Sales Influencer (Power) Mapping

How to Win Key Strategic Sales Deals through Client Relationship Analysis, Management and Improvement – in 5 Easy Steps !

Illustrative of the 5 Step to Power Mapping (Ilustrative - Covered Below}
Illustrative of the 5 Step to Power Mapping (Ilustrative – Covered Below}

Analysis and Management of the key decision makers and influencers in any strategic and long-term sale is crucial for success and for obtaining that BIG SALES CONTRACT WIN. This type of analysis of multi-million dollar & strategic sales deals is a common practice of the top revenue generating firms throughout the world including Accenture, IBM, PricewatehouseCoopers, McKinsey, General Electric, Deliotte, KPMG, etc.  Through this proven sales analysis technique called Sales Influencer Mapping or Power mapping, you can quickly ascertain the following:

  1. How likely you are to win the deal based on the status of your relationships with the various client company team members?
  2. Who at your client company are for or against you and your firm winning this sale?
  3. Who from your client company has a pre-existing positive or negative perception of your company?
  4. What is the nature of your relationship with all of the key decision makers and influencers that must approve and/or condone this sale to your firm?

{Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}:

Map Key Client Sales Team
Step #1 – Map Key Client Sales Team
Step #1 Legend
Step #1 Legend

Directly related to the last bullet (#4) above, the first and key step to influencer mapping for longer-term strategic sales is determining the sales influencer landscape as follows:

  1. Who is the economic buyer(s) that has an allocated budget for the item you are selling and who will ultimately make the final decision for the sale? It is the economic buyer’s budget that will fund your sale of your product/service.
  2. Who are the decision maker(s) who the economic buyer must get to concur (sign-off) that they are selecting the right firm, solution, products for this sale? Decision makers are the people who are putting their reputations and careers on the line for selecting you and your firm for this sale.
  3. Who are the key influencer(s) that will influence the opinions and impressions of your company with both the economic buyer and the decision makers? It is the key influencer(s) who can help or hurt the chances of your sale with the economic buyer(s) and the decision makers.

Take Chart #1 below that represents a strategic sale of over $1.2MM to a potential pharmaceutical client. Our strategic sales team consisted of four of us attempting to sell a strategic roadmap for our client to enable an enhanced direct to consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical marketing model.

{Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}:

Map Key Client Sales Team
Step #1 – Map Key Client Sales Team
Step #1 Legend
Step #1 Legend

In step one, we carefully analyzed the client company organization and quickly determined that Dan Danilla, as VP of Customer Management, was the Economic Buyer for this sale and had adequate allocated budget to actually buy our services. You will notice the “E” noted below his name in box #1 for Economic buyer per the above power mapping legend.

Gary West was determined to be responsible for the project’s delivery and success, so he was labeled at the Decision Maker “D” in box #1 below his name/organizational box.

Russ Porter was determined as being one of the signatories of the contract, so he is marked with an “A” for being a contract Approver in box #1 below his name/organizational box.

Lastly, since Matt Gandy has a great social relationship with both Dan Danilla (Economic Buyer) and Gary West and is often called for professional advice by both, we marked him as a key influencer for this sales deal with an “I” in box #1 below his name/organizational box.

Chart #2 represents Step #2 in Sales Power Mapping {Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}::

Assign Logical Client Relationship Building Team Members
Step #2 – Assign Logical Client Relationship Building Team Members
Power Mapping Step #2 Legend
Power Mapping Step #2 Legend

In this step we assign our company team members to effectively manage the key influencer client relationships based on personality matching and previous interaction history.

In the above example, I (Steven Jeffes-SJ) was assigned to cover Dan Danilla (Economic Buyer) as I have had very good previous interactions with him and he seemed to like my ideas/insights.

Likewise Brian Grant (BG) was assigned to Gary West (Decision Maker), Me assigned also to Kathy Pang (Influencer), Mary Bello (MB) to Russ Porter (Approver) and Sam Snead (SS) to Matt Gandy as they head out for drinks together occasionally and have a budding social relationship.

Chart #3 represents Step #3 in Sales Power Mapping {Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}::

Determine Key Client Sales Team Relationship & Perceptions
Step #3 – Determine Key Client Sales Team Relationship & Perceptions
Power Mapping Step 3 - Legend
Power Mapping Step 3 – Legend

In this step we accomplish two bits of sales analysis as follows:

1)      We determine what our previous interaction with each person has been like and how have they reacted to our team members in the past (on average).  This is represented by box #3 above “Relationship Interaction”.  In box 3 for each client team member, we noted “*” for having a positive/trusted relationship with Dan Danilla, a “+” for having a good relationship with Gary West, a “+” also for Kathy Pang as she has a good relationship with Steve Jeffes, and “-“ with Russ Porter as he has been cool and stand-offish with team members and a “=” with Matt Gandy as he has been neutral in our previous interactions with him.

