In B2B sales, fully mapping out relationships within your client organizations is vital to sales success.
What is Relationship Mapping?
Understanding client relationships and their dynamics can mean the make-breakpoint of a sale. For example, you’re talking to someone with the title of “buyer” for a company and may think that this person has total authority to purchase your product or service. After you’ve put a considerable amount of time into this opportunity, you find out that your buyer’s boss is actually the one with the authority to purchase and you’ve never even spoken to her. Then it hits you that there are probably others in the company with influence on this purchase that you don’t even know about.
Early on in the sale, as part of the qualifying process, the actual relationship between your contact and all other influencers in the company should be noted down. The hierarchal relationships between these people should be discovered and noted as well.
In addition, there may be others outside of your prospect company such as consultants that have some kind of influence on the purchase of your product or service as well. These should also be taken into consideration.
The understanding of these relationships, visually expressed, is relationship mapping.
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Ideally relationship mapping should be part and parcel of your CRM solution. If it is, that means a salesperson can always know, before making a call or visit, or even sending an email, exactly where the intended recipient stands in relationship to all other influencers, both inside and outside of a company.