Stakeholder Analysis: Engage Key Stakeholders
Introduction – Stakeholder Analysis
Managing mid-market and enterprise accounts largely comes down to understanding and effectively managing stakeholders. This comprehensive guide delves into the different aspects of stakeholder analysis, providing the steps you can take to identify these people, tools, and real-world examples to empower project managers and teams so that you’re able to win, retain, and grow your most important accounts. Stakeholder engagement is difficult, but the right tools and steps of your analysis will make it easier for your organization. In short, here are the stakeholder types you need to be aware of, and the steps you need to take.
Stakeholder Type and Support
Champions: These people are fully aligned with how your service/solution will help their company. They will make introductions to other stakeholders, and give you important information on navigating their organization. This oftentimes ends up being the person who reaches out, if they request a demo.
Supporters: They will sign on and put their name behind any initiative related to you and your business. When it comes to stakeholder maps, we break down the ROI of having at least 1-3 supporters in any deal.
Neutral: Keep an eye on neutral people, especially if their influence within the company is high. They can impact deals in a positive or negative direction depending on your engagement.
Blocker: Work with your team internally, along with your champion to try and soothe this relationship and align with them before they derail your efforts. If you have more than 1-2 blockers, your deal or customer is at risk. Negative stakeholders should be handled carefully.
Low: While they may not make the decision, possible stakeholders such as end-users can help make your case and give you information to move your way up the org. Marking these people or groups as low doesn’t mean they aren’t worth engaging.
Medium: Most teams naturally consider “managers” or middlemen to be the medium influencers, but be careful of falling into this trap. While they may sign off on the agreement, in many instances VP’s, or other executives need to validate the purchase but will rely on their managers/directors who oversee the implementation of the tools/services. This is the easiest designation to mix up, so be thoughtful about how you label various stakeholders as medium or high influence.
High: Regarding stakeholder prioritization, these external stakeholders that control the purchase process need to be understood and engaged as soon as possible. Leverage executive outreach where appropriate. Do you have customers or partners that have relationships with these people? Is there another project stakeholder internally that can help? Understanding these stakeholder concerns and managing expectations properly will make or break your deal.
Stakeholder Mapping Template
Break down and group important stakeholders within an organization, understand who is who, and begin thorough stakeholder analysis with our template! Stakeholder analysis 101 for those who haven’t taken this project on before. You’ll get examples and template for driving this new stakeholder analysis.
To successfully manage new deals or complex accounts, understanding “who is who” within the organization is important. Stakeholder identification is the foundation of building rapport and strategic relationships with customers. These people can be categorized into primary stakeholders, such as executives and internal teams, and secondary stakeholders, like external partners or community groups. Identifying and categorizing these stakeholders is the first step. We would also leverage data from your CRM to uncover other potential stakeholders who are involved in deals. This could be more specific towards certain industries, geographies, deal sizes, or products that you sell. Other project stakeholders might include legal, finance, procurement, and development in some cases. It’s important to uncover all of this as early on as possible.
Equally important when researching stakeholders is putting together an interest matrix. What goals/KPI’s are they measured on and most interested in, and how can you tie your service or solution to solving those challenges? What keeps them up or stresses them out with their day-to-day? Stakeholder motivations are important to understand and document. As part of a stakeholder assessment, identifying key areas of interest and top-of-mind priorities will help improve your outreach and penetration of the business.
How To Conduct A Stakeholder Analysis
Here are the steps in stakeholder analysis from beginning to finish:
Step 1: Clearly understand which stakeholders are typically involved in a deal, or working with you after they become a customer. You can gather this data using CRM data at the account or opportunity level, sales calls, and customer interviews. These are just a few of the stakeholder identification techniques we recommend.
Step 2: Continue to document different stakeholders in different groups. After step 1, you may be able to build out pre-defined roles or personas that the team should always work with. This provides a structure for identifying and engaging the right people.
Step 3: Gather and centralize information on key stakeholder interest, their influence within the organization, and how these relationships can impact your strategy
Step 4: Assign tasks for different team members to engage these stakeholders, with criteria/information to gather depending on where they sit in the hierarchy.
Step 5: Put these people into a map and consistently update these contacts after each engagement. This provides real-time visibility for everyone on the GTM team to understand where to focus and prioritize their actions and time. This is an organizational project, which is usually led by sales.
One of the first stakeholder analysis steps involves not only identifying key stakeholders but also prioritizing them based on their influence, interests, and expectations. This section explores the stakeholder analysis template, offering a structured approach to assessing and understanding stakeholder needs. At Prolifiq, whether it’s a new sales opportunity or a customer account, leveraging your initial engagements and points of contact is a great way to get more information.
