Matrix Solutions has been around the block a while, having been founded way back in 1992, but they reinvented their account management tool last year to be a full-fledged salesforce automation application aimed at the media industry (TV, Cable, Radio, Online, etc.). In fact they are one of the few participants this year with a vertical solution to a market that few appear to be focused on.
Located in Pittsburg, PA, Matrix is self-funded and is closing in on hiring their 30th employee.
Matrix’s focus is squarely on media industry sales professionals and sales management who:
- Sell both directly to advertisers and to advertising agencies
- Sell locally, regionally and nationally
- Work in very fast sales cycles
Their 20 year domain knowledge of the media industry has given them a deep and thorough understanding of their needs – and specific challenges in serving them:
- Lots of dirty data
- Complex organization structures
- Want both standardization and autonomy built in
- Slow to adopt & embrace new processes & technologies
And while CRM/SFA hasn’t been in the forefront of the media industry, Matrix says it is now becoming more attractive. To take advantage of this renewed interest, Matrix has focused on building their SFA app and professional services to offer:
- Data aggregation and cleansing services
- Robust sales planning
- Year-over-year sales trend analysis to determine sales pacing at the individual account level
- Combine established CRM functionality with revenue analytics for media industry
- Matrix interfaces directly with industry traffic systems to pull in all of their customer historical, current, and future revenue data. According to Matrix these systems are the backbone of any TV/Radio station – and the equivalent of ERP & billing systems. They run the stations and track/schedule commercials played on the air.
Matrix has done a very nice crafting the user interface to meet the needs of the media sales professional. And while the application is built on a Microsoft .Net/ SQL Server foundation, they spent additional time and effort to give the interface a look and feel of sites built using a LAMP stack. The interface includes:
Bird’s Eye View (for Sales Manager)
30K foot view of current sales outlook
- By Month, By Qtr, By Year
- View by individual sales person
View by outlet
- Various television stations, web properties, digital stations
View by sales office
- Local accounts (ex local car dealer)
- National Sales Office
Year-over-year billing on the books
- Comes from interface with backend traffic system
- Need to have a good understanding of where they are year-over-year
Gainers & Losers
- Which accounts are driving my pace up and down year-over-year
- Top 10 Account Changes
- Biggest Pending Deals
- 30K foot view of current sales outlook
Street level view
Reps can follow accounts like following people on Twitter
- See notifications when changes in account information take place in a stream
- Reps find leads by watching other TV stations, driving around to meetings listening to commercials, and by looking at billboards
- Reps can submit leads to management for approval and managers go in and accept or reject
- Reps can use the Mobile app to claim a prospect – and look to see if anybody else has already claimed that account.
- View upcoming pending deals
- Reps can follow accounts like following people on Twitter
Sales Person View
- Sales Outlook at the individual level
- Accounts with sales pacing to see how this year’s revenues compare to same time last year. Important due to volatility (seasonal, types of current offerings, etc.)
- View proposed deals
- View pending deals
- View of potential closers
- LinkedIn integration at the contact level
Matrix Solutions have put their expertise in serving the media industry to great use in developing the SFA app for this market. They do a great job of combining traditional functionality with industry-focused customization and revenue analytics that should get the attention of any media industry sales professionals – as this system was built specifically for them. We do think Matrix should integrate with marketing automation / email marketing services. Matrix said their customers haven’t asked for this yet, but we think at some point they will, and it would be beneficial to Matrix to be ahead of that demand in order to meet it when it comes.
But we like the user interface, the functionality, the customizations created to assist sales professional in the media industry, and the integration with important industry applications.
Reviewed by CRM Idol 2012 Primary Judges
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