In sales, we've been doing it wrong for years and years.

Here's the thing - Org Charts are for Management, not for sales professionals.

Of course, as sales professionals we need to understand our customer's Organisational structure - in fact we must understand it, but spending hours putting it into the traditional Org Chart layout adds zero value to anyone, except for your management when it gets included in your Account Plans.

The reason is simple. Once you have created the Org Chart you stick it in your account plan and never look at it again. You never update it, except maybe for the one time a year when you need to present your Account Plan again - but even then we'll use last years if we can possibly get away with it. And of course we don't carry it with us - it stays in the folder on the server and gets forgotten.

And don't get me started on the 'experience' of creating Org Charts using the de-facto tool of PowerPoint. Drawing boxes, typing in names, joining them together with lines, aligning them, rearranging then, aligning them again..... It is, quite frankly, rubbish. It's an hour or more of your life that you are never going to get back!

Keeping up with your customer's changes

Your customer's Org Chart should be a living document. You customer’s structure is constantly changing and you absolutely have to keep up with it. You need to understand who reports to who, their responsibilities, their level of influence, etc. so you know who to speak to about whatever it is you are trying to sell to them. Navigating your way through a sale is complex enough, but doing it without having an up to date understanding of your customer means you are destined to fail.

So, what do we, as sales professionals need? For me, it settles on the following four things:

  • Something we can carry with us all the time for easy reference.
  • Something that is easy to use so we can see who reports to who throughout our customer.
  • Something that is easy to update on the fly, so we are always up to date.
  • Something that will create the traditional Org Chart automatically for us, for when our manager’s want to see it

This whole thing has vexed me for many years. Eventually I decided I would try and solve this by creating an 'app for that'. I figured that I wouldn't be the only sales professional that was experiencing this issue, and also figured that this was something that could only be solved by someone who was experiencing the pain.

Technology has moved on - it's about time Org Charts caught up

We carry our phones with us the whole time, and all of our contacts are on it, so let’s use them and surface the customers organisational structure right there, in the palm of our hands. Let’s use the gesture controls that Apple has gifted to us to enable you to swipe up and down through the company's structure so you instantly see who reports to who, throughout the entire organisation. Let's make updating this structure quick and easy to do - removing the barriers that stop you from updating immediately as and when you hear of changes.

If we could do this you will always be up to date.

This increased knowledge will help you sell more. It's that simple.

Of course, when your Management need to see an Org Chart you can email it to them, stick it in your Account Plan or whatever you want - but will create it for you - automatically.

As Sales Professionals we have better things to do with our time than to waste it creating Org Charts. So, go get and then use your time saved to go and sell more stuff!!