How to Spot a Navigator Within a Target Client Organization

directionAs I mentioned in my recent post about spotting a champion, there are several key people you should be connecting with at a target client organization: champions, navigators, advocates, influencers and decision-makers.

While each of those people is helpful in the account development process, a navigator is one person you want to find quickly. They are going to help guide you through the company gauntlet. This person literally helps you navigate the company.

What Does a Navigator Do for You?

Finding your way around any new organization can be challenging, and this is why a navigator is so important to find. They help you discover:

  • Who is in charge
  • Who the decision-makers are
  • What the culture of the company is
  • What the history of the company is
  • How different people moved into different positions
  • If smaller groups or larger groups really make the decisions

Buyer decision-making is complex, and often organizations seek out many opinions before making the choice to buy from your firm. You need to understand how all of the information is going to get digested and assimilated, and how the decision is going to happen. A navigator can really help you with this.

Where Do You Find Your Navigator?

Navigators can be found in almost every level of an organization. Even an executive assistant can make an excellent navigator, if they have been at that institution for a long time. They know where all the bodies are buried, and who shot who in the past.

Sometimes a great navigator is someone in a more obscure position at the company, but they have an incredible grasp of the emotional intelligence of the company culture. This could be someone in finance, a controller or even a CFO. For some of our clients, their best navigators have been very left-brained but they really understood the emotional intelligence factor.

Sometimes navigators are also stakeholders in an organization. They are linked to the vision of the organization, but they know the history, the culture, where the company is really going and how decision-making evolves there.

The Bottom Line

Once you start to connect with navigators, you really have the start of a foundation of connection success. Make it a priority to identify this person (or people) within your target client organization to start your account development out on the right foot.


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