Relationship Mapping for Salesforce.com using OrgChartPlus

So, you have installed OrgChartPlus and have used it to create a few organization charts. The tool is a great productivity tool, helping you to quickly use your Salesforce contact information to generate a visual org chart. It also helps you to identify who you don’t know! But this is only a part of what OrgChartPlus can do. Its real power lies in using it as a core part of your sales process for relationship mapping. I am going to explain how to use OrgChartPlus for this purpose.

What is relationship mapping?

Salesforce is great for storing your contact information and keeping track of what each contacts role is in your opportunity but there is so much more information that your sales team needs to know:

  • How are each of the contacts related?
  • What is their working relationship?
  • Do they like your proposed product or solution?
  • How much power and influence do they exert?

This is all critical information that your sales team will hope to uncover as they talk to the customer. But again, this is only part of the story. It is important to know who else in your entire virtual team is talking to each contact. If you need to get an introduction to a contact, maybe there is someone in your organization that can provide an introduction? If there is a hostile contact in the target organization, can we use the relationships we know to boost our credibility?

Relationship mapping is all about tracking who in your company knows each of the contacts you are selling to and the strength of the relationships. OrgChartPlus allows you to track this information and see at a glance where there are strong relationships and where there are gaps to be filled. You can also bring in ‘third party’ organizations, such as partners, consultants, SI’s or any other intermediary organization that you and your client/prospect have a relationship with.

When tracking your team members, remember to include all those individuals who are involved in the sale and not just your sales staff. Accounting, technical support, and marketing for instance may all be developing relationships with the customer. We call the group of interested parties in your company the “virtual team”.

Relationship mapping in a new opportunity

I’m going to describe our typical sales process that will be familiar to you all, the start of a new opportunity. I will do this using OrgChartPlus to help with information gathering and relationship mapping.

  1. We shall start with a newly converted opportunity that contains our single initial contact. It is essential in today’s world to research all other potential players on the buying side to aid the progress of the sale.

    Start by checking what other known contacts exist within Salesforce against the interested lead’s organization and create an initial ‘decision tree chart’ from within OrgChartPlus to include all known relevant players. Remember that you are mapping the decision tree rather than the formal reporting structure.

  2. Next you want to construct your virtual team in order to understand their relationships and levels of business intimacy. Start with yourself and add any people who are likely to have contact with the customer.
  3. OrgChartPlus can help here by immediately allowing you to see any previously recorded relationships between team members and contacts. Drill down on each contact to understand what their influence levels and opinions are of you and see what previous roles they played in past opportunities. Were they a supporter, were they influential in past opportunities and what role did they play?

    Check who else in your organization knows other keys customer contacts and use this to obtain their insight. Understand and plot their relationship strengths and use these to leverage contact with your client or prospect.

    They may help with introductions and references as you look to build your relationships, deeper and wider in the client’s organization.

  4. Bring in partners and intermediaries too as their relationships will also assist your relationship development planning.
  5. If there are insufficient contacts within the buying organization from your existing database then start to research using a social platform such as Data.com or LinkedIn? Define what roles are typically involved in your buying clients and search specifically for them – be they Finance, ‘C’ level, Executive, Procurement, etc. Also understand if they share common Groups that you are also members of – this will aid your searching.

    Once identified bring these contacts into your org chart and position them accordingly.

  6. Now you are ready to approach the client lead, fully armed with strong relationship knowledge and contingency plans to leverage key contacts. Ask your lead where he sits in the buying process and who else he believes needs to be ‘on-side’ in order to achieve a positive outcome. Illicit his view on supporters and detractors as well as finding out informal relationships that exist from his side of the fence, such as key influencers, who socializes with whom and who might be in conflict politically.

    Now you can begin to bring color to your chart and get a highly graphical, visual view of the key players in the buying cycle.

  7. Use the Molecule View to fully plot and navigate all relationships that exist between the two organizations, as well as any third-party intermediary relationships.

The whole process should be viewed as a work in progress until closure as this data can help future sales for you and your organization. Marketing in turn can then draw on this information for more targeted campaigns at multiple levels – Account level marketing, opinion based marketing, sector or industry.

Richard Gilder
Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Sales
SalesMethods