How do you track, measure and manage stakeholder relationships?

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Tammy Krieger
Tammy Krieger Member Posts: 13 Thought Leader
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edited October 2023 in Metrics & Analytics

I've been thinking a lot lately about stakeholder relationships. I would like to use a framework to evaluate the desired state/mix of stakeholders including sentiment compared to the stakeholders that we are currently engaging. The outcome of this evaluation would be a plan to fill in the identified gaps in our relationships. 

Maybe a matrix that has client sentiment/NPS (detractor, resistant, neutral, supportive) and key to success (a.k.a. do you need them). No one should be a detractor of course.

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  • Jeffrey Nadeau
    Jeffrey Nadeau Member Posts: 28 Thought Leader
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    edited May 2020
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    I think it's hard to track this outside of traditional NPS type scores, but that is also more product focused. What I have done in the past is to track how often we engage with these different stakeholders. 

    For example, if it has been more than 90 days since you have talked with the Executive Sponsor, that health score is High Risk. If it's been more than 30 days since you have had a call with your main point of contact, then it's high risk. Used Gainsight to track this information and was reliant on the CSM to track data in the CRM. 

    We did find a correlation of how often we spoke with customer led to understanding the risk of the account better.

    I know this doesn't answer your question fully, but hope it helps!

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    edited May 2020
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    @Ziv Peled any advice you can offer to @Tammy Krieger about tracking stakeholder relationships. 

  • Ziv Peled
    Ziv Peled Member Posts: 9 Contributor
    edited May 2020
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    This is the beginning of our framework: https://community.customerimperative.com/post/5eafb554e53f921b1d5abbf0

    The main goal is to outline all the significant relationships the CSM has in the account, our next step is to ask the CSM to evaluate the relationship type, strength and how well they know the person on a personal level.

    Next we are going to add engagement and usage levels of each significant relationships.

    I'll be happy to update in the future.

  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
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    edited May 2020
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    Having the CSM assess the customer's sentiment doesn't really work as we've found those perceptions to be incorrect much of the time. We instead find that asking the right customer contacts to assess their experiences and success at the right time associated with their actual lifecycle is far more accurate (actual CSM quotes:  "I didn't realize that person was a promoter -- he's such a squeaky wheel!"  OR "Holy cow, that person is a detector?!?  We use them as a reference all the time!").  

    The key to getting the customer to tell you how they feel is to NOT treat it like a "survey" and actually be interested in understanding what the customer perceives to be working/needs-improvement and then follow-up to address it. Our clients achieve 60-80% response rates from their customers, which also provides a powerful predictor for around the non-responders (we know that silent accounts in a well-run program are ~14x more likely to churn than accounts that are engaged in providing this feedback, even if that feedback is negative!).  So putting it together, we create heat-maps in our TopBox application that shows contact coverage (are we engaging all the right persona in an account, depending on tier, size, region, etc), participation of those persona, and sentiment.  The resulting visualizations highlight relationship gaps, not just on sentiment but also where there is no relationship with key stakeholders. More detail is at https://waypointgroup.org/heres-how-to-know-if-your-account-teams-are-truly-focused-on-retention/