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Do you approach stakeholder management differently based on the team you're talking to? And if so, how?

Abhishek GP
Abhishek GP
Freshworks Senior Director - Global Demand GenerationJuly 28

100%. A rule of thumb that has been helpful for me is that your organization's primary Go-to-market motion defines the primary and secondary stakeholders that you interact with. For each stakeholder, it's essential to define a commonly agreed-upon success criterion/criteria that make both teams successful. Most of your discussions with the stakeholder would hover around this chosen set of criteria. 

a) In a Product-led Growth model, Product Management is one of the two primary stakeholders (the other is Sales). While Revenue is the primary metric that binds you and the Product Management team, unpack what leading indicators contribute to revenue. For example, web: signup conversion rate, the right mix of marketing channels that result in the desired volume of PQLs, and time to value within the product could be the leading indicators you align on. 

b) In an Enterprise Saas model, both Sales & Product marketing are key stakeholders. While Pipeline is the primary metric that binds you and the Sales team, having a common understanding of and closely tracking 'Engaged accounts' and the 'velocity of Engagement' could bind you together. Your discussions might revolve more around the quality and momentum of account-level signals and the impact on engagement from progressing these a accounts down the funnel.

1230 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadFebruary 22

Stakeholder management should absolutely be approached differently based on the team you’re speaking with. The reason for this is that each stakeholder is going to have a different need or interest. Just like you would speak with individuals based on the relationship you have established, the same applies to stakeholders.

How do you do this? Customize your approach based on what impacts the stakeholder. You’ll need to be adaptable and flexible. Because everyone has different needs and concerns, clear communication and transparency are required. To build successful partnerships, you’ll also need to build trust.

Relationships are not static. Keep the following question top of mind when managing stakeholders: Why should they care about this project or initiative? When you are communicating impact and outcomes, frame it with the answer to this question so that you are demonstrating value.

413 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeOctober 3

Yes, definitely. Different teams will have varying context about creative work, so it's important to understand their working knowledge of your craft and how much you will either need to explain or can move quickly on. There will also be stakeholders who literally have more of a stake in your project, and therefore they will likely need more communication and updates as the project progresses.

It's helpful at the beginning of a project to set expectations with teams you've never worked with before so they can understand your process. And it will always be helpful for you to ask questions about what each of the teams you're working with expect from the project and what their definition of success is. This will help you tailor your communication style and cadence, and figure out what input you need from different teams early on.

My teams have always leveraged the RASCI matrix/model when creating project briefs, and this helps us set the stage for who is involved, who provides what kind of feedback at what stage, and what kind of communication cadence they will need throughout the process. It's really important to get clear on the type of feedback you will be looking to get from different stakeholders so you're not getting feedback that's out of context or coming from people who do not specialize in the topics or discipline you need them to weigh in on. Being specific here also allows the project manager/lead to consolidate feedback much easier and decide which feedback to implement from which teams.

I also setup project channels with the key RASCI group members only (responsible, accountable, supporting and consulted) to discuss projects in real time, share key updates or roadblocks, and prep specific team members for feedback sessions and discussions. And then I'd save communication between those who purely need to be informed for larger email updates or individual communications.

356 Views
Kanchan Belavadi
Kanchan Belavadi
Snowflake Head of Enterprise Marketing, IndiaSeptember 14

Absolutely! Not only the team, but also the individual.

 

Every team has its own goals and challenges and to work effectively with them, you need to first understand their needs and align accordingly.

 

For example, if you have to work with the product team to build assets, it is important to know their calendar – when is the next product launch coming up – because that will take precedence over everything else, unless you are creating something for a customer for an identified opportunity.

 

Working with developers is very different from working with sales. Their needs are different, so are their asks. The better you know them, the sooner you can create value for them.

 

When you begin working with them, do not go with an ask. Instead check, what you can do for them. Build that trust by showing value.

417 Views
Sheridan Gaenger
Sheridan Gaenger
Own VP of Growth MarketingJune 12

I approach every discussion with every stakeholder from the perspective that we’re partners. We’re working towards the same goals and have respect for each other and our respective functions. We’re all in the same boat and want to row in the same direction. For every conversation, it’s important to enter with confidence and subject matter expertise, but with the grounding knowledge that everyone is on the same team, supporting each other as partners. Some of the best feedback I’ve received in my career is to leave any defensive mechanisms at the door, always go in with an open mind, and embrace the concept of partnership for swifter progress. Partnerships and conversations vary, so it’s crucial to tailor your stakeholder management approach accordingly.

381 Views
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