If you want to succeed as a sales representative today, understanding market segmentation is critical. Well-run Sales and Marketing teams now work closely together, and their ability to collaborate creates new opportunities. Proper market segmentation work is foundational to good corporate and territory-level planning.
Understand Your Market and How it Works
Think of your market in terms of needs, not products. Map how your market works from start to finish. Quantify installed customers and share within those accounts. Also, describe how your market is changing. Highlight important decision points in your market flow where decisions are considered. Need marketing some help?
Carry Out Needs-Based Market Segmentation on Decision Makers
List what customers buy and be as descriptive as you can, including where, when, what who and why. Perform a pain-point map, too. Remember to focus on needs and not descriptors like socio-economics or demographics. For example, stick with what the market is buying and asking for, not with how your product or service may fit. That comes later!
Understand Your Local Strengths and Weaknesses
Analyze your own strengths and weaknesses at the local level. Regardless of your product or service, there are local stories to share with prospects to add value or help them solve a problem. Similarly, knowing where you and your organization are strong and weak locally helps you prepare a marketing plan for your territory.
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Study Your Local Market Segments
Market Segmentation is the work of both the sales and marketing departments. As the person in closest contact with customers and prospects, you know what is happening in your market. In fact, often products and services are locally tailored to fit a unique need. And many times, if one person expresses a need, there are others with a similar interest.
Set Realistic Objectives And Strategies for Local Segments to Grow Your Territory and Profits
Set clear priorities and execute. Use what you learned from local markets, pain point research and company objectives to set goals. Adjust course when you gain new insights. I wrote a post about what I’d teach my younger self about sales.
Focus and Play to Win in Your Strongest Segments
Develop a specific targeting plan focused on your strengths for each market segment identified. Use content marketing and marketing automation to help you generate leads in these segments. Learn to love process and content marketing becomes easier!
Market segmentation is key to every business function in an organization. Sales representatives who understand the segments best served by the company will be successful. Participating in the process of segment development and evolution is the key to building a competitive sales and marketing organization.
If you are interested in reading further, here’s a great resource: Market Segmentation: How to Do It and How to Profit from It
Finally, where does market segmentation fit into your thinking about your territory? Are you a Superhero Sales Rep?
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