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