Let’s first explore what defines both power and influence and how it is the foundation and the beginning of your account based marketing/experience strategy.
If you’d like to dig straight into building out your Power & Influence Mapping you can download our guide here.
Power is the possession of control, authority or influence over others.
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone of something, or the effect itself.
And just in case you’re not familiar with Account Based Experience Strategy it’s the strategic approach where marketing and sales teams come together to understand a key client prospect. As a team they aim to understand the pain points of all key decision makers within that organisation and look to create personalised marketing campaigns, content and offerings to solve for that specific pain point. Consider it a B2C style marketing in a B2B world. Learn more about creating content for your account based marketing strategy here.
Why do we need to explore power & influence within account based marketing strategy ideas in the business context?
If we want to create fruitful partnerships with different organisations where there is an exchange of product or services for a fee, we need to understand how to work with them. That’s why knowing who has power and who has influence is an important step when looking to build rapport in the beginning of a sales pitch.
Understanding roles people play within an organisation – an important part of account based experience strategy
People play many roles within their jobs and it’s important to be able to understand where they fit in the decision making process and the sentiment they feel towards your service offering or your organisation.
The roles to breakdown are:
- User: the person most likely to actually use your product or service once the organisation has signed on to partner with you.
- Initiator: the person who is a connector, often initiating the first meeting or contact with the organisation. Or the person who reaches out as an inbound lead because they feel they need your service. This person may have reached out to a number of organisations and have them all pitching.
- Gatekeeper: this person is really important to consider, they have significant influence and most often hold the key to the decision maker’s heart and mind. This person is the stopgap between yourself and the closing decision.
- Buyer: the person who often signs off, spends the money and has control of the budgets. In many cases it might be the CFO, the CMO or similar.
- Influencer: this person could hold many roles and in some cases may not be as senior as you’d expect. A person of influence is a connected person who is smart, understands the market and most often has great relationships. To know who the most influential person is, within a team, you might have to connect in a number of meetings, calls and find out the broader team dynamic.
- Decider: this is the person who holds the ultimate power and authority, the one who signs on the dotted line. This person ultimately holds the accountability for the success or failure of the project too.
How do these people feel about your product, service or business?
- Love us ❤️
- Positive 👍
- Neutral 😐
- Unknown 🤷♀️
- Negative 👎
How people within the organisation feel about your product, service or your actual business is an important context before you begin pitching. For example, if you have 2 people in the team who are negative or on enemy lines for whatever reason, you might want to consider putting your efforts elsewhere.
So, this is the very beginning, the foundations of understanding power & influence in an account based experience strategy. It’s time to map out within the organisation who has the most power and the most influence.
Want to go more in depth? Download our Power & Influence Mapping resource, rich full of tips on creating a full map of who sits where and how to create the right marketing content to approach these individuals.