‘Prospect Characteristics Matrix’ Turns Suspects into Prospects
You probably have a good feel for the level of sales revenue that constitutes a major account at your firm. Create a table heading reflecting the minimum acceptable sales volume that would qualify as a major account—those are the accounts you want to pursue.
Other characteristics to consider listing across the top of the matrix:
• Full web
• Half web
• Special folding needs
• Special binding needs
• Pleasing color
• Long run
• Short run
• Art and design
• Buyer’s number of employees
• Sophisticated buyer
• Unsophisticated buyer
• Decision maker
The list could go on, so try to limit yours to less than 10 items across the top. For each prospect, make a check mark beneath each category on the horizontal axis for which that prospect qualifies. The idea is to create a visual means of determining which potential buyers you should spend your time on.
Figure 1 shows a matrix created by a graphic arts salesperson. The salesperson has listed seven prospect characteristics across the top of the matrix. As you can see, this salesperson prefers selling to buyers with an understanding of the printing process (hence the second characteristic, “educated customer”) and with annual billings of $250,000.
Work with your sales team to develop a matrix for your most profitable prospects. Then ask the salespeople to create a matrix and check the appropriate characteristics for their present list of prospects.
Figure 1. Sample Prospect Characteristics Matrix
WEEK 3: SALESPERSON AS INFORMATION MAVEN
Exercise 1 (1 Hour)
Professional graphic arts prospectors are constantly scouring sources for new suspects to add to their databases. They are also looking for information on suspects who have moved into the prospect category. And they never stop gleaning more information on their existing accounts.
Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.