Traditionally, prospecting represents one of the biggest struggles for salespeople. A poor prospecting process loses prospects in the sales funnel, sales insights get overlooked, and dead end leads fill up the majority of your time that could be much better spent. Rather than dancing around prospects with little or zero interest in your product or service, you need a prospect fit matrix. This is a framework that will grade each prospect and keep your sales team focused only on best opportunities. Just as we demonstrated how to shorten your startup's sales cycle with actionable data, we’ll once again assume the teacher role and show you how to create a winning matrix (not the Hollywood one). There are three core sections:
- Business characteristics
- Contact characteristics
- Online behavior
These sections will help map out the type of company that would fit ideally to your offering according to a high, medium, or low level of relevancy. The beauty is that you can formulate the matrix any way you like, as long as you have the right data.
1. Business characteristics
The first section is a set of characteristics depicting your ideal prospect company. This starts off as a simple description of the type of company and vertical and then starts to delve deep into further criteria. Financial aspects such as funding and revenue, company size, business and sales model, sales cycle, number of employees, social media, and so on are all part of the characteristics that are your first steps in this matrix-shaped prospecting hunt.
An example of a prospect fit matrix
Source: BOLD - Digital Architects
2. Contact characteristics
Contact information refers to the people in the company you are targeting: is it a decision-maker or someone who passes the torch? The relevant titles and positions vary depending on each company and it’s imperative to avoid people outside of the decision-making jurisdiction and focus on those close to the top, like VPs, C-suite executives, and owners. Those in the middle like sales VPs and managers may help you gather support or be able to influence and/or provide access to decision makers. That’s legit but should be reflected in the level of relevancy of the prospect.
3. Online behavior
Since our focus is B2B SaaS, the prospect’s technology stack is a great starting point in seeing if your prospect is currently using technologies that are relevant to your technology. If scoped properly, it can be a strong prospecting tool due to its undeniable nature as a sales insight. For one thing, you get a definitive answer if there’s room for your tech, as it shows you what really gets the prospect’s engine going, so that (if relevant) you can present them an offer that they can’t refuse.
“Positive ROI, new revenue, new customers…”
From there on, take a look at their tech adoption history. Have there been any changes? Did they drop or add something? The closer you know their past behavior and keep up to date with their current needs, the better job you’ll do in evaluating their prospect potential. Further on, you can check out the information regarding their web traffic, traffic sources, geographical hotpoints, tech expense, and else. The online behavior section is the most abundant part with data that can really drive you to the next level if utilized properly.
Using sales insights to your advantage
For many sales reps, the first step toward creating a prospect fit matrix is opening a new Excel file and sorting out the columns. Each column represents a grade on how closely a prospect resembles the target audience and how good of a fit they are. It’s a solid practice that’s yielded concrete results in the past. You just need to fill it up with data and use those sharp analytical skills to filter out the flashy or false-positive prospects.
It sounds a lot easier than it is, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this piece, now would you? The thing is, if you set on a manual search, you wind up with a tedious process at best, not to mention a very generous one time-wise. On the other hand, there are lots of great business intelligence (BI) tools that automate the process while crawling the internet for relevant and up-to-date information. What’s more, they help map out the type of companies that constitute an ideal customer.
One such solution is SimilarTech’s Sales Insights Platform (SIP). The name pretty much sums up what you’re getting - a comprehensive overview of data about your prospects. Through detailed reporting and targeting options, you can uncover new markets and technologies and generate leads. Once you understand what you’re dealing with, you’ll be able to identify and filter engaged prospects and focus on closing those leads.
Here’s a cool thing our SIP can do: you have the option to set real-time alerts that notify you when a certain prospect or any other company adds or removes a specific technology. That way, you can stay in the know about your prospects and discover new ones along the way, potentially turning a low relevance prospect to a high one. You can also set up an alert for when a company installs a corresponding technology and reach out to them to present how a combined effort with your technology can do wonders for them. These insights can help expand your self-imposed limits and widen your initial focus to new business verticals to tap into, along with other technologies and geolocations to attack next.
And for those that just can’t let Excel go (or Google Sheets), there’s an option to export the full list of leads.
How a prospect fit matrix helps
In a nutshell, a prospect fit matrix is a cheat sheet that allows you to properly evaluate the who’s who in terms of product fit. It’s a new spin on traditional prospecting that provides the element of interest along with determining if a prospect is a good fit. That way, sales reps can consider both fit and current interest as demonstrated by a BI tool of choice. Before even thinking about opening your CRM, the matrix is a welcome and much-needed help for hunting prospects who are becoming increasingly armed with tons of information regarding their specific needs and your product or service before you even reach out to them. By completing the prospect fit matrix on a frequent basis, you’ll become familiar with distinct factors that determine which prospects are worth your time, as well as help you assume a more advisory role in order to earn trust and ultimately, make a sale.