Let’s say you’re getting ready to pitch a new client. There’s a lot of prep work to be done and potentially some politics to navigate.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find out whether any of your colleagues have had dealings with the company? Maybe Janice down the hall is in Rotary Club with your main point of contact. Or maybe Bob lost a deal with them two years ago and can tell you why that went off the rails. Any bit of additional information on the company’s culture, needs and situation can give you an edge.
Any worthwhile CRM can give you that insight—and that’s exactly what Apto’s ‘Contact Relationships’ feature was designed to help you do.
How it works
Let’s say I’m gearing up to call Continental Concession Supplies, Inc. They’re an early-stage company that’s seen rampant growth over the last six months. Their lease comes up for renewal soon, and word is they’re outgrowing their space. Before I pick up the phone, I want to find out whether anyone in my firm has any intel.
When I pull up the record for that company and scroll down to the ‘Contacts Related’ list, I see a button called ‘View Contact Relationships’. Hitting that button launches a page that shows me not only who has history with the company but how far they got.
When you hit the ‘Connect’ button, you’ll be able to tag them in a message through Chatter, the software’s feed-based chat platform. Alternatively, in case you want to maintain a degree of privacy, you’ll also see their phone number and email so you can contact them directly.
What it could mean
In this case, I see two guys who’ve actually closed deals and I can reach out to them for intel on how it went and who they worked with. I can ask about key decision points, communication preferences, whatever I want.
In other situations, you may see that someone had a call or a meeting with a contact at a company but nothing further. It may be tempting to reach out to only the folks who closed deals, but you may actually find it equally fruitful to contact the people whose deals didn’t go through. They may be able to share a very different perspective on the client—perhaps some insight into why a deal went south, or maybe they were engaged for some entirely different reason altogether.
That’s the beauty of a relational CRM database. There’s so much information at your fingertips—you just need to know how to use it.
Have an experience like this yourself? Did the intelligence help you close a deal, or avoid a potential pitfall? Let us know in the comments.