🤝Managing Stakeholder Change

Operationalize a proactive approach to engaging key personas


A common churn risk arises when a CSM is single-threaded with an account, and they don't have an approach to identify multiple key personas within an organization. It is important to tackle this from a few perspectives, to combat this. This use case walks through some procedural safeguards you can put in place to set your CSMs up for success regarding stakeholder change.

Use Case Overview

We will walk through several tactics that can be combined to create a robust approach toward handling stakeholder change. Tactics 1-3 are separate processes you can put in place, and tactic 4 is what you do when you have identified a new stakeholder.

  1. Deactivated Stakeholder Alerting: Alert when the main stakeholder is deactivated

  2. Key User Activation: Identify when key users initially access the product

  3. Champion Targeting: Track how many accounts you have identified key individuals

  4. Stakeholder Engagement: Operationalize the stakeholder engagement process

Watch the video below to see the entire build-out:

How to Build it

Step 1: Deactivated Stakeholder Alerting

The first and most obvious line of defense is to catch when your main point of contact no longer has access to your product. This is a clear signal that turnover has occurred, and you must act. Your first step is to ensure you have categorized deactivated users and then create a playbook automation to automate this entire process.

  1. Categorize Deactivated Users

If you have configured your user churn rules, you have already done the heavy lifting! If not, you can quickly set that up by following the steps outlined in our documentation.

  1. Create an Account Indicator

We can now build a simple playbook automation to create an indicator for this scenario. You can create an account or organization-level playbook automation (depending on which Account Owner you are targeting) and add any additional trigger logic you would like.

Indicators will be named after the playbook automation that creates them. Name accordingly!

The one trigger filter you will need is under Account Owner: Owner: Deactivated Date = is set

After building this trigger, you will add an action step to create the indicator. You can add other actions to this playbook automation if you'd like. For example, you may want to start a conversation with users still at the account or assign an internal project - (more on that later 🙂). Once you have finalized the playbook automation, you can interact with the indicator in several ways through the UI.

Step 2: Key User Activation

You likely have different permission levels for your users, and certain permission levels may be reserved for core key personas. It is important to identify when you first detect that a user with a key permission level has accessed the product for the first time and take appropriate action.

You will need a user-level data point that tells you what permission level they have

  1. Segment User by Permissioning

Create a user-level segment for each permission or access level you want to track. This will make it much easier to identify these users through the UI.

  1. Create Permissioning Playbook Automation

Build a user-level playbook automation for each permission type you wish to identify. The trigger for the playbook automation should be the user-level trait that identifies the permission or access level. Then, add an action to add a user to the correct segment.

  1. Add Actions to Permission Playbook automation

Now that user access levels are being properly identified, you can create internal or external actions to engage with them. Some examples would be sending a conversation with key resources that align with that user's needs or an internal project for a CSM to act on to engage a new key admin. If you add actions like this, we recommend

If you add actions like this, we recommend adding a split or branch to the playbook automation to only apply those actions to users seen or created after the point in time you create the playbook automation. This is to avoid messaging users who have been on your product and would find it important to receive an email with information they may already know.

Step 3: Champion Targeting

Building multi-threaded relationships with accounts is critical for long-term success. However, it is also important to look at your persona coverage in those multi-threaded relationships (i.e., do you have a relationship with each of the core personas you need to deliver value to)? Champion targeting is a two-step process of first identifying key personas to target for your engagements and second tracking when they become a champion.

  1. Create Custom Traits to Track

First, you will want to create user traits to track targets and champions at the user level. Below are some traits we suggest you create or pull into Vitally:

Trait NameDescriptionTrait TypeDetails


Job title


Likely a datapoint you are pulling from your CRM

Persona Target Type

The profile this user has that you wish to target as a champion


Examples: 1. Desciion Maker 2. Operational Contact 3. Power User

Champion Status

Identifies if user is a champion


Exaples: 1. Yes 2. Unsure 3. No

We recommend adding these traits to a user-level card and deck to make updates easier. It should look something like this:

Second, you will want to track at the account level if there is a user at the account who is either a target or a champion. To do this, you will create a calculated trait for each persona you wish to track:

  1. Track Champion Targets Across a Book of Business

It's important to surface which accounts don't have a current champion so that CSMs can strategize accordingly to start building those relationships. To do this, create a simple metric widget to count the number of accounts without the key personas you wish to track. You will use the calculated traits as the filter for the widget.

We recommend adding widgets like this to a strategic dashboard for CSMs

Step 4: Stakeholder Engagement

Steps 1 through 3 focus on different ways to identify and target key stakeholders. Step 4 is about engaging those stakeholders after they are identified. You will first want to map out your engagement strategy to create project templates for it and then add that to your existing automation.

  1. Create an Engagement Approach with Templates

Project templates allow you to create a prescriptive and sequential approach to handling stakeholder change. Managing this change will vary per organization and stakeholder, so you'll need contextualized project templates.

Below is an example of what a simple approach might be for a decision-maker:

Conversation templates allow you to send emails to users with personalization quickly. Again, you will likely have different comms depending on the persona, so build accordingly.

  1. Add Templates to Automation

Once your templates have been built, you can return to Step 1 & Step 2 to add your respective projects and conversations to your playbook automation.

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