February 6th, 2019 | by

Hey everyone, welcome to the Discover Series!

I’m Krystan Resch, DiscoverOrg’s Director of Partnerships. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the importance of organizational intelligence – AKA knowing how to leverage the org chart of your target accounts.

Wait – what are org charts?

Org charts are a visual way to represent a company’s hierarchy. Accurate org charts are a goldmine for B2B sellers, because they display relationships between stakeholders, reporting structure, and job titles. Org charts may also include details like responsibilities, physical location, and direct contact information.

The org chart shows who your prospect is within an organization, and which other stakeholders you should include in your outreach. This seemingly simple chart is one of the most effective tools your sales team has.

DiscoverOrg’s signature org charts look like this:

organizational chart, corporate heirarchy

These are my 5 favorite ways to use org charts:

  1. For inbound leads, to determine the sphere of influence
  2. For outbound prospecting, to find multiple points of entry
  3. Identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities
  4. Include decision-makers in email for better response rates
  5. Strategic post-event follow-up

Read on to see how to use the org chart.

Tip 1: Use org charts to determine the sphere of influence of inbound leads

When we’re reaching out to an organization, we probably don’t know all the different buyers who will be influencing the decision regarding our sale. Titles don’t really provide much information, so determining sphere of influence is the first place where org charts are incredibly helpful.

The sales team might have a name to reach out to … but that person might not end up signing off the deal.

So when it comes to that inbound lead, we need to understand who is in their sphere of influence, and who do they influence?

Yeah, you want to understand who your lead is and what they’re responsible for. But the org chart also shows who else is in their direct reporting structure:

  • Who do they report to
  • Who else is on their team
  • What other teams might work with them, based on their job function

Understanding that sphere of influence allows you to bring multiple players into the conversation earlier in your sales cycle, so you gain more traction. Ultimately, this will shorten the sales cycle as a whole.

The second area of focus is gonna be in prospecting or your outbound efforts. It’s really important in our outbound channel that we focus on two areas when it comes to the organizational charts.

Check out our on-demand webinar: How to Leverage Gatekeepers to Reach Decision-makers

Tip 2: Use Org Charts to find multiple points of entry for outbound prospecting

Now let’s piggyback off of the inbound piece to find multiple points of entry: For this next step, let’s look at who in the organization is gonna care about our product, and who our product serves.

But let’s also take those individuals and find more of them to figure out who else is above them in the org chart, who else is below them, who else is on the same team … or maybe there are multiple teams that we can be focusing on!

We’re still looking at the sphere of influence, but in this case, we’re looking at more than one point of entry: a sphere of influence for two people. And by doing so, we’ll be able to start looking upward in the org chart – at our ultimate decision makers.

Starting at the top and work on getting top-down referrals is another area of focus.

If somebody is CC’d on an email from their boss, saying, “Hey, you should talk to DiscoverOrg,” or, “Hey, you should talk to X, Y, Z company,” they’re far more likely to open that email, respond to that email, and engage with you as you’re reaching out to them.

So again, use the org chart to look at the sphere perspective of multiple individuals with an eye to influence and referrals that move us through the organizational chart.

Read it: 4 Steps to Expanding into Large Accounts

Tip 3: Use the org chart to find cross-sell opportunities in other departments

If our product serves more than one market, or has a potentially long sales cycle, we’re gonna have to sell into multiple groups within that organization.

More specifically (and more likely), that’s going to include the finance team and the procurement team.

Finance and procurement are going to actually sign off on our deals, and they need to know about us earlier in the cycle.

By looking at the cross-sell opportunity, what we’re really ultimately trying to do is gain influence … but this could also lead to the next big opportunity, which is your upsell.

Use the org chart to go from cross-selling to up-selling

If you understand what’s going on in the org chart, you can actually find multiple buyers or multiple groups that can leverage your tool – ultimately giving you a higher price point or getting you that upsell.

But more frequently this happens on the retention side, when we’re growing with our customer. As more and more companies emphasize customer retention over new customer acquisition, this is another reason it’s very important to keep your eye on that org chart.

Tip 4: Don’t send 1:1 emails; include all the stakeholders

Email influence is the next area of focus where knowing a prospect’s org hart can come in handy – and this one is a little tricky sometimes. Most of the time – whether we’re using automation or it’s just us in our inbox – there are a lot of one-to-one email exchanges.

And that’s not bad, right?

But in that world of one-to-one emails, I can ignore you.

The purpose of the org chart is to get rid of the one-to-one email exchange. If you have multiple influencers on an email stream – for example, “Hey, Krystan, I wanna chat with you about X, Y, Z.” … And my boss and my boss’ boss and or my colleagues are also CC’d on that email?

A: It’s much more likely to get delivered to my inbox.

B: I am much more likely to open AND have a conversation around it.

Does that mean that somebody’s gonna ultimately email you right back? Not necessarily.

But it does increase the likelihood that the team has an internal conversation about your product. And if you do a good job of delivering high value in your messaging to these individuals, they’re far more likely to engage with you and potentially get that demo scheduled.

Once again, the org chart is primarily about leveraging business relationships and working within the community at your fingertips.

Tip #5: Use the org chart for targeted post-event follow-up

Finally, one of the most unique areas where we get to use the power of org charts is for event follow-up.

sales intelligence lead generation

Most of the time we do one-to-one event follow-up with the folks that stopped by our booth, or those who actually registered for the event. And follow-up there is great.

You start by focusing on those who came to your events, or were excited when they were talking to you. You know the ones: They felt like hot opportunities when they came by your booth. But these things generally fizzle over time.

People are excited while they’re at events. Afterwards … not so much.

 

But if we can then target others within the organization and leverage that interaction – conveying some of the passion that they felt while they were at the event with you – your message is going to connect in a way that is much more unique.

Find the decision-makers that affect your sale

Once you identify the different decision makers who matter, you’re going to stand out from the crowd that much more.

You’re no longer that person saying, “Hey, I wanna sell you my product.” Instead, you’re saying, “What a great experience I had with your team! Here are so many different ways I think we can move forward together.”

That messaging sounds so much different to somebody who’s considering your service, or ready to buy.

All of these different areas are really to get you to think outside of the box: Instead of one-to-one exchanges with individuals, think of your target accounts as a collective whole, as a decision-making group, as a buying group.

Because groups of people make decisions together, make sure that you’re considering all of these new ways to leverage org charts to get your message out there – and get in front of the right people – at the right time.

Thanks for joining me today for another Discover Whiteboard Series! Remember to like, share, or comment if you have other ideas.

Want to hone your org chart skills and become more comfortable with buying groups? You might also like:

Krystan Resch
About the author

Krystan Resch

Krystan Resch is the Director of Partnerships at DiscoverOrg, where she's worked in different departments for 7 years. Krystan has degrees in Business and Sociology from the University of Oregon.