“Who else would typically be involved in evaluating these tools or making these decisions?” is one question to ask. You can also be proactive with “Based on who we typically sell to in the Sales Operations space, it looks like Lucy and John might be stakeholders we should make aware of this evaluation. Would you agree with that?”. Leverage internal stakeholders as well, do you have pre-existing relationships at the account?
As we touched on above, another step we recommend is looking at all of your opportunities over a 6 or 12-month period. Who was engaged from the accounts? Are there trends in the types of people that are involved in deals you win? What about deals that your team loses? Account managers, sales leaders, and everyone in between have a vested interest in having tightly defined criteria for which stakeholders must be engaged in a relationship.
Tools for Stakeholder Analysis
While most teams map out different types of stakeholders in spreadsheets, slide decks, or One Notes, several tools help make this easier. Navigating complex stakeholder claims, relationships with stakeholders and more must be an ongoing, dynamic process. Building these maps and storing information in siloed areas makes this difficult. New stakeholders, people, or groups must be added to maps and analyzed regularly, or you risk stale and unactionable maps shortly.
Solutions like Prolifiq help you understand different stakeholders’ influence, support, previous relationships, and their roles/impact on previous opportunities, for example. Tools make it much easier to document different types of project stakeholders, assign tasks for engagement to different internal team members, and report on the ROI of how relationship mapping impacts your business. These solutions will usually be native to your CRM, working with your contact data to have a visual representation of the many stakeholders on the account object or opportunity object at a minimum. A stakeholder analysis map will bring everyone up to speed on gaps and opportunities within a few minutes.
Stakeholder Analysis Example
Embark on a journey through a case study, examining the stakeholder analysis process in action. Dive deep into a project, exploring how key stakeholders, both internal and external, influence decision-making and project outcomes. Witness firsthand the application of stakeholder analysis tools like the Power-Interest Grid and Stakeholder Influence Matrix.
Unlock the potential of stakeholder mapping in visualizing and aligning stakeholder interests. Explore how to create a stakeholder map, identifying influential groups and individuals. Learn the art of balancing stakeholder expectations and interests to ensure project success.
Importance of Stakeholder Management
Stakeholder management is not just a process; it’s a strategic imperative. Delve into the best practices for stakeholder management, from continuous monitoring and updating to crafting communication strategies that resonate with different stakeholder groups. Address conflicts and mitigate risks effectively to foster a collaborative and supportive project environment.
As projects evolve, so do the dynamics of stakeholders. Building out the stakeholder circle or stakeholder diagram is a crucial part of growing a business. Understanding their interest, support, and other challenges will drive how you attack the account.
Empower your team to navigate the intricate web of stakeholder relationships, ensuring projects not only meet but exceed expectations. By understanding the needs, interests, and expectations of key stakeholders, you pave the way for a smoother, more successful project journey. Don’t underestimate the importance of stakeholder analysis.
1. Question: What tools and techniques are commonly used in stakeholder analysis, and how do they contribute to project success?
Answer: Stakeholder analysis relies on various tools and techniques to navigate the complex web of relationships. Popular tools include Prolifiq, Altify, and Revegy. These tools aid in identifying key stakeholders, understanding their interests, and prioritizing actions to ensure project success. By employing these techniques, project teams can proactively manage stakeholder expectations and build stronger, more collaborative relationships.
2. Question: How does stakeholder analysis involve different teams within an organization, and why is cross-functional collaboration essential?
Answer: Stakeholder analysis is a cross-functional endeavor involving teams from different departments such as project management, marketing, and finance. It ensures that diverse perspectives are considered, aligning project goals with the broader organizational objectives. Cross-functional collaboration fosters a holistic approach to stakeholder management, where insights from various teams contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of stakeholder needs and expectations
3. Question: Who are the primary stakeholders in a typical project, and how does their involvement impact decision-making and project outcomes?
Answer: Primary stakeholders typically include executives, project managers, and internal teams directly involved in the project. Their involvement is critical as they hold decision-making power and can significantly impact project outcomes. Engaging primary stakeholders early in the process ensures that their expectations are considered, fostering a collaborative environment and enhancing the likelihood of project success.
4. Question: What resources are essential for effective stakeholder analysis, and how can teams ensure they are adequately equipped for the task?
Answer: Successful stakeholder analysis requires both human and technological resources. Teams need skilled personnel with expertise in project management and communication. Additionally, investing in stakeholder analysis tools, such as software that facilitates mapping and tracking, is crucial. Adequate training and ongoing skill development ensure that teams can harness these resources effectively, enhancing their ability to manage stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle.