Stakeholder Influence

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Stakeholder Influence

Description

The purpose of a Stakeholder Influence matrix is to identify different stakeholders according to their level of influence on a decision. The matrix is frequently used by B2B marketing and sales teams to map the different individuals, roles, or teams involved in a sale. This framework is often developed in conjunction with customer or buyer personas. The matrix helps you to determine who has the most influence so you can focus your marketing and sales activities accordingly. The framework also allows you to identify the ways that different stakeholders are connected and may influence each other. Once completed, you can then use the matrix to develop a plan to engage influential stakeholders in an effective and coordinated way.

Question

Who has the most influence in making this purchase decision?

Steps

  1. Define the nature of the organization that is making the purchase decision: your target client account. If the stakeholders or decision-making process varies significantly among organizations, you will need separate frameworks.
  2. Identify all of the stakeholders that exist with your organization that may influence the purchase decision. For large organizations, group stakeholders with common roles and levels of influence together as a single stakeholder.
  3. Place each stakeholder in the appropriate place within the matrix. Stakeholders with high influence can approve or veto a decision independently. Stakeholders with high interest will be impacted by the decision the most.
  4. Identify the relevant relationships that exist among stakeholders. Focus on who has the most influence on the decisions of others, regardless of where they may be in the matrix. Use arrows to illustrate ‘who is influencing who’.
  5. Review the completed matrix and determine how you will engage different stakeholders. You will focus most of your marketing and sales activity on those that have the most influence, while remaining engaged with others.

Considerations

  • Organizations change over time, so make sure to update your matrix to reflect relevant changes.
  • For specific accounts, consider adding notes for each stakeholder indicating their current attitude towards you.
  • Make sure to create customer or buyer personas for those stakeholders that are the most influential.

References

The Stakeholder Matrix is also referred to as the Power-Influence Matrix, attributed to Aubrey Mendelow
Johnson. G., Scholes, K., “Exploring Corporate Strategy”, Prentice Hall, 1999

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