How relationship intelligence can boost business development


October 26, 2022 – Here’s a way to take your existing customer relationship management (CRM) data to the next level: integrate relationship intelligence into your organization’s existing CRM and identify the people who will have the biggest impact on your business goals, according to company global data ConsultingEx in a new report. When this intelligence can be found with a company’s CRM, the time it takes to close a deal is shortened.

“Success comes from the strength of relationships, connecting you to an ecosystem greater than your current networks,” BoardEx said. “Employees can create a network effect to unlock more value from their organization. The collective power of a company’s business relationships fosters greater internal collaboration between teams and extends the network’s reach to market.

We may be operating in a digital-driven market, but people, relationships and networks still fuel business. “Identifying key decision makers for your products and services can be a time-consuming and costly process when you rely solely on a CRM system,” BoardEx said. “Relationship intelligence based on accurate, relevant, and timely data can help organizations make decisions that will produce exceptional results. The strength of relationships can help decide the quality of those results, but more so the relationships between two people are solid, the greater the potential for success.

Build the brand

Data from a CRM system contains a limited set of contacts normally based on existing business relationships. The accuracy of this data relies on regular updates from business development, sales and marketing teams with different business priorities. “Other data constraints include repeatedly using the same contact pool for business development activities and campaigns,” the BoardEx report said. “More 30% of all contact data becomes obsolete each year if unsupervised. In short, engaging, acquiring and retaining customers becomes difficult because a CRM system will tell you what you already know.

Research also tells us that nothing is more effective at getting you through the door than warm recommendations and introductions: 84% of B2B decision makersthe buying cycle begins with a referral, BoardEx said. Referrals are also 30% more likely to convert than non-referrals. And the recommendations pile up 37% higher retention rate compared to non-references.

Relational Intelligence

Organizations can enrich their CRM data with relationship intelligence from external sources. “These outside sources can help reveal sponsorship and pitch opportunities and become the source of your next big deal,” the report says. “With the volume of data available in the public domain, how can organizations consume this information to manage their relational capital and expand their network?

“Relationship capital is the collective network of all employee professional relationships in an organization,” BoardEx said. “It can be relationships with board members, customers, partners and suppliers, as well as your alumni, former employees and influencers across industries.”

Unlock value

Relational intelligence allows organizations to assess the value of their relational capital. By map business relationshipsorganizations can research and identify the strongest path to connect with the influencers and decision makers critical to success.

“As an employee, I could add my connections to my company’s network to amplify its value and increase its relationship intelligence,” BoardEx said. “It would create a network effect to reveal more actionable connections.”

Impact of data on executive search
As workforce management paradigms evolve to meet the talent needs of the 21st century, HR managers and executive recruiters are harnessing new tools and capitalizing on analytics to adapt their strategies and face the changing trends. Anyone who has been tasked with choosing a new leader knows they have a daunting task ahead of them. But what has changed in just the last few years is how leveraging data and analytics can minimize the risk associated with hiring someone new, at every job level. Big data is behind it all. Readily available analytics have created a seismic shift in the way companies operate, go to market, track employee performance, and take the guesswork out of hiring.

Organizations with data driven cultures will see the greatest value and greater internal collaboration as they expand the reach of their network in the marketplace, the report states.

What recruiters say

In interviews with Hunt Scanlon Mediatwo executive recruiters intervened:

Phil BrakewellVice President, NAM and EMEA Executive Search for WilsonHCG, affirms that relational intelligence serves to widen its network as a recruiter. “Being aware of potential relationships allows executive recruiters to expand their networks and build credibility with their clients and prospects,” he said. “Executive search inherently requires a network of relationships, and improving information around those relationships can strengthen them. Relational data is a key element to having influence and persuasion, a requirement for executive recruiters.

Indeed, CRM data has helped to evolve executive search. “First, it helps executive search professionals understand vertically and horizontally complex organizations,” Brakewell said. “As executive search teams engage with multiple business leaders on a daily basis, relationship intelligence helps provide real-time insight into organizational dynamics and those operating within those organizations. Second, the information we have about the relationships we have allows us to further strengthen current relationships or create new ones based on our new knowledge.

Unique insights

Franck ScarpelliManaging Partner and CEO of HireWerx, said that integrating relationship intelligence and predictive insights into his company’s client/candidate relationship management system enables HireWerx to gain unique insights into current and potential clients and candidates. “Our strategies enable us to generate actionable insights based on existing relational data from our customers, colleagues, partners and candidates,” he said. “We leverage publicly available information through a variety of sources, including social media. This methodology allows us to build and enrich an ecosystem of relational capital.

Incorporating relationship intelligence into a CRM allows your team to leverage their collective networks and the many interactions that take place daily, Scarpelli said. “This integration improves team performance by unleashing and optimizing information within your business,” he said, “ultimately extending reach into your niche market. Relationship capital is very valuable, but only if you can exploit it.

Related: What to ask before hiring for diversity and how data can help

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media


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