Next in our series on Pipeliner concepts, let’s explore Common Lists.
The Pipeliner CRM Common Lists are another first for Pipeliner CRM, and no other vendor has anything like them. They are directly correlated to putting the “R” back in CRM.
The Common Lists include elements relating to account hierarchy, sales roles, contact relations and account relations. As you’ll readily see, these easy-to-utilize elements have incredible usefulness to sales and account management.
Accounts hierarchy is a simple but powerful tool that visually displays the relationship between accounts, and links related accounts (companies) together.
As an example, a parent company could be linked, on an account hierarchy graph, to all of its subsidiaries. This is extremely useful to any salesperson dealing with these companies, to see where they stand in the hierarchy.
Another example is a parent company and its children and yet another is a main office and branch office.
Because Pipeliner features are so flexible, Account Hierarchy is not limited in its use. Clients have used it to show relationships between a charity and its donor organizations, between property developers and favored contractors, and in many other ways.
Sales roles are utilized by sales to show the various roles played by the people they are dealing with in their prospect and customer companies. Roles are used in Pipeliner’s Buying Center feature, and allow people in the targeted company to be qualified or described in the sales process.
While the listed roles can be changed, added to, or customized based on the industry, we have found seven roles typical in nearly all B2B deals. For example, you’re going to have the ultimate decision-maker, who is defined in the Sales Role list as the “Signer.” This designation can be given to them no matter their title within their own company. You can also assign a color to the role, so a salesperson can instantly identify them. Another critical role is the advocate—a person who, in the company, is your product or services’ champion.
One person might be occupying several roles, too, and this can be shown.
The roles we have listed out are signer, the decision-maker, advocate, consultant, partner, IT, and the naysayer. Again, the list is flexible, and you can add to or change it.
In traditional contact management applications, you had a contact name, perhaps their title, and their phone number. But Pipeliner’s Contacts Relations within the Common Lists makes it possible for you to know how you are related to people outside your company. As examples:
- Who do you know who is part of the same networking organization as one of your target contacts?
- Do you have a strong relationship with a contact who used to work with one of the decision-makers you’re trying to reach?
- Have you worked with a consultant who’s working with your target?
- What former employees of yours are related to your contact?
- What common industry colleagues does this person have with you?
You can visualize this kind of data in a Relationship Graph, and even color-code it as needed.
Having this information could make a tremendous difference in the way you reach out to these contacts.
As I have said many times, the currency in the future networked community is recommendations. In such a community, a person cannot hide if they have committed criminal or even unfair acts on others—their reputation will be spread far and wide and follow them. There are more mobile phones than people on the planet today. Over 60 percent of the planetary population use mobile devices, and they can instantly know what’s currently happening.
A great example of someone who “couldn’t hide” is an attorney who, two years ago, was being lauded on all television channels as a political powerhouse. There was even consideration that this person could successfully campaign for president. Today, Michael Avenatti is doing prison time, and his career is over forever because everyone on the planet knows who he is and what he’s done.
The Account Relations feature allows you to assign a particular account-related role to a person within your targeted company. This is different than sales roles—it’s a role within the account. It is different than the person’s title within the company and is utilized in the account’s Relationship Graph.
For example, Account Relations is used to show if the person is the primary contact, the power user of your system, Admin IT, account contact, economic contact, or other that you may specify.
Making the Intangible Tangible
No other CRM provides functionality such as this, and it relates directly to one of Pipeliner’s missions from the beginning: making the intangible tangible. This is done through Account Hierarchy, Sales Roles, Contact Relations, and Account Relations.
In the sales arena today, we hardly see each other face-to-face anymore. We’re not having physical meetings. We don’t know, at this point, if this condition will ever change, but for now, we know it will remain at least into the near future. Therefore we have made sales and account relationships very tangible. Your target person not only has a title and a face but can be assigned a role. Their title may not be the role for you in the sales or account process, so this is important.
This is the kind of information that provides sales teams a powerful edge in selling to a target company. The more they know about a company and its contacts, the more they know about their relationships with their prospects and customers, the more they can precisely target their products and services.
Yes, the Common Lists are another primary factor in putting the “R” back in CRM!