5 Features of an Effective Relationship Mapping Tool
Recent studies show that 85% of businesses attribute an increase in growth to key account management and relationship mapping efforts. If you’re looking to improve your company’s bottom line, a good place to start is by investing in a quality relationship map tool. This checklist will help you make the best possible purchasing decision for your needs.
Here are 5 features of an effective relationship mapping tool that you should consider before making your final decision.
Automated, Bidirectional, and Native:
The best relationship map tool will automate the process of creating and updating your map, so you can focus on your account plans and relationships, not the tedious process of manually adding and removing contacts. The best relationship maps are digital and typically in your CRM, that way any rep that needs to access maps can do it anytime.
It should also feature bidirectional syncing capabilities, meaning that if your map is living on different instances of your salesforce, (i.e. a service like Salesforce Cloud or a third-party-installed tool) it should track any changes on the map throughout each separate tool. This keeps data clean and ensures that any note or new tracked relationship will always be living on the map.
It’s important to choose a native relationship map app that’s purpose-built for account planning and tied directly to your valuable contact records. Native meaning that your tool is built directly on top of your CRM platform. To provide the most value, it makes the most sense to choose a relationship map that’s truly architected and developed to fit your specific business, fuel your account plans and customer relationships, and work bi-directionally with your collaboration tool of choice.
It’s important for each business to track its ICP to a tee. That may mean specific personas or buying committees. How teams identify their ICP can greatly vary; the type of language they use (champion, supporter, POC, key buyer, etc), the business structure of an ideal customer, and the buying process of an ideal customer. Naturally, your relationship mapping tool should be customizable to fit your business.
It’s easier to construct a custom relationship map when the map template works in tangent with your sellers, and not a confusing or cumbersome out-of-the-box mess.
Drag and Drop Accessibility:
The best relationship map tool will be easy to use and have a drag-and-drop interface, so you can quickly add and remove contacts without having to mess with code or complex configurations. This may seem like a given for any relationship mapping tool, but many on the market today are rigid and require sellers to follow a specific template versus a blank canvas to drag and drop contacts. Giving your reps the freedom to customize maps themselves will also boost user adoption, likely increasing your ROI.
An effective relationship map tool will give you a complete view of all the relationships within an account, so you can easily identify potential champions, blockers, and supporters. The contact cards on your relationship map should feature details like contact information, a profile picture, and a link to their LinkedIn. The cards should also feature a way to label each stakeholder as listed above or custom to your business’s language.
Another important asset your mapping tool should feature is the ability to track the nuance of each stakeholder relationship as well. Drawing relationship lines between stakeholders who have unique relationships should be tracked on your map and leveraged to your advantage. Did multiple stakeholders attend the same college? Do they have kids who play sports together? Is there a team that was promoted by one person? These small details should be noted and easily accessible to the team, when you remember the small details it shows your potential clients that you’re listening and actively engaged in what they have to say.
Paired with an Influence Chart:
The best relationship map tool will allow you to classify relationships according to your unique business needs, so you can easily track which relationships are most important to your success. Simply put, an influence chart is just a different way to visualize stakeholders in large accounts. Influence charts provide a quick and easy way for sellers to identify the number of stakeholders who may be blockers, supporters, or champs. It’s sometimes easier to gauge buyer sentiment on an influence chart versus your relationship map, both of which should be synced together.
At the end of the day, these are some important functions your relationship mapping tool should feature. All five of these (along with a strong internal initiative) will lead to high user adoption of the tool, a better general understanding of each of your large accounts, more clarity into your upsell efforts, and a shorter sales cycle.
If you’re interested in learning more about the tool we use in-house, book a call here with one of our professionals to learn more about how our relationship mapping tool can benefit your team.