Attention to Detail is not always a strength of b2b sales people, which is one reason why so many b2b sales people fail to get an organizational chart (a.k.a. – org chart) on their target accounts.
Yet, this tool is one of the most important elements you can build or obtain on a targeted account. This is the formal structure used by the customer or prospect to run their business operation – including the hierarchy for decision making.
If this is so valuable why do so few b2b sales people fail to get or build one?
Usually because they either don’t understand the importance or are afraid to ask for one feeling rejection of their request would damage their relationship with their contacts.
Here is a clue your relationship is lacking some trust or credibility. I know when I have a good or great relationship built with a potential client, they are eager in most cases to provide me with an org chart.
Yet, it is true with some accounts or relationships it is difficult to get an org chart, usually for two reasons. One, they do not have a formal org chart in their possession. And Two, they feel the org chart is confident in nature. The first one can easily be dealt with, yet, the second one is harder to overcome.
So let’s take a look at the different ways to obtain or create an org chart on your target accounts.
Ways to Obtain or Create an Organizational Chart…
- Ask for One
Asking for an Org Chart will quickly show how strong your rapport with the contact has become. When a trust bond has been established, then the org chart – if available – will be provided. A softer form of asking for an org chart, is to indirectly ask if an org chart is available and who could send it to you. Sometimes an assistant holds the org chart and will send it out right away when asked by their boss or a peer. The key thing here is to actually ask for the org chart. If you don’t ask, you will definitely not get it.
- Get Your Contact to Map one out
While meeting with your key contact (coaches are great for this activity) ask they to do a rough draft on a piece of paper. This gets it started in some cases and later they provide you with an official copy of the org chart. However, this method is great since it engages the contact with you in the design of an org chart – even if it only relates to the contacts immediate department or division.
- Ask questions to get hierarchy relationships
Here you goal is to connect the dots between people – names shared during your meetings – with their positions on the hierarchy. When you hear a name several times it is time to ask about this person. Ask where they fit in the corporate structure, who reports to them, who do they report to and what is their influence in your buying process decision. Again, showing you are listening and noting the names of people in their organization gives you credibility with the contact. Asking how they interact with others shows a genuine interest in understanding their business.
- Get your Contact to Help You Finish One
Another cool method to get your org chart created. Start one based upon your research into the company, interviews with different people or noting the titles of people included in articles or news releases about the target company. This again shows you are doing your homework and are looking to improve your understanding of the inner workings of their organization. Again, you get credit and assistance in building an accurate org chart. By the way, several times when using this approach, the contact has offered to give me their formal copy of the org chart – this is even better than asking for one. It shows the contact trusts you and is willing to share important information with you.
There you have a few tips on developing an organizational chart on your target accounts – and yes, you should always have one on your existing accounts. This tool comes in very handy when looking for the true decision makers, holders of the budgeting power, and who you need to make contact with during your sales process.