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How relationship mapping shortens the sales cycle

What if your existing customer data could show you account relationships across your network to take the icy chill out of your cold calls? It can with relationship mapping.

90% of executives say they won’t respond to cold calls. That leaves a shallow pool of prospects you might reach after 18 cold calls and 5 follow-up calls, with 80% ending up in voicemail. If by some miracle you do connect with a prospect, less than 1% convert.

You can try asking your colleagues if they have an in with your prospects. But most sales teams are working remotely or distributed globally, so you can’t just pop your head over a cubicle to ask a quick question. This turns your plan to shave off some lead time into more emails and calls.

What is relationship mapping?

Relationship maps paint a picture of who knows who and how well throughout your organization. These insights help you leverage your customer relationship management system (CRM) to keep your intros warm and wins quick.

Relationship mapping really comes in handy when your deals have more legs than a parlay. There are roughly 11 people involved in a single purchasing decision. This is 10x more than 40 years ago.Having complete visibility into relationships with key stakeholders gives you an edge against the competition. You can easily identify all the players, mark your MVPs, and figure out who can give you the fastest route to the finish line.

How does relationship mapping work?

A relationship map taps into your business communication platforms—email, VOIP, calendar—to identify leads within employee networks. It’s essentially an automated customer intelligence platform that works in conjunction with your CRM to highlight relationship insights.

Relationship mapping shows who you know, who your colleagues and contacts know, who knows them, and how well. It also indicates whether the relationship is improving or weakening and where there may be opportunities such as job changes, company growth, or historical successes.

Win new sales

The less time sales reps spend on an opportunity, the more deals you can push through the pipeline. The key is a bulletproof strategy to approach a prospect. B2B buyers are 5X more likely to engage with a sales rep via a warm introduction versus cold outreach. Every relationship is scored, so you can see who among your colleagues and contacts has the best chance of providing you with the warmest lead. 

Protect existing clients

With relationship mapping, you can identify weak points and act before customers decide to pass on your product or service. Low scores will help keep track of clients in need of some nurturing and even spot when competitors might cut in. In the bigger picture, eliminating churn risk will boost your retention rates. Even a 5% increase in customer retention can translate into 25-95% more revenue.

What does a relationship map look like?

Traditional relationship maps had a card for every stakeholder, including background notes, motivations, and biases. Then, you would arrange the cards to show who reports to who to indicate relationship type and strength, internal alliances, influencers, and conflicts. While the overall visual representation is helpful, you’re too busy for the job you already have without adding a time-consuming collage on top.

Today’s relationship mapping has shifted from the manual input of one-off visual maps to fully automated relationship intelligence. All your team sees are the connections between colleagues and contacts in key accounts across your CRM. Behind the scenes, fancy algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) score relationships using 20+ inputs, including volume of emails, meetings, seniority, frequency, and response time.

You get full visibility into key accounts and who can score you a warm intro or referral to the major players in purchasing:

  • Champions. Who uses your solution and understands its value?
  • Leaders. Who are the executives that have the power to raise concerns or put up roadblocks?
  • Decision makers. Who controls the resources and budgets?

You will always have a 360-degree view of your contacts and their companies to make the most of every touchpoint. This data can also be used to build hyper-targeted market segments by industry, geography, size, connected colleagues, and relationship scores.

See the bigger picture

Keep your sales team motivated by freeing them from the burden of mundane cold outreach. When you implement relationship mapping, your sales team can accomplish more on a “meh” day than they would on their best days.

Blow right past your sales targets when you combine relationship mapping with white space insights and champion tracking.

Book a consultation to learn to learn how these three steps will transform your customer data into insights that reveal every revenue opportunity.

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