Founded in 1993, Red Hat provides ground-breaking cloud technologies that enable customers to develop and manage modern technology infrastructure. Acquired by IBM in 2019 for $34billion, Red Hat continues to function independently from IBM, operating in more than 175 countries.
Red Hat’s successful ABM programme had identified that a high percentage of its revenue came from a relatively small number of customers. The executive engagement team, led by Principal Program Manager, Kristin Nordstrom Waitkus and Senior Director, Global Accounts Program, Mark Arthur, wanted to develop more client advocates and build even closer relationships with priority executives.
Although some ad hoc executive engagement activities were in place, the approach needed streamlining and aligning with the sales teams. The ongoing ABM programme had already proven that this joined-up approach could be successful so internal buy-in was easier to secure for the new executive engagement programme. The programme launched in late 2020 — the height of the pandemic — so trust was critical and uncertainty a factor. The team had to move fast and stay agile to keep up with the rapid digital transformation happening at the time.
Accounts were carefully selected and internal sponsors, including executive sponsors and global account managers, were identified to support the programme. An ‘Engagement Playbook’ was created with best practices, templates and content so that all executive engagement touchpoints were aligned and carefully orchestrated. To aid client conversations an ‘Industry Pulse’ was created and circulated quarterly.
- Engagement increased with more customers identified as advocates, this included creating new advocates from a previously strained relationship
- More customers recognised Red Hat as a trusted advisor
- Contract renewals were extended
- Executive engagement programme scaled up
Read a full description of this Red Hat case study in Account-Based Growth by Bev Burgess and Tim Shercliff, published by Kogan Page.