The complete guide to sales account mapping

Liam Costello by Liam Costello on April 8, 2024  |  12 minute read
Organization structure overlaid onto a map

Strategies for succeeding in business are widely available, and many are effective. However, for many sales teams, understanding customer needs amidst a myriad of connections and leads often results in a eureka moment. This means they can save time using informed sales strategies and personalize sales processes for individual customers.

It's super simple: Use account mapping to uncover hidden opportunities and prospects. This will enable your teams to identify customer needs and preferences as well as interact with decision-makers. Find out more about account mapping, how it will benefit you, and how to make the best of it with mapping software in our complete guide. Read on to discover how this process gives you a competitive edge.

What is account mapping?

Sales are becoming complex for salespeople, mainly because of failure to meet customer expectations. More customers are becoming unsatisfied with products than before. This is the right time for businesses to adopt account maps. So, what is account mapping?

Account mapping, meaning the systematic organization and visualization of customer accounts, contacts, opportunities, orders, invoices, and other key data within their CRM and other business systems, serves as a critical strategy for navigating the complexities of modern sales environments. By mapping accounts and contacts to unique identifiers, a business can gain a holistic view of customer relationships and better manage interactions across departments and systems.

Account map of Orlando
A pin map showing all accounts color-coded by value

Consider a scenario where your business stores customer data across various systems. It's easy to lose track of comprehensive information for a single customer due to scattered data. However, maps merge each customer's information to give a clear scope of their transaction history and preferences.

Imagine sales account mapping as employing a drone to soar above the vast landscape of customer relationships, connections, and interactions. From this elevated perspective, the previously obscured or disconnected elements come into sharp focus, providing a comprehensive overview without barriers. This bird's-eye view equips your marketing, sales, logistics, and other teams with a complete understanding of the customer, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

Combining this effort with advanced map visualization software makes complex map data easier to navigate. Salespeople no longer have to rely on incomplete information from different sources. Now, they have a seamless, personalized experience by understanding each customer while shortening the sales cycle. It's a win-win for everyone.

The elements of an account map

When formatting your map, you are free to use many options. The details in your map will depend on what's practical for your team and what solutions you are seeking. However, to correctly map accounts, you can include the following key elements:

  1. Data collection: Gather all relevant customer data from all sources like CRM, billing systems, and email marketing platforms. This includes basic contact details, transaction records, notes, preferences, etc.
  2. Job titles: Mapping job titles provide insight into the customer's organizational structure. It helps engage the right personas for specific business needs. For example, software sales will target technical decision-makers, such as IT directors, rather than administrative roles. Mapping job titles with individual contacts enables personalized outreach based on professional roles.
  3. Visual representation: Being able to visually see how accounts are related to each other hierarchically and how they are connected is essential in account mapping. A visual representation helps users quickly understand a company's organizational structure and purchasing relationships. Visuals make complex account networks easy to navigate and detect opportunities across different levels.
  4. Unique ID assignment: Assign a unique identifier, like a numerical customer ID, to each profile to avoid duplicates and link-related data. Include special tags or labels to denote attributes like industry, annual revenue, customer lifecycle stage, or strategic importance. This provides an easy way to segment and filter mapped accounts for personalized engagement and management.

6 powerful benefits of account mapping in sales

So now you have a bigger picture of your prospects and customers and have filled some gaps in your sales strategies. What’s more? When you create maps for a deeper understanding of the decision-making processes and organizational dynamics, you also benefit in the following ways:

1. Make a great first impression

Great first impressions are more than moments; they can help close deals faster. With account mapping, sales reps gain invaluable insights that enable them to demonstrate well-researched knowledge, which helps break the ice. Tailoring a pitch based on a prospect's detailed profile communicates the rep's professionalism and sets the stage for an impactful introduction and productive relationship-building.

2. Boost revenue

With a comprehensive view of accounts, reps can prioritize top opportunities and accelerate deals. Mapping brings all customer details together so salespeople can see the whole picture, sell more, and increase how much revenue each connection provides.

3. Unlock strategic insights

When all customer information is together in one place from mapping, it shows salespeople how companies and people are connected. Mapping also reveals related entities like parent companies, subsidiaries and partnerships, unveiling new opportunities.

4. Reach key decision-makers

For salespeople, engaging with the right decision-maker is sometimes all the difference in streamlining sales processes. Maps make it easier for salespeople to reach the right decision-makers with contacts organized together. Mapping identifies the key influencers and buyers for specific products and shows their roles so reps know who to engage for certain decisions.

5. Build long-term partnerships

Account mapping provides insights that allow sales reps to foster customer relationships. With a comprehensive view of needs, priorities, and stakeholders across an organization, reps can identify opportunities for strategic alignment beyond individual sales. In addition, details on past product feedback and support cases demonstrate business trustworthiness and deepen customer lifetime value.

6. Increase competitive advantage

With your competitors striving to gain an edge over your business, use mapping to let your reps gain an increasingly deep understanding of target segments. Account mapping in sales unlocks deeper customer insights that others don't have, such as anticipating needs and offering custom-made solutions.

How to start mapping accounts

Do you want to start mapping sales accounts? You can create maps using two approaches depending on your resources and goals.

1. Individual account mapping

Individual account mapping creates a comprehensive profile for an individual or prospect within an organization's portfolio. It focuses on the individual's specific responsibilities, roles, and priorities and helps sales reps build relationships with them to drive sales. The key aspects of individual account mapping include:

  • Research: You must acquire information regarding the stakeholders from resources like the company website, news, and social media.
  • Interviewing key contacts: Inquire about pain points experienced, such as delays, budget constraints, and functionality issues, and ask open-ended questions about business structure, such as departments, roles, and processes. This will help you in addressing problems.
  • Documenting the purchasing process: Utilize the involved decision makers to identify all roles at every stage — sponsors, evaluators, buyers, end users, and so on — and determine the influence and timeline of each player in the process.
  • Tracking assets: Ask contacts for details on all business units, departments and divisions and identify geographical areas with the company's facilities or offices.

