Leveraging the web for political mapping

2 minute read


Here’s a technique I recently observed being used to quickly understand the power structure in an organization. I thought it might be valuable to share.

Here’s the problem: One of the main reasons why deals are lost is because the salesperson doesn’t know the political structure in the target organization. By that I don’t mean the hierarchy of the company, but rather the real lines of influence that point to those who can impact the deal.

It’s usually not hard to find out the name of the main business sponsor. She’s probably your main target. But how can you discover who are her trusted inner circle? Who are the people who she will rely on to support her decision?

Well, here’s how you might use the Internet to help you figure this out?

There is considerable movement among senior executives from company to company. In some disciplines, such as sales, the average tenure is less than two years. Often when the executive moves to a new company, other people from the old company will follow. It’s likely as not that these will be the people that she will count on to help her makes decisions.

Once you know the executive’s previous company, you can easily search on LinkedIn or other such tool to see who has now moved to the new company and was previously in the old company. These are folks to connect with, and learn their potential degree of influence.

This works! I’ve seen it happen. Try it and uncover information that could be really valuable.



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