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Think about how many social and professional contacts you have. A recent study conducted by Columbia University estimates that the average person in the United States knows 600 people. Now multiply that by the number of people in your company. The potential power of your company’s cumulative network (also known as your social graph) is massive, but it will remain an unrealized potential unless you’re able to efficiently harness it. The question remains: How can you unlock the collective network of your organization to dramatically improve the productivity of your sales force?

Finding the right contacts at your target companies can be like finding a needle in a haystack. It can take weeks to many months to get in touch with the person you’re looking for, but when you think about the size of your company’s social graph, the chances are high that one of your co-workers knows the person you’re trying to reach, or maybe someone more appropriate. Getting a warm introduction is key in a successful deal and, more importantly, a shorter sales cycle. Vorsight (a sales effectiveness vendor) found that a strong second-degree connection increases the conversation-appointment conversion rate by 56%. Capitalize on this opportunity.

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