2. Partner account mapping

With partner mapping, you collaborate with other organizations. But how does this help? Collaboration helps different teams compare account details and narrow down opportunities. These alliances bring to shore a sea of opportunities that increase sales. However, to properly utilize partner account mapping, follow the steps below.

  • Meet with the partner's account team: Identify and meet with partners whose goals and objectives align with yours, including target market and product offering, to share knowledge productively. Then, you can agree to share leads on new contacts, upcoming projects, or needs.
  • Identify complementary solutions. During discussions, review each partner's full product or service portfolio and compare mapped account needs and objectives to available offerings. Find out what can benefit both parties for increased value.
  • Create a joint profile: Decide which CRM platform both parties will contribute to and access and establish access rights and permissions for sharing profile details. This will help you identify trends and strengths in your partner's account.
  • Collaborate and nurture a relationship: Host joint meetings and customer events to showcase collaborative value propositions. Use the map to leverage profile insights for thoughtful, relevant discussions about objectives and needs. Additionally, develop and maintain a high-performing rapport among account teams for consistent engagement.
  • Review and optimize your partner account: Finally, your strategy may not be entirely successful if you don't review it periodically. Review and optimize to ensure they remain relevant with sales cycles and business changes. Rinse and repeat.

Account mapping best practices

Account mapping is a powerful process that can turbocharge pipeline generation with best practices for any sales and marketing organization. By following the steps below, teams should maximize the value from their mapping efforts.

1. Keep the map account updated

One of the most important practices is keeping account maps up-to-date on an ongoing basis. Customer landscapes change frequently, so maps need regular review and updates to maintain accuracy.

Teams should establish a maintenance cadence, such as quarterly or annually, to ensure maps reflect the current organizational hierarchy and buying process. It's also critical to communicate map status and changes with teammates. Regular status reports during meetings help to keep all teams aligned on account progress.

2. Gather relevant information

When first building a map, gather information from all available data sources, both internal and external. Pull in CRM contact details, websites, online profiles, and past purchase records to develop well-rounded stakeholder profiles. Maps should also segment contacts by role, such as buyer, champion, or influencer, to personalize engagement strategies. Templates standardized by role help reps consistently capture robust insights.

3. Label your contacts

It is important to sort and label client contacts effectively. This makes the map easy to navigate and contacts properly identified. A good approach is to categorize contacts by their role in the buying process.

Group and label contacts should be by departments for organizational clarity. Sorting alphabetically by last name within each category also helps with quick scanning. Ensuring a clear schema is in place from the beginning streamlines research and engagement strategy development.

4. Set goals

What are sales account maps without goals? If clear next steps aren’t defined, maps serve solely as snapshots without purpose. Include tangible next steps like assigned tasks, target initiatives, or customized messaging.

Teams should also establish accountability by assigning owners to map segments or contacts and setting timeline expectations for task completion. Ensure the goals are trackable so you can tie the results directly back to the account maps.

5. Give the account map structure

To get real value from the account maps, you must ensure they have structure. This is how: organize the map chart to clearly illustrate the client's organizational structure and relationships. Position individuals according to their actual roles and reporting lines within the company.

This provides important insight into internal dynamics and power structures influencing the buying process. Connect clients on the chart using labeled lines to represent reporting relationships and intersections between departments. Make it easy to find a specific client or prospect on the map with just a glance.

Organizing the chart in this way instantly conveys who influences whom and where collaboration opportunities may exist. A well-structured map chart facilitates strategic planning and helps tailor engagement efforts for maximum impact.

6. Unlock mapping potential with mapping software

Finally, like a backbone, mapping software forms the underlying framework and infrastructure that allows account maps to realize their full potential. Mapping software speeds up decision-making by positioning contacts on a digital canvas, allowing for easy visualization of organizational structures.


The software makes it simple to link contacts and dynamically update maps as new insights emerge. Integrations with CRM systems bring visualization of contacts to light and save time. What's better is that it doesn't slow down operations. Moreover, mapping programs offer customizable shapes, colors, and templates for standardized map layouts.

Maps can then be easily shared via links with teammates to facilitate collaboration. Utilizing mapping software transforms static documents into dynamic collaboration tools to deepen stakeholder knowledge and optimize strategic planning.

Powerful mapping solutions from eSpatial

In a highly competitive business arena, using CRM alone is not enough. Account mapping is the ultimate strategy to keep customers and prospects within your view. Maps provide a comprehensive understanding of the client landscape.

They also reveal buying behaviors, pain points, priorities, and opportunities tailored messaging can address for individual contacts. Teams gain insights, uncover opportunities, and interact with stakeholders to streamline operations.

To get a competitive edge, using sales territory planning will help define your sales territories in individual or partner accounts. eSpatial's territory management software manages geographic and account-based territories, allowing companies to define territories and assign responsibilities to teams in a geographic area.

Are you looking to optimize your resources? Use a territory map marker to increase service efficiency among your teams and close more sales. There's more: you can reduce the time your sales reps use to travel with a sales route planner, maximizing your selling time.

Ready to transform your sales strategy with the precision of account mapping? Contact eSpatial today to see how our mapping solutions can help you unlock new business insights!

Liam Costello Written by

Liam Costello

Liam is an eSpatial account manager and mapping expert. He specializes in helping businesses solve problems and increase sales through mapping visualization, territory management, route optimization and more. Liam holds a Master's Degree in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing.

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