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Marketing segmentation doesn’t work for sales. Buyers, even the ones with common requirements, have very unique and specific requests, and the broad approach taken in marketing segmentation can’t deal with them. Traditional segmentation falls short of the individual buyer expectations, desires and needs. Moreover, clients in different segments want solutions that are similar but are not identical. So sales has to develop the ability to make changes to standard products and services to deal with individual customer’s expectations.

Traditional segmentation usually takes into account how attractive a segment is to a company, and how competitive the company is in that segment. Sales segmentation also includes a third parameter, how attractive the company is to buyers in that segment. Narrowing down its segmentation to this micro market level, sales ensures that it doesn’t miss the opportunity to tackle individual expectations

Organisations need to look at segments from the point of view of how attractive they are as an organisation to buyers in each segment and how effectively they can compete. A key here is to stratify the markets correctly. The function of strategic sales is to define the most attractive segments. When a group of clients buy a different version of a given product, when buyers pay in different formats, and/or when buyers expect a different sales approach (e.g. key accounts, versus once off purchases), each represents a different segment.

Sales Market Segmentation plans are deployed in B2B and complex B2C situations to answer six key questions:

  1. Which sales segments do you want to target?
  2. Which customers will you approach within these segments?
  3. What will or can you offer these customers?
  4. What makes your offering attractive to the buyers in these segments?
  5. What is the best way to approach, reach & sell to the buyers in these segments?
  6. How do you build loyalty & trusted relationships to prevent customers moving to rivals?

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Amanda Gome, CEO Private Media smartcompany.com.au and crikey.com.au
I first approached Sue Barrett to write for SmartCompany when it launched three years ago. I approached her for several reasons. Firstly she had a unique approach to selling. She looked beyond the quick sell to explain to people how to build sustainable and profitable relationships. Secondly she was a great presenter. Many sales people on the circuit turn people off with a very pushy, gimmicky approach and Sue presents as highly intelligent, caring, ethical and extremely positive.Thirdly I knew she got results because I knew clients who had used her including my own sister!  I would always say when starting a writer that we don't know how many columns they have in them: whether one, six or they can last the distance. From our experience a new writer can write one column and find it was very hard work so they don't continue. Then others have nothing else to say after the sixth column and start to repeat themselves. But Sue, week after week, serves up terrific, intelligent copy that is thoughtful, insightful and extremely helpful for our readers. She is also very professional and adheres to deadlines.She is been part of the reason SmartCompany is so successful.
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