In this third post in my Sales Secret Series, we’ll look at how to leverage family trees to grow your business. In case you missed the first two posts, you can catch them now — Sales Secret #1: Turn News into Sales and Sales Secret #2: Turn Industry Insights into Icebreakers. On to today’s topic…
Let’s start with a definition. When I refer to family trees, I’m not talking about the kind you uncover on Ancestry.com. I’m talking about the linkages between related companies — parent companies, subsidiaries, and ultimate parent companies.
One of the first things I suggest you do when you get a new prospect is check out their family tree. Why? It could save you a lot of time and pain, and/or be a treasure trove of opportunity.
Picture this, you’re researching an inbound lead from Converse. Did you know that they are a subsidiary of Nike? Who would have thought? Better check to see if anyone else in your company is already working with Nike. If so, it’s time to coordinate efforts and resolve any potential channel conflict up front.
Now let’s talk about how to grow your business using family trees.
Four ways to leverage corporate linkages to generate more revenue
- Multiply your success. When you sell to one subsidiary of a company, use your connections and learnings to sell to the other subsidiaries. Here’s how.
Suppose you just sold your software solution to Fleet Capital Corporation. A little research reveals that Fleet is just 1 of 13 subsidiaries of Banc of America Leasing & Capital, LLC. You can multiply your success first by asking your buyer at Fleet to make introductions to the other subsidiaries and/or provide a reference you can use to open doors. Then reuse your talk track – the one that worked with Fleet – and leverage what you learned from Fleet to speak to their challenges and opportunities.
- Turn a single sale into an enterprise agreement. Now suppose you’re selling an HR solution to SolarCity Corporation and you discover that SolarCity is a subsidiary of Tesla. Following the example above, you could target the other nine SolarCity offices or you could go straight to the top and sell Tesla an enterprise agreement that covers all 10 SolarCity locations in one fell swoop. That’s what I’d do!
- Shorten your sales cycle. Let’s flip that previous example on its head. Same scenario, except that when you discover SolarCity is a subsidiary of Tesla, you see that your company already has a Master Services Agreement (MSA) in place. While you won’t be selling a new enterprise agreement this time, the MSA gives you preferred vendor status – meaning you’re more likely to close the deal – and it allows you to bypass typical contractual red tape. Good thing you checked the family tree and learned about that.
- Grow new markets. Want to know where to focus your resources to get the biggest bang for your buck? Feed a family tree list from one of your best customers into our market planning solution, InsideView Apex, or another visualization tool and see where they have a concentration of locations. That’s where you want to place a rep, invest in marketing, and grow your business.
Take that one step further and start with your top 10 customers and/or prospects. Feed their family trees into your visualization tool. Are there areas where several of them have high concentrations of subsidiaries? Send in a sales and marketing SWAT team to do a market blitz and grow an entirely new market.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. The point is that family tree data can provide a wealth of information that can be turned into revenue. The challenge is that this information can be hard to find unless you have a sales intelligence solution like InsideView Insights. We embed family tree data directly into your CRM, or you can access it on any website or LinkedIn with our browser extension.