Build on top of the existing and around it. Reporting to the SVP of Strategic Initiatives, the Senior Director, Strategic Accounts will have an instrumental role in attracting and retaining national sponsors for the Vistage International events’ portfolio. This position is designed for someone with a proven, successful record in business development, hunting new leads, relationship building and closing. The core principal of our sponsorship program is to provide a value-added experience for our members and member candidates to engage with vetted suppliers and service providers in a low pressure exchange. This role will drive this strategy, be its recognized leader, organize the planning, implementation and management to deliver results. Also responsible for ensuring those sponsorships are not only negotiated for maximum value but integrated into the long term strategies of both parties, creating real partnerships.
The primary priorities of this position include:
- Create the business plan around the national sponsorship strategy.
- Identify categories and business opportunities within each.
- Design sponsorships that will be renewed, yielding revenue consistently YOY across the portfolio of events.
- Expand current market penetration and open new markets.
- Establish the sales process to qualify contacts, establish leads and negotiate sponsorship contracts.
- Create corporate pipeline and manage to forecasts that meet and exceed goals.
- Establish analytics to monitor progress and track to success e.g. key metrics, milestones
- Create renewal standards for program evaluations.
- Work collaboratively with other team members to coordinate selling efforts and capitalize on opportunities.
- Establish and maintain linkage with high profile community leaders in each major market and leverage those relationships to build market presence of brand and create alliances for growth.
- Iterative concept development to ensure thought leadership.
- Ensure the national strategy is in concert with and augments the current local strategy.
What are the top challenges for the position?
- Maximizing national sponsorship revenue to support regional events; as a byproduct increase brand awareness
- Controlling the flow of information to your stakeholders per the uniqueness of each sponsorship relationship
- Integrate marketing programs to increase support in company initiatives
What are the top actions we are looking for?
- Create a sponsor strategy
- Operationalize the strategy
- Create an ongoing revenue stream
What results do we expect?
- Create $1MM in sponsorships within the first year.
- Drive positive sponsor experiences resulting in greater returning sponsors
- Close deals $25K – $500K
- Achieve a 85% renewal rate.
Candidates for the role will have knowledge of current target audience and trends to anticipate future target audiences. A track record of having worked in a business undergoing rapid growth and consequent system and process change is helpful. Experience working in a company with an independent contractor distribution channel is ideal. International marketing experience is preferred and work experience in a private equity backed environment is desirable. Experience or understanding of high-priced, intangible services with immeasurable ROI as compared to product marketing or manufacturing is highly desired (e.g. education industry or blended-learning experience). Experience working with business models such as: membership, subscription, syndicated research, training & education and/or professional services is a plus.
Finally, the executive must understand that this is a high-energy, fast-paced, roll-up-the-sleeves type of environment: he/she should be ready to dive into details where necessary to move the business forward, but also be able to step back and take a higher level strategic view of the business and potential areas of opportunity for sustainable growth/value creation. The final candidate will be a person of the highest integrity and professional standards.
Strong technical sponsorship marketing skills. Candidates should be comfortable with all aspects of B2B marketing and sponsorships within the context of the professional services industry. In addition to creativity and vision, this individual will demonstrate a strong process orientation, as evidenced by examples of creating business plans, researching and establishing analytics and methodology for sponsorship programs in a comparable environment. The individual will have a track record of consistently setting and achieving stretch targets, aligning on a clear set of objectives, articulating milestones and accountabilities, and relentlessly driving towards a successful outcome.
Excellent influencing and collaboration skills. To fit the firm’s culture, the successful candidate must clearly possess strong interpersonal skills, strong communications and listening abilities and a capacity to establish and cultivate strong enduring professional relationships. Naturally consultative, the successful candidate must be able to think on his/her feet, handling tough, often fast-breaking issues. The successful candidate will bring highly developed and mature influencing skills, with a demonstrated ability to work effectively in a private partnership environment, bringing together various stakeholders.
Strong strategic orientation. The candidate will have a strong record of problem solving leadership, with the ability to quickly size up options, analyze alternatives, and contribute to the final decision making process. He/she will demonstrate resourcefulness, decisiveness, while being energized by challenge. He/she will have a proven track record as an innovative thinker, stretching for out-of-the-box ideas. He/she will have effectively translated marketing strategies into concrete action plans with key deliverables and targets. He/she will have a track record of getting the job done, even in the face of material obstacles and limited resources.
Demonstrable business acumen and emotional intelligence as evidenced by prior results. Proven success at forecasting and modeling in a fast-paced environment with reliable P&L management. Analytical proficiency and decision-making based on business metrics (and intuition). Ability to be both strategic and tactical. Excellent organizational, administrative and project management skills to include the ability to pro-actively assess critical areas for attention and translate strategies into concrete action.
Education, experience and attributes:
- Minimum 10 years B2B or B2B/B2C sponsorship marketing
- Demonstrated excellence in creating and managing sales and marketing programs.
- Skill in examining, developing, reengineering, and policies and procedures.
- Strong data and analytical skills
- A collaborative and flexible style, strong service mentality and a passion for the organization’s mission.
- Personal Integrity & Character
- Team Player, Independent yet Supportive
- Self-disciplined, Sense of Urgency – A Doer
- A hands-on executive with thought leadership and a desire to work in a dynamic, mission-driven environment.
- Strong commitment to developing team members.