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3 Key Differences Between Relationship Maps and Graphs

In an age of dwindling consumer trust, relationships not only still matter—they’re foundational to setting yourself apart from the competition. It’s no wonder organizations of all types and sizes are looking to optimize how they get a handle on and make use of their organization’s relationship capital

What is relationship capital? At Introhive, we define it as the sum of all of the relationships of all of the people within your company and its extended business network. These can be relationships with employees, board members, clients, intermediaries, partners, suppliers, as well as with your alumni, ex-employees, and industry leaders.

Mapping relationships across your business is an age-old practice, but the need goes beyond simply tracking networkable connections. Understanding the relationships that exist between employees, customers, prospects, and peers help us to:

  • unearth new business, cross-sell and upsell opportunities
  • increase the circle of influence on deals to accelerate cycles 
  • mitigate customer attrition risk 
  • support succession planning 
  • offset risk tied to data privacy and security concerns

While relationship mapping has been around for a long time, there is now technology that can automate the process for a business. In this article, we break down how relationship maps and relationship graphs differ, how relationship visualization tools work, and which one is best for your business or organization.

1. Relationship Graphs Vs. Relationship Maps 

A relationship graph is a trendline that measures the frequency of engagement with the business’s contacts and key accounts. Relationship graphs are great for analyzing traction with new business development leads and customer accounts. 

Relationship graphs provide organizations with a simplistic visualization of a relationship’s positive or negative trendline. This can be calculated across a varied number of sources, including emails, calls, personal meetings, web meetings, social media engagement and more. 

In a B2B setting, relationship graphs can be used by customer success teams to track client engagement, or by sales managers to track the level of engagement across important deals in the pipeline.

On the other hand, relationship maps are more dynamic in that they weave together a businesses master network of relationships to help identify who knows who and how well. The latter provides a much deeper insight into the quantity and quality of relationships across a business by highlighting the degree of connectedness at a more macro level.

Relationship mapping leverages relationship intelligence automation (RIA) to provide insight into the activities and interactions of all connections. RIA considers factors such as frequency of contact, length of interaction, and the projected value of each connection. Armed with this data, professional services organizations can leverage the best relationships for the best customer interactions. This is key, as data shows that 74 percent of buyers purchase from the salesperson who is the first to add value and insight during the sales process.

Related Reading: 3 Reasons Why Management Consulting Firms Need Relationship Mapping

2. Relationship Graphs Help Drill Deep into Accounts or Contacts

Relationship graphs are a great resource for businesses looking to go deep into a specific account or contact. 

Relationship graphs tend to be linearly focused on one-to-one relationships. The result: an overview of who knows who. If kept up-to-date, this information can help teams avoid missteps, keep a closer eye on how deals are progressing, and track how well customer success is keeping up with active clients to maximize retention rates.

Relationship mapping, on the other hand, visualizes a wider view of connections and also considers your firm’s extended network, highlighting individuals with the potential to move your business forward through referrals or warm introductions

How? AI-powered tools like email scraping, data automation, and relationship analytics are all solutions that augment CRM systems to enhance overall data quality management initiatives. Why is this important? Because warm introductions are shown to reduce prospecting time and increase the effectiveness of sales calls. In fact, executives are up to 5 times more likely to engage via a warm introduction. But first, a business needs to start with a clean set of data to be successful.

3. Relationship Mapping Surfaces Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities

In contrast, relationship mapping provides insights into an untapped network of possible relationships. Think of a relationship map as a spider web of connectivity across your business landscape. Every employee brings a wealth of relationships that increase a business’s relationship capital—they’re just not easy to capture manually.

According to CSO Insights, sales from existing customers remain the top revenue source for most organizations. In one report, 68 percent of business revenues came from current accounts, with 58 percent coming from the top 20 percent of their customer base. 

Relationship maps are a simple yet powerful way to ensure relationships are cultivated and nurtured over time. Relationship mapping can pinpoint where potential solutions and the strongest relationships intersect, marking the best spots for companies to dig in to uncover valuable cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Relationship mapping can also identify weakening or at-risk relationships so the organization can shore up faltering relationships before they wash away. 

Even better, with relationship intelligence automation, these critical relationship insights are delivered directly to the email boxes of executives and sales teams in a pre-meeting digest. There’s no need to waste time hunting down the data. 

Map an Easier Path to Stronger Relationships and More Revenue

In order to maximize the power of your business relationships, both relationships graphs and maps have a role to play. With Introhive, we are helping some of the largest brands around the world automate a 360-degree view of an organization’s collective relationship capital—far beyond just tracking who knows who—to help firms identify the relationships that can help win new clients, protect existing accounts, and grow revenue among existing accounts.

With Introhive, the strategic value of relationship mapping is also linked to improved ease of use. With relationship intelligence automation software, relationship and activity data are automatically updated using numerous touchpoints. 

Learn how Introhive’s relationship intelligence automation software can help you drive your relationships and revenue to new levels of success. 

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