Relationship Map Template

What is Relationship Mapping?

In sales, relationship mapping is the process of building a visual representation of the internal structure of an account, including the pertinent connections between all key stakeholders involved in a particular deal. This visual representation is called a relationship map.

Why is Relationship Mapping Important?

Relationship mapping allows sales teams to keep track of the organizational, hierarchical, and political structure of key stakeholders within an account and opportunity, as well as the the entire history of interactions their team has had with each of these stakeholders, and what each of these interactions led to.

This information provides sales teams with the context required to understand who to contact for any given situation, why that particular stakeholder is the appropriate contact for that situation, and even what the stakeholder’s goals, pain points, and questions are.

Maps help sales teams involve the entire customer buying organization so they can align their solution to the buyers needs.

The Benefits of Relationship Maps

Creating a relationship map is a fundamental component of an effective account planning and opportunity execution process. They provide an organized, single source of truth on the account, allowing all members of the sales team to identify the right stakeholders to contact about the right subjects with the right context at the right time. 

Effective relationship maps unify and align the sales team on strategy, improve client communication and follow-up, and, ultimately, shorten deal time and improve win rates.

How to Create a Relationship Map for Key Accounts

Using the template provided, take each of the following steps:

  1. Identify all key stakeholders within the account: Stakeholders are anyone your product or service is relevant to. Start by listing each stakeholder, along with their professional title, contact information, and key responsibilities.
    • Tip: Be as exhaustive as possible and try to imagine all possibilities. For example, for any individual practitioner who would benefit from your product or service, try to include their manager on the relationship map, as well.
  2. Identify the interests of all key stakeholders: Summarize their role within the account relative to the opportunity, including why they may be interested in your product or service.
    • Tip: If you don’t have enough information to reasonably assume goals or interest, try writing out what you know about the key stakeholder’s role within the organization. What value do they need to provide? What are any potential pain points stopping them from providing this value? How could you speak to these pain points?
  3. Identify and chart relationships between key stakeholders: Who reports to whom? How do they work together, and what do they work on? What do they each require from one another? How often do they interact, and why? Is there anything in particular that your sales team should know about this relationship?
    • Tip: Remember that every organization is different, and even stakeholders with similar roles may practically serve very different functions – especially where inter-organizational relationships are concerned. Update your relationship map regularly as you learn more about how the organization in question operates.
  4. Identify “key” relationships and leverage them in your strategy: Key relationships are the  stakeholders who can  influence, advocate, or conversely, resist or detract from a purchasing decision for a given opportunity. Understanding  the nature of these relationships and the relative level of support each has for your product or service will inform who your sales team should engage with most  and why.
    • Tip: Key relationships need not be exclusively role-based. For instance, if there is a particularly influential manager or executive, they may influence others they do not even directly work with or supervise. Similarly, groups of practitioners or managers may gain substantial influence over their supervisors when they agree on something together.
    • In both cases, understanding these relationships will help your sales team decide on an approach.

Relationship Map Templates

Filling out this template streamlines the relationship map creation process and standardizes the format of your relationship maps across accounts and opportunities, ensuring that you can easily create parsable relationship maps as quickly as possible and consult accurate relationship information across accounts.

You can also use this template in coordination with People.ai’s Relationship Map software to automatically map key relationships and opportunities natively in Salesforce.

Examples of How Relationship Maps Can Help

These are only a few examples of the many ways a relationship map can be used to inform and direct a sales team’s approach to making in-roads within an organization.

Understanding the decision-making hierarchy

Relationship maps can help sales teams quickly and accurately identify reporting structures, which will make finding the decision maker with both the right authority and the proper understanding of organizational needs to understand your product’s full appeal far easier.

Identifying “coalitions” of decision makers

The typical B2B deal involves six to 10 decision makers. These decision makers often sit in different departments and/or different hierarchical levels within the organization, and they contribute to making purchasing decisions via their relationships to one another.

By finding the key groups, or “coalitions,” of decision makers that may influence purchase decisions, your sales team can use the relationship map to identify exactly which stakeholders they should contact and why.

In addition, relationship maps can help you pinpoint those who may be detractors or resist the purchase of your product or service, so you can take proactive measures to nurture their understanding of your offering’s value, or double-down on those contacts who are champions. 

Speaking to common pain points and goals

As your relationship map develops, you will begin to see patterns emerge among the goals, pain points, and motivations of both individual stakeholders and in those stakeholders’ relationships to one another. The better you can understand and chart these commonalities, the better your team will be able to speak to the real concerns and interests of the stakeholders.

Start Boosting Your Sales Productivity Today

If you’re ready to take your relationship mapping to the next level, People.ai provides a Relationship Map application that’s native to Salesforce, allowing you to automatically upload, update, and consult standardized relationship maps assembled from your existing contact lists via machine learning—all without leaving Salesforce.

If you’re interested in trying People.ai’s Relationship Map application for yourself, schedule a no-obligation demo today.