2)      Our second step in this phase is to determine what each person’s impressions are of our Firm’s capabilities based on any previous statements. We color the same box #3 with colors Green for Positive, Yellow for Neutral, Red for the person having negative impressions of our firm.  These colors are noted above in box #3 for each client team member – Dan Danilla (Green), Gary West (Green), Kathy Pang (Yellow), Russ Porter (Red), and Matt Gandy (White for undetermined).

Chart #4 represents Step #4 in Sales Power Mapping {Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}::

Determine Key Client Sales Team Contact Frequency
Step #4 – Determine Key Client Sales Team Contact Frequency
Power Mapping Step #4 - Legend
Power Mapping Step #4 – Legend

In this fourth step we accomplish the following:

Determine the extent to which we have had contact with each client sales team member. This step is critically important in order to be able to develop an effective action plan to help develop better relationships with each client team member.  In addition to noting the frequency of contact, detailed notes must be cultivated from each strategic sales team member to determine the following for each client team member:

1)      What previous concerns has the client team member mentioned when dealing with our team or when our potential solution was presented?

2)      What previous likes or preferences has the client team member mentioned when dealing with our team or when our potential solution was presented?

3)      What type of personality type is this client team member – analytical, introverted, social, extroverted, etc. (Should also be used in matching team members in step #2 above)

4)      What checkpoints or process steps is this client team member looking to ‘check off’ as part of this product/solution evaluation?

5)      Are there any other team stakeholders missing in developing the above organization chart that should now be added?

In the fifth and final step of this process, we perform the following:

A)     Aggregate and summarize the above sales analysis including deal strengths & weaknesses

B)     Develop a Sales Action Plan

C)     Estimate Deal Probability Closure %

The picture that summarizes the sales analysis can be shown as follows {Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}::

Summarize Sales Deal Key Strenghts, Weaknesses, Action Plan, Closure Probability (%)
Step #5 – Summarize Sales Deal Key Strenghts, Weaknesses, Action Plan, Closure Probability (%)

A)     Summarize Sales Analysis:

The summary of our sales analysis (as depicted in Chart #5 above) for this sale deal is as follows:

  1. We have good and strong relationships with Dan Danilla (Economic Buyer) and Gary West (Decision Maker) putting us in a good position to win the deal.
  2. We have weaker relationships with Kathy Pang (Deal Influencer) and Russ Porter (Deal Approver) and these relationships need to be strengthened via our sales action plan. They also have either neutral or negative impressions of our firm as compared to our competitors.
  3. Matt Gandy (Deal Influencer) has a neutral position in terms of relationships with our team members and impression of our firm’s solutions and capabilities. 

B)     Develop a Sales Action Plan (Sample):

The action plan that aligns to our above sales analysis for this sales deal is as follows {Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}::

Sales Power Mapping - Action Plan
Sales Power Mapping – Action Plan

C)     Estimate Deal Probability Closure %:

The final step is to estimate, utilizing all of the above insights, as well as major sales deal assets and liabilities, the probability that this sales deal will close favorably (as a win) for our firm as follows {Click on Chart for a larger/clearer image}::

Sales Power Mapping - Sales Deal Summary Assets, Liabilities, Closure Probability %
Sales Power Mapping – Sales Deal Summary Assets, Liabilities, Closure Probability %

The bottom line to sales power (influencer) mapping is that the best sales companies and your most formidable competitors are using this level of sales analysis and action planning in order to win that strategic multi-million $$$ deal.

Your organization will be at a competitive disadvantage if you do not employ this level of rigor in your sales pursuits. Trust me, it works and I have closed many large multi-million $$$$ deals (including this one – YES, the above example was A WIN!) using this technique at many of the world’s leading firms. 

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About StevenJeffes
About Steve Jeffes: Steven Jeffes is a thought leader in developing world-class corporate innovation, CRM, marketing, social media, loyalty, customer retention and customer experience programs. The recipient of many awards (http://www.stevenjeffes.com/stevenjeffes_awards.html), Steve is expert marketing strategy design & optimization: design, development and launch of world-class and best practice marketing and social media programs; change management organizational design and process excellence in marketing, sales, customer service, engineering, product management; and development of successful sales and sales management programs for Fortune 100 companies and government entities. He holds dual B.B.A. degrees in Computer Science and Finance from Temple University and a Master’s in Organizational Design and Excellence from the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton. Steve can be e-mailed at stevenjeffes@gmail.com or contacted via phone at 518-339-5857.

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