You’re catching up on the news and you read that a new law just passed that will affect the operations of several Fortune 500 companies.  What gets you really interested is when you realize that your solution is perfectly positioned to help those businesses stay compliant. You can now serve an entirely different customer set because a new regulatory event occurred.

Now you have to craft an effective approach to use this new event as a foot-in-the-door to break into these new companies.  If you don’t have any experience with this method, it could be challenging to figure out how to take advantage of these newer opportunities while also selling to your current target market.

If you are unsure where to start, you can map an effective parallel sales strategy by creating a sales matrix.  This is not an ordinary contact sheet or analysis tool. A sales matrix serves as a guide as you research a new market, regardless if caused by a recent regulatory event or changes in customer demand.  You can then better identify who to target, how much of your sales department you should dedicate to each market, and any new marketing and selling tools that will need to be developed to resonate with the new contacts.

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What is a Sales Matrix?

A sales matrix is a framework used to map out the rationale for why, and how, a new market might be inclined to buy your products and services. The matrix documents industry trends related to your value proposition, monetizable pain points, typical decision-makers, and product-to-market fit. Marketers use these insights to formulate messaging, target prospects and create content.


How Do You Create a Sales Matrix?

A sales matrix can be as simple as a table or spreadsheet where you map out the market conditions in a key market segment, identify how your product or service addresses their pain points, identify key players such as the decision-makers, influencers and users, map out partner channels and key messages to use, and establish what tools and resources will be needed to execute on them.


What Should be Included in a Sales Matrix?

A sales matrix is a guide or framework used to map out key aspects of a selling strategy when entering a new market. This includes identifying pain points, white space, personas, decision-makers and influencers to the buying decision. 


Compelling Events that Influence the New Market

This would be the trigger point that provides the new selling method opportunity.  When did the event happen, and who will it affect? Which departments of the company should be the most concerned? 

With most companies, there is a priority of approval.  Anything concerning regulatory matters will be funded first, then contractual obligations.  New regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and GDPR, are forming every day.  Staying compliant with the government becomes key to any business plan, with everything else as optional.  Make sure to note what level of priority that the compelling event falls under.  


 Identify Key Players

The next step would be to list the names of the people that are likely interested in your product.  In a multi-pronged strategy, you’re going to need to identify key contacts with each selling effort.  In the sales matrix, chart out leaders, influencers, or people that are the most likely to be interested in your product.  Make sure to separate them by each selling effort you want to pursue. In the case of a regulatory event, you can start by listing legal decision makers.  Finance leaders will be interested in total costs. One of our Emissaries, a former Senior VP of a large Telecom, makes the point that “leaders want cost savings, because they have a budget, and they only have so much money.  They want to reduce the cost that enable them to do a thing that they want to do, to sum up.”


Speaking a New Language

When approaching a new customer set, there will be some new considerations to make.  Contacts in these departments may relate to use cases that are different from those that you are more familiar with or are currently selling to.  Even the lingo, acronyms, and common tools can be different. It may be challenging to try to sell to these new contacts if you cannot communicate with them.

Another benefit of the sales matrix is making sure that you are speaking the right message and the right language to that new market.  Finance people aren’t going to really care about the marketing benefits of your product. They’re going to want to see how it either drives revenue or decreased cost for the company.  Legal staff is going to care that everything is followed to the letter. By following the sales matrix, you’ll have the information needed to better communicate with a different department that you do not often speak with.


Total Cost Analysis

Make sure to explain every cost that your customer will need to pay, from purchase, through training, all the way to continued support.  Large companies are going to demand the total cost beyond your current pricing model. Make sure to include installation costs, any reoccurring service costs, and any additional material costs.  Say, for example, you identify that the company will need to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate your service. If hardware investments need to be made, the company likely will need to start budgeting for new equipment.  With these considerations, you can be proactive by mapping out the entire cost of acquiring and maintaining your product. 


Efforts to Reduce Costs

After itemizing total costs, you’ll begin to see opportunities where the company can save money by using your product.  Whether by integrating with their existing tools, or maximizing the efficiency of staff to help increase revenue, identifying these cost reduction possibilities will help with developing your value proposition.  Anything that’s going to help the target company be able to save money will provide a lot of value in the long run.


Weighing Your Options with Your Resources

With a multi-pronged selling strategy, you will want to think of how to weigh your resources so that you can sell to the new market without overwhelming your staff and alienating your current customers.  If you feel that this new targeting method could bring in 20% of your business, you can weigh your selling resources 80/20. The percentages are really up to you. Any staff that you re-delegate or increase to pursue a new market will no longer be solely dedicated to your core efforts.  Make sure that you have the right balance of resources listed in your sales matrix to avoid spreading too thin.


Taking the Next Action Steps

You don’t have to jump into a new selling strategy blindly if you map it out ahead of time.  Following a sales matrix is going to help you better target the right people and have the message speak more to that newer market.  If you would like to learn more about how a sales matrix can help you with a parallel sales strategy, please contact our team to learn more.