Why Relationship Maps Matter in the Sales Process

One of the most critical components of any sales process is ensuring you are talking to the right person. Unfortunately, studies have shown that this is not easy. According to one study, an average of seven people are involved in the sales process and making a sales decision. If you’ve been in sales long enough, you have almost certainly had this problem: You make a pitch, only to discover that you pitched the wrong person or that you need to convince three other people before closing a deal.

The above example is one of many that shows where relationship maps can be critical to your success. A relationship map can show the connections between individuals and ensure that you understand a company’s ecosystem. This information allows you to streamline the sales process. You can gain the revenue intelligence necessary to increase your sales.

What Is a Relationship Map?

Relationship mapping in sales involves the creation of a physical or digital map that shows the connections between an organization and information about its staff. On the one hand, it is an organizational chart. It offers basic information about a company, gives hierarchical data, and shows an approval process. A relationship map can be critical to understanding who you need to influence to make a sale.

However, a relationship map can contain many components, including more than just connections between staff. Information on such a map includes:

  • Basic biographical information, including position information and internal company relationships.
  • Key stakeholders within the purchasing and approval process. 
  • Automatically generated metrics, like engagement scores, that may help guide your pitches and identify additional contacts.
  • Historical data on who you have contacted and summaries of those contacts.
  • Opportunities for white space identification and additional sales.

Building a relationship map in sales can be a time-intensive process. You will need to research information on a prospect, understand their approval process, and identify other individuals involved in the sales process. An AI-based tool — like the Next Quarter Platform — can provide critical assistance. These tools can identify stakeholders and internal relationships, and this data allows you to find key stakeholders and close deals faster.

How Can a Relationship Map in Sales Help?

Relationship mapping can be the difference between closing a deal and letting one slip through your fingers.

Pitch the Right Person

How often has this happened to you: You pick up the phone, connect with the person you found on the company’s website and launch into your pitch. By the time you are done, you hear, “That sounds great, but you need to talk to….”

Relationship mapping in sales helps you understand a company’s internal hierarchy. This insight ensures you properly manage strategic account planning. It also allows you to save time and stop stumbling in the dark. Relationship mapping also enables you to identify approval chains. Armed with this information, you can determine whose support you will need to earn before closing a deal. You can thus consolidate your pitches, saving time and money.

Expand Your Sales Opportunities

In large-enough organizations, purchasing may not be a one-person shop. Individuals or teams may be responsible for managing their vendor relationships. If you have multiple products, you can expand your sales.

You can only identify these opportunities via relationship maps. A relationship map can allow you to create a robust diagram of potential prospects within an organization. As such, you can begin to determine other potential prospects for your various products and services. When done right, a relationship map enables you to make more money. 

Gather Critical Intelligence 

A relationship map isn’t just about relationships: They also contain critical intelligence and insight. For example, you can use a map to build a biography, determine areas of interest, and find out who influences whom within a company. Armed with this information, you can craft a presentation that properly assimilates this intelligence. Doing so creates more customized pitches that can lead to more successful results.

What Is Necessary for Appropriate Relationship Mapping? 

Relationship mapping requires real work and research to be successful. The requirements of relationship mapping include: 

  • Basic biographical information on who works for an organization.
  • An understanding of both the formal and informal relationships between individuals.
  • Information on a company’s approval chain, including who is responsible for approving sales. 
  • A robust and active CRM, like Salesforce, can track contacts and help you build the necessary biographical information.

Artificial intelligence can be a critical benefit to relationship mapping. Properly configured artificial intelligence can help you generate a relationship map that shows internal connections and approval chains. It can also build engagement scores that show who will approve your pitch and help you close a deal.

Partner With Next Quarter

Ready to take your sales and revenue planning to the next level? Consider Next Quarter. As the first AI-based account planning platform trusted by large swaths of Fortune 500 companies, we can enhance account growth, provide revenue intelligence, and give your entire platform the financial clarity you need. We want to bridge the gaps between revenue, sales, and finance, helping your business grow. 

Want more information? Reach out to our sales team to book a demo and learn how Next Quarter can help your business thrive.