Relationship Mapping FAQ

Are you selling to the right people? How do you know?  Enterprise purchasing decisions involve an average of seven stakeholders. How do you access the stakeholders in strategic account client organizations who can say “yes” to your sales proposals?  First you need to know who the real players are. You need tools that see more […]

Are you selling to the right people? How do you know? 

Enterprise purchasing decisions involve an average of seven stakeholders. How do you access the stakeholders in strategic account client organizations who can say “yes” to your sales proposals? 

First you need to know who the real players are. You need tools that see more than just an org chart of names and job titles. 

You need to know their roles in influencing or authorizing purchasing decisions. You need to know the relationships between stakeholders to better identify influence paths. 

Out-of-date information kills deals. You need to know when key stakeholders leave and who their replacements are so you can quickly introduce yourself ahead of the competition.

ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping tool can provide real-time information quickly and easily with organization charts that identify the right people for purchasing decisions.

It gives you the correct information when you need it. It frees up time, helps tailor proposals to client needs, and increases the likelihood that clients will sign.

What is relationship mapping?

Relationship mapping identifies an organization’s key stakeholders and their roles, relationships, and influences on enterprise purchasing decisions.

Relationship maps show sales teams the strategic account client’s organizational structure. They identify the right stakeholders to approach for purchasing decisions, who affect the entire organization or enterprise.

How do relationship mapping tools work?

Relationship mapping generates charts and graphs showing sales teams and client stakeholders key strategic client account information at a glance. 

These org charts show the strategic client’s organizational and political structure.

Charts are interactive, enabling sales teams to drag and drop relationship lines and add influence lines and conflict lines to:

  • Understand relationships within the client organization
  • Create influence paths for purchasing decisions
  • Uncover opposition to proposed purchasing decisions

Sales teams use these charts to target the right client stakeholders to approach for purchasing decisions, and to mitigate opposition.

Is relationship mapping easy to do?

If you use an automated tool, like ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping tool, the answer is yes.

The Sales Relationship Mapping tool automates relationship mapping and provides updates in real time.

Org charts provide ready access to the right stakeholders. They show relationships within and outside the client’s organization. They show influence paths that sales teams can use to quickly identify key players and track their contacts and responses.

Sales teams can use relationship maps for BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline) assessments of upsell and cross-sell sales prospects. BANT assessments show sales teams whether a sales prospect is worth pursuing.

Maps make complex information easy to understand and remember. Rather than relying on memory to track contacts and manage the process, sales teams can instantly access detailed and complete information essential to enterprise purchasing decisions.

Why is it important to identify the right stakeholders?

More people than ever have a say in enterprise purchasing decisions. 

These days, an average of seven stakeholders are involved in enterprise purchasing decisions, Gartner research shows. The right stakeholders are not always obvious. In addition to C-Suite decision-makers, key stakeholders include influencers, budget holders, other leaders, and users. 

Together, these stakeholders comprise the organization’s buyer team. Their collective decision-making replaces the past model, where one executive made purchasing decisions.

Identifying the right stakeholders saves time. Sales teams can target those most likely to influence, support, and promote decisions to purchase.

Who are the right stakeholders?

The right stakeholders are strategic account client personnel with an interest in the purchase outcome and the influence and authority to make it happen. 

These stakeholders include C-Suite executives with purchasing-decision authority and budget holders. These are managers responsible for keeping a company’s budget in compliance with company bylaws. 

The right stakeholders also include influencers who may support and promote a purchase or advocate against it. Users of the product or service are also the right people to approach. If the product or service appears unsuitable for their needs, they are unlikely to support its purchase.

ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping tool identifies and categorizes the right stakeholders. It also identifies stakeholders who may be seen as supporters, detractors, and champions.

The right stakeholders, by role and responsibility are :

  • Decision-makers – C-Suite executives who have purchasing authority
  • Leaders – Executives with the authority to raise concerns and block purchase decisions
  • Budget holders – Managers and operational directors who oversee compliance with a company’s budgetary bylaws
  • Influencers – High-profile personnel known and respected for their tribal knowledge
  • Users – Personnel who will use the product or service and thus have a direct interest in its utility

Each of these may support, detract from, or champion a purchasing decision based on its perceived suitability for their interests. Previous bad experiences or personal dislikes may also be factors. 

Supporters typically side with purchasing decisions. Detractors side against them and take an active role in derailing the purchase. Champions actively support and promote the purchase and your company.

Why is ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping better?

ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping tool integrates Salesforce contacts and opportunities to generate org charts that show more than just names and positions. 

Org charts generated from ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping tool show relationships between and among strategic account client stakeholders.

X-Ray Vision for Your Target or Strategic Accounts

The tool identifies the decision-makers, influencers, and budget managers in strategic account client organizations.

  • It helps sales teams understand the strategic account client’s organization and buying structure.
  • It identifies potential opposition to proposed enterprise purchases, preparing sales teams for possible pushback.
  • It gauges the interest of strategic account clients for Account-Based Marketing. This marketing strategy targets accounts with client-specific messaging.

Real-time Updates

Organizations are more dynamic than ever. You need a relationship mapping tool that scours the internet in real time to alert you to any personnel changes in your target companies. 

Capturing Tribal Knowledge

Sales teams can use the updates to track personnel in their new roles. Tracking shows sales teams whether these personnel are still the right stakeholders to contact for a purchasing decision. 

ForecastEra’s Relationship Mapping tool captures the tribal knowledge of personnel who have moved on to other positions or companies. Tribal knowledge about the enterprise culture and landscape, past projects and decisions, departmental and personal workstyles and preferences constitutes a wealth of information that sales teams can use in proposing additional sales.

Relationship Score

Our tool generates a “relationship score” to track the relationship health of current and prospective clients. This score, based on repeat business, expressed interest, and both positive and negative client feedback, helps sales teams spot upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

ForecastEra’s software helps sales teams capture stakeholder concerns and preferences that may affect their purchasing decisions. 

By scoring each person’s interest level in the entire decision-making path, ForecastEra generates an overall client relationship health score. 

Together, these stakeholder attributes, relationship scores, and org charts provide a guided path to sales opportunities. This allows sales teams to quickly proceed with pitches to the stakeholders.

Relationship Maps Generate More Revenue From Existing Clients

While ForecastEra’s relationship mapping is essential for new prospects, it really proves its value with existing clients.  

Together, these benefits shorten sales cycles, strengthen relationships with strategic account clients, increase upsells and cross-sells, and identify higher-value sales opportunities.

ForecastEra’s Sales Relationship Mapping tool is one of several essential elements of strategic account planning, detailed in Your Ultimate Guide to Account Planning. The mapping tool is a standalone tool but you can also get as a part of ForecastEra’s Account Planning Navigator.

Should I use relationship mapping?

Yes. The evidence that relationship mapping boosts sales and strengthens relationships with strategic account clients is overwhelming. Sales teams large and small have used ForecastEra’s relationship maps generated with Dynamic Relationship Mapping tool to:

  • Increase win rates by 23%
  • Improve Salesforce adoption by 15%
  • Improve the productivity of sales representatives by 35%
  • Increase customer retention by 7%
  • Accelerate the deal closures by 22%
  • Increase deal size by 17%

If you want to see a demonstration of how ForecastEra’s Relationship Mapping tool can help increase your revenue, please contact us.

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