Ariane Shadbolt


Quick reads


Network Optimisation: what is it and why you need to leverage it now

This year, we are facing a continued digital shift in buyers’ preferences, a transition to permanent hybrid working, and a so-called “hiring bonanza”. This quick-read sets out a new solution to this: network optimisation – what is it and why do you need to leverage it now?

“A typical buying decision jumped from needing 17 contacts in 2019 to 27 in 2021.*”

Introducing network optimisation

At FeedStock, we talk about network optimisation a lot. It’s a simple concept to describe how we discover the untapped relationships within your company’s network. Unlike relationship data in CRMs, FeedStock automatically captures, categorises and analyses every single relationship straight from your inbox to deliver easier growth via relationships that already exist.

We capture and analyse all of the data that is generated by email interactions and provide insights about where your strongest and weakest relationships lie. We also provide relationship maps so you can discover who in your team may have a relationship you can leverage, and how you can build and strengthen your position in your wider client ecosystem. Instead of looking at a chronologically sequenced inbox, we display all the intelligence you generate on one real-time dashboard so you and your team get a data-led impression of where the growth opportunities lie.

The increased importance of digital channels means that network optimisation is critical

B2B buying has changed forever, sales needs to catch up. Research done by Gartner has found that 43% of B2B buyers would prefer a “rep-free” buying experience (i.e. through digital channels and self-serve education) rather than by speaking to someone. However conversely, only 20% of B2B sellers said they are as effective at selling virtually as they are in-person. Alongside this, Forrester research has found that a typical buying decision jumped from needing 17 contacts in 2019 to 27 in 2021. This situation is not sustainable, and many Chief Sales Officers and executive leaders are looking for ways in which technology can address this gap.

Network optimisation, through the deep analysis of historical digital client interactions company-wide, provides the solution to this shift. Our platform transforms the endless whirr of internal and external emails over the course of current and historical sales cycle into a real-time, instant snapshot of interested parties and evaluates the effort that is put in which each of them versus the interest they are showing. This provides a numerical understanding of how likely the deal is to close and also provides insights on what may be needed to close the deal. In this increasingly complex sales environment it’s crucial that sales teams are equipped with the correct insights needed to win.

Addressing the “hiring bonanza” with network optimisation

According to research published in City A.M., 85% of all London employers are planning to recruit staff in the capital over the next 12 months. This marks the highest recruitment intent since the beginning of this job market research over the past eight years, and is an increase of 20% on the recruitment intent following the Brexit referendum in 2016, which was only 65%. It is therefore going to be increasingly important that firms can seamlessly handover between ex- and new employees and that there is a constant, single source of truth about client interactions across a team.

Network optimisation provides the essential intelligence for onboarding new employees. It ensures that everyone in the team knows who owns which client relationship, or where there might be untapped relationships that can be leveraged. Our relationship maps also reveal where there may be over or under resource allocation for each client account and helps to keep costs low and reduce the risk of churn.

Why network optimisation is particularly critical when hybrid-working

Research carried out by has found that over half of brits would quit, rather than go into the office full-time. Alongside this, City A.M. published research that found that a 50% increase in flexibility around working location and time would create 51,000 jobs and unlock £55bn for the UK economy. It’s clear that hybrid working is here to stay, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that this will create an uplift in productivity and profitability. Our discussions with managers and executive leaders dealing with the shift to hybrid working has however revealed a few risks posed by disparate workforces. Namely, siloed communications and poor uniformity of data management and processes. There is also much less visibility around internal and external relationships and it has therefore become much more difficult to accurately forecast sales performance and client retention rates.

There is one simple solution to this: network optimisation. By understanding your company’s professional network in a data-driven way, and removing the reliance on patchy client interactions data in your CRM, we enable sales teams and client relationship managers to remove the intuition from their sales forecasts and predictions. FeedStock provides the assurance needed for the modern sales manager.

­Looking forward to a prosperous, data-driven 2022

2022 is going to be a big year for organisations as they seek growth opportunities in this rapidly changing sales environment. At FeedStock, we are looking forward to liberating companies from manual, relationship-orientated CRM tasks and empowering them with data-driven growth opportunities.


*Beth Caplow, VP Principle Analyst, Forrester, Three Seismic Shifts In Buying Behavior From Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study (14 April 2021)

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