You have a fantastic sales team in place. They’re well organized, experts on your product and service offerings, and maintain excellent relationships with your customers. But the need for growth, through both customer acquisition as well as deeper penetration with existing customers, is ever-present. Layer on top of that a shifting competitive landscape, and organizations (and especially sales teams) are left searching for better, more efficient ways to find and increase business. While team reorganization or incentive structuring might be the first things that come to mind when trying to improve sales performance, creating a more nuanced view of your customers through segmentation analysis is likely to provide the types of strategic information that your team needs for success.
While a segmentation analysis might seem like a complex and daunting concept, at its core, it is simply a way to divide individuals (in this case, customers) into groups that have similar characteristics. Your team may already be doing this on some level, organizing customers by region or industry. But if you take that a step (or two) further, helping shape those groups based on customers’ needs, how they behave, and how they make decisions in relation to your products and services, you can create a more structured, targeted, and insightful approach to selling.
Creating a more nuanced view of your customers through segmentation analysis is likely to provide the types of strategic information that your team needs for success.”
A more nuanced approach to assessing your markets.
A key benefit of customer segmentation is that the resulting segments create a framework that offers your sales team a new way to view customers. By including customer needs, behaviors and attitudes into the analysis you gain several advantages:
- It provides a simple and intuitive approach for determining which customer (i.e. which segments and which customer within that segment) offer the best opportunities for a sales win.
- It makes it much easier to identify new, underserved, or forgotten markets. Focusing on these “gap” customers represents an excellent opportunity for sales wins as these customers are hungry for solutions to their yet-unsolved problems.
- It helps avoid spending time and energy on opportunities that are less likely to bear fruit, which means less wasted time and effort.
With insights into the unique problems that customers are looking to overcome, the written and verbal messaging that you present to customers can be customized so that it is highly relevant and talks directly to their situation, increasing your ability to influence their behavior.”
Getting the right products and services to the right customers.
While you already know that no two customers are exactly alike, understanding some of their deeper motivators is difficult. Are they a value-based buyer, or are they looking to make long term investments? Is an ongoing dialog with exceptional service important to them, or do they need a more transactional relationship? Segmentation profiles offer invaluable information in terms of which products or service your customers are most likely to buy and which business issues they need solved. Being able to quickly identify a customer’s core needs and immediately offer appropriate solutions will:
- Save your sales team time and energy
- Portray your sales team as problem solvers who are experts in the industry, making deeper account penetration that much more likely
Profiles can also help pinpoint decision-making individuals and processes within a customer’s organization, allowing your team to offer a more efficient and meaningful purchase pathway for buyers.
Segmentation profiles offer invaluable information in terms of which products or service your customers are most likely to buy and which business issues they need solved.”
Talk to customers in a more meaningful way.
And not to forget, we are not doing business in a bubble. Customers are constantly comparing your offerings against your competitors’ solutions. In parallel with a more targeted offering, a segmentation will give your sales team more relevant and focused reasons for customers to buy. With insights into the unique problems that customers are looking to overcome, the written and verbal messaging that you present to customers can be customized so that is highly relevant and talks directly to their situation, increasing your ability to influence their behavior. Even the best products and services in the world will not gain traction if they are not presented in a relevant and effective way to buyers/users.
Don’t leave your sales team out of the process.
Finally, and it might go without saying, but don’t make the mistake of developing and executing your segmentation without the deep and sustained involvement of your sales team. Not only are they often the ones closest to customers, providing valuable insights and “real-world” feedback, but asking for their buy-in and use of a tool or system that was created without their input will make its success less certain.
Are you ready to move your sales team to the next level with a segmentation?