At the beginning of each quarter, you’ll find the sales team at Clarabridge, a customer experience solution, presenting to their executives about the health and current status of the accounts they’ve been working. As they present, they have key visuals that do most of the talking for them. Projected on the screen, the visuals look very much like common org charts. But these are no ordinary org charts.
They’re actually account maps, and they are what the team has found to be most effective in providing executives with a comprehensive understanding of each account. While they do provide a snapshot of the company structure, these account maps go far beyond names and headshots. They provide a new level of detail that is key for understanding how to close and expand deals—details not found in an ordinary CRM such as Salesforce. They illustrate the political landscape of a company, helping reps break down the organization’s complex relationships that can make or break a deal.
Finding the right account mapping tool
For a while, reps were valiantly attempting to build these key visuals in PowerPoint or Excel—but the results weren’t pretty.
That’s when one of the sales reps started using Lucidchart to build his account maps. When the Clarabridge executive team saw this rep’s diagram, they said simply, “We want all of these to look like this.”
And so the sales team found themselves outfitted with a Lucidchart Enterprise account, allowing each and every rep to build their account maps using the intuitive platform. They now had crucial account information visualized in Lucidchart and could easily identify the decision-makers, blockers, champions, and influencers at the company.
Christopher Putnam, Director of Sales Operations at Clarabridge, describes:
“These account maps help us understand who owns different departments, who is a sponsor, who could potentially derail a deal, and who we are currently working with. We can see who our executives have connections with and what type of partners we have that we can leverage with these accounts. Understanding the overall company structure has been vital to us in understanding how we can not only close deals but also how we can expand our existing accounts."
However, their executive team wondered how they could ensure that information was also available in Salesforce, where it could be tracked and used to target accounts. Clarabridge reached out to Lucidchart and discovered the company was already working on a solution specifically designed for sales teams that included an integration with Salesforce. Realizing this solution provided the exact functionality they were looking for, Clarabridge purchased the Lucidchart Sales Solution and has been reaping the benefits ever since.
The team creates their account maps in Lucidchart, and thanks to the integration with Salesforce, the maps are also centrally managed and stored in Salesforce account records, keeping all account information in a central location and allowing anyone to quickly come up to speed. Any changes made to an account map in Lucidchart, such as adding new contacts, is instantly reflected in Salesforce and vice versa.
"One of the big opportunities in using the Lucidchart Sales Solution is that everyone can see the account maps. Instead of having to share it with individuals, you can just click right into the account in Salesforce and view it."
And these maps aren’t just used during business reviews—their value begins far before. They are critical throughout the lifecycle of a deal in order to provide everyone involved with visibility into the account and its progression.
Sales reps: Understanding the lay of the land
As a customer experience platform, Clarabridge listens to every customer feedback and interaction channel from calls to chat, emails to forums, social networks to ratings and reviews and uses its AI-powered NLP engine to provide operational insights throughout the organization. As a result, reps are dealing with multiple departments at any given organization and consequently need to not only understand the company as a whole but also the organization of each of these departments.
The account executives (AEs) and account development representatives (ADRs) start to build out the account map as they begin talking to different people at an organization, helping them visualize the lay of the land and better understand the opportunities and obstacles they face. They are able to figure out who has buying power, who reports to whom, and who is in which department—all of which helps them determine how best to tailor their message to different individuals.
Reps color code their maps, highlighting sponsors in green and noting bottlenecks in red, and keep track of what each is saying about the product. They help reps identify other people whom they can talk with to move a deal forward, and together the AEs and ADRs develop a strategy of how to best penetrate the account.
Sales engineers: Tailoring the message
As the deal progresses, sales engineers take advantage of the account maps so they know with whom they are talking and who will be in the room when they demo. Rather than going in blindly, they can tailor their presentation to address the specific concerns of those people—the demo will be very different for a CFO versus a director of IT. In addition, if someone new happens to hop on a call unexpectedly, they can quickly identify who they are and what their role is.
Sales leadership: Providing executive support
AEs then present to the executive team in the quarterly business review, going over opportunities that will help them reach their quota for the quarter. They pull up an account map for each opportunity so that the executives have a visual understanding of the organization.
“We use Lucidchart to make sure that we’re covering the account well, and you can definitely tell how well an AE has done their homework on the account. If someone shows a map with only six people on it, we know it’s not a real deal yet. You can tell how long we’ve been engaged, who we’ve engaged with, and how much penetration we’ve had at the account."
As the rep talks through the deal’s progression, the executives are busy on LinkedIn trying to identify connections they might have with the individuals represented on the account map. This kind of executive support can be the final push a deal needs to reach closed-won.
“There’s a lot more conversation once everyone can see who the rep has talked to and what levels of authority those people have. By looking at these account maps, you can tell how much more we need to do to get a deal closed,” Christopher explains. “These visuals help us because we can leverage our executives to find executive connections at prospects and customers alike."
Creating with Lucidchart
As these visuals are used again and again throughout the deal cycle, the team has confidence knowing they are always up to date. Team members can collaborate on account maps in real time, and changes are reflected instantaneously in both Lucidchart and Salesforce. The account maps are a living document that is continually built upon as the deal progresses.
Anytime someone new joins the team or accounts change hands, team members can easily come up to speed by reviewing the account maps in Salesforce alongside the additional Salesforce information. These visuals turn rows of Salesforce data into plans of action.
Christopher describes the difference between using Lucidchart and PowerPoint or Excel:
“It’s just phenomenal...extraordinary. It’s been a lot easier to make sure they’re up to date. The integration with Salesforce has been key. It has helped us tremendously in understanding our customers and prospects.”
The team at Clarabridge also loves how easy it is to use Lucidchart from the get-go—and how easy it is to make the visuals look good.
'If you can present data in a visually appealing way, it is easier for folks to consume and be convinced but without that, even if your data is solid, convincing is always challenging,” Christopher says.
The Clarabridge team’s account maps are visually appealing. But more importantly, they’re full of crucial information that is contributing to the overall success of the account. So when asked to sum up the value Lucidchart has provided, Christopher needed just one word: priceless.