers shaping their business decisions? Do you know where they plan to invest three years from now? Do you know how to stay relevant so you can remain a preferred provider to them? A Customer Advisory Board is a strategy-level focus group – a sounding board for your leadership team to learn from and better understand your most strategic customers. Because whoever understands the customer best wins. A well-run CAB program holds the secret to your future success.
Welcome to the CAB Resource Center. Here you’ll find the books, articles, framework, methodology, and answers to guide you on your journey.
“Mike’s leadership and perspective were instrumental in helping us design and execute a worldclass, global CAB program.”
– CMO, Aspect Communications
“Mike and his KickStart Alliance team helped us deliver world-class CABs for the past 5 years. He’s not just a facilitator; he acts as an extension of my leadership team.”
– CEO, NFI
“Our CAB program is one of our strategic initiatives, but it needed some retooling. Mike jumped in and energized our CAB. We strengthened our connection to our customers and doubled our business with them.”
– SVP Sales, Pitney Bowes
“Mike has been core to our CAB for several years. He’s more than a facilitator; he partners with us every step of the way. And, our advisors love the interaction.”
– CEO, Spectracom
“Mike provided terrific support for our first ever Customer Advisory Forum. His ability to manage content, participation and flow around topics oriented to an executive audience led to important insights and positive feedback from all of our participants.”
– CEO, Purolator
A Well-Run CAB Is Unlike Any Other Meeting.
Customers do 80% of the talking. You do 80% of the listening. Agendas are made up of discussion modules, not a parade of product update presentations.
Your CAB is your “inner sanctum”. It’s a small, intimate group of 8-12 senior decision-makers, plus your leadership team and a CAB facilitator.
This is a strategy-level focus group. Agendas are business topics. Use your CAB to better understand your best customers, where they are investing, and what you need to do to stay relevant.
Companies are now discovering the benefits of sponsoring a Customer Advisory Board (CAB). When used effectively, this critical engagement tool greatly helps CEOs and staff to develop, validate, and enhance crisp business strategies. Follow these 5 rules to design your best CAB program.
What makes a customer advisory board (CAB) program truly world-class? World-class means you deliver a valuable, differentiated experience to your customers AND your executive team. Here are a few guidelines to set you on the best course for you and your CAB members.
Building a business case to support your Customer Advisory Board (CAB) initiative is no small task. One of the biggest mistakes is when executives interpret the CAB to be merely a “marketing event”. When this assumption is made, companies dramatically limit the value and ROI that can be achieved. You need a business case to properly set expectations. These 3 initial tips will guide you in setting expectations effectively.
Last month I wrote a blog post on my reflections of having worked on Customer Advisory Boards for the past 15 years. Today, I want to look ahead. Here’s what I believe CAB programs will look like 3 years from now.
Most companies run a CAB that is disconnected from their annual executive planning offsite. This is a missed opportunity. Here’s how one CEO linked them.
Here’s the ideal agenda for your first CAB meeting.