If you want to be successful at marketing, you need to be good at segmenting your leads. This helps you to know which products to sell to which prospects, and what information will support your efforts. This can make your sales teams more successful, shorten purchasing journeys, and increase revenue values.
For B2B businesses, there are several challenges. One is knowing that B2B marketing is different in some ways than B2C marketing. Some of the differences are listed below:
More complex decision-making unit – companies can have half a dozen people who need to sign off on purchases, making it tougher to reach and convince the right people.
Buyers are more ‘rational’ – this is a little controversial, but there is truth in it for the majority of cases. Consumers tend to purchase what they want, whereas business buyers are more accountable for their purchases and therefore buy what they need.
Products are more complex – business products tend to have more complex criteria for selection.
Target audiences are smaller – there are seven billion potential consumers on the planet, but nowhere near that number of businesses or decision-makers within them.
Considering these points in mind, you must consider segmenting your B2B leads, so you achieve better results when marketing. Blindly going forward, feeling your way through sales may yield some results: but generally, it will be fewer and not as impressive.
Determining How: Segmenting Leads
You’ll need to know what is essential to your sales process to help you push your product, and this can form part of your segmentation. There are many different types of segmentation options for your business which include:
Where the customer is based. What regions you’ve successfully sold to. Who is clustered together?
Know which industries prefer your services/products.
Who are you going to talk to? What is their role (decision-maker, influencer)?
Special Interest Group
Tag all new leads with their source. This is key for understanding how your sales funnels are working and which channels are providing the best quality of lists.
You might not have the resources for a large organization, or you might be too big for smaller companies.
This will help you to determine whether they have the funds to afford your product/service.
What pages have they looked at on your site? What have they talked to you about? Is there a solution that is the perfect fit for them? Did they interact with a specific call-to-action or marketing material? Have they downloaded product/service information?
If you can solve their problems for them, you are likely to be helping their competitors. Although be careful, some competitors talk, and some don’t like suppliers working for both sides.
Location in Sales Pipeline
Sometimes people get stuck in the sales pipeline. If so, they need to be worked on so that you can move them along.
Newsletters are an excellent way for you to attract interaction and sales with subscribers. Ensure you have an offer that is exclusive to those signing up that can help you make more sales.
Then, you need to decide how you collect the information that will determine the segmentation. Could this be done through lead capture forms, conversations with the customer, or through monitoring behaviors? The latter can be very rewarding. An example would be a B2B buyer who spends time on your website on a particular page. This demonstrates the need or a desire to have that service/product. Other behaviors could be interacting with you on social media, opening certain emails, or attending a webinar.
With this information in hand, you’ve got all the information you need to segment your B2B leads and keep that information up to date.