The Revenue Compass Blog


In B2B sales, mastering stakeholder guidance is critical as decision-making groups expand and buyer journeys grow more intricate. According to Challenger’s insightful research, the average number of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process has increased to 6.8 (up from 5.4) with 40-60% of deals lost to no decision as opposed to competition.

This article delves into the significance of stakeholder guidance and provides actionable insights for salespeople aiming to take and maintain control of the sales process effectively.

The Crucial Role of Stakeholder Guidance:

The challenge lies not only in the quantity of stakeholders but also in ensuring active participation and alignment among these individuals. Neglecting to engage stakeholders effectively can have detrimental consequences, derailing the sales process and increasing the likelihood of the dreaded “ghosting.” At the heart of effective stakeholder engagement lies proactive guidance throughout the sales journey. Many salespeople settle for merely setting a “qualified” appointment. Instead, they must learn to take charge of conversations, ensuring alignment among stakeholders from the outset.

Establish Your Ideal Stakeholder Group

Effective stakeholder guidance begins by defining “what good looks like” at each incremental stage of the sales process and identifying the key stakeholders necessary for meaningful participation. This “proven process” provides clarity and confidence to salespeople when scheduling initial meetings and securing the next steps of the sales process. Emphasis should be placed on facilitating constructive dialogue among decision-makers so that their wants, needs, pains, and desired gains are expressed, understood, and prioritized. Ultimately, if stakeholders cannot reach consensus on the problem (or opportunity) at hand, their ability to align on a solution is nearly impossible.

Mitigating Common Pitfalls:

Salespeople must avoid outdated approaches like asking "who is your boss?" or the lazy approach of saying “feel free to invite anyone else that might be interested in attending.” Instead, they should assert control over the sales process by confidently articulating next steps and necessary stakeholder involvement. For instance, they can say, “the next step of our process is […], the purpose & goal is […]. In our best partnerships, we’ve found it critical to have these stakeholders [x, y & z] involved in this conversation so that we can align [on the problem / opportunity].” This establishes salespeople as trusted advisors guiding prospects towards mutually beneficial outcomes.


Mastering stakeholder guidance is critical for achieving sales excellence. By providing key stakeholders with guidance, salespeople can minimize "no decision" outcomes, accelerate sales velocity, increase win rates, and boost average revenue per sale.

Go Deeper

Carver Peterson helps growth-minded leaders of B2B technical & professional services firms build high-performing sales teams so that they can confidently grow & scale.