Customer Segmentation: what it is and how to do it masterfully to achieve business results!

customer

customer-segmentation

Having a clear focus for prospecting: this is one of the most important premises for working in sales.

It is not by chance, after all, in times of resource optimization, having a correct approach plays a fundamental role in the financial sustainability of the entire company.

But for this to be possible, it is necessary to take a step back and do an excellent customer segmentation.

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Do you know what customer segmentation is, after all, and how to carry it out step-by-step?

In this article, we will address this theme and also present the essential tools for this process. Happy reading and good sales!

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What is customer segmentation?

Despite being a well-known term and used in the commercial environment, do we really know what customer segmentation is? To be on the safe side, it’s always good to go over the meaning of the concept before moving on!

Segmentation is nothing more than the division of customers and potential customers into segments.

These groups have characteristics in common, which will facilitate the work of Marketing and Sales, both in the acquisition, negotiation and relationship with these profiles.

Some examples of segmentation, for example, could be: “university students”, “companies with less than 5 years of CNPJ”, “people who traveled to Europe on their last vacation”.

Throughout the text, we’ll find out how these groups fit into different types of targeting and how they can be mapped!

Why target customers?

When segmenting customers, the commercial force can focus its efforts on the ideal prospect profile, the one whose pains best fit the company’s solutions and, in addition, can generate more profit for the company. In this way, it is possible to target campaigns and approaches, convert and retain more customers. 

As we said earlier, being focused is essential in the Sales area to ensure that there is no waste of resources and, consequently, damage to the business.

The Commercial is responsible for the company’s profitability and segmenting customers before the prospecting phase is an important step for this to actually happen.

See below for some more benefits of customer segmentation:

Targeting campaigns and approaches

When defining segments for commercial prospecting, it is possible to develop Marketing campaigns that speak directly to that customer profile, which helps to ensure the assertiveness of the approaches.

Likewise, the commercial team itself can be trained to work on defined segments with greater specific knowledge to guide the negotiation.

For example, if the commercial focus is to work with the Technology companies segment, it is possible to invest in training on this market vertical, so that sales executives can better understand the challenges of the persona in this area.

Focus on the segmentation that converts the most

Segmentation, combined with the historical analysis of sales metrics, also makes it possible to establish as a priority the approach to that profile or customer segment that brings the greatest financial return for the company.

Or, in the same way, a greater effort in that segment that has great sales potential, but has not yet reached its maximum capacity.

Customer retention

It is important to emphasize that customer segmentation is not only beneficial for acquiring customers, but also for retaining them.

By defining customer groups, your company can organize the entire Customer Success area so that there is specialization by segment and, therefore, an improvement in the professionals responsible for each of these groups.

This factor, in fact, is what ensures that there is in fact a focus on customer success, with qualified professionals to guide you towards the best use of your product or service, considering the specific challenges of each segment.

Types of customer segmentation

There are different types of customer segmentation, defined according to the characteristics of their variables.

Your grouping can contain elements of only one type of segmentation, or even combine more than one model to arrive at the ideal profile for commercial work.

Learn about the main types of segmentation:

1. Geographic Segmentation

This type of segmentation is widely used for local businesses (such as pharmacies, restaurants, services, convenience, among others).

Geographic grouping is used when location is a key factor in the purchase decision.

Here, the filter can be done by a neighborhood, region, city, state, country, etc.

2. B2C Demographic Segmentation

For companies operating in the B2C sector, demographic segmentation is usually quite effective when there is a clear customer profile. Variables of this type of segmentation are usually gender, age, marital status, among others.

3. B2B Demographic Segmentation

It is not just in the B2C segment that demographic segmentation can be done. In B2B it also exists, but considering factors related to the company.

Some examples of variables are:

  • vertical of action;
  • number of employees;
  • CNAE;
  • localization;
  • number of units;
  • Between others.

4. Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation, in turn, considers elements that may be more difficult to map, but which are usually quite assertive.

Its variables are related to psychological attributes, such as values, lifestyle and opinions on relevant topics.

5. Behavioral Segmentation

Likewise, behavioral segmentation considers factors that are more complex to be filtered or measured, but that contribute to sales effectiveness.

This segmentation model includes personal tastes, preferences, behaviors and habits.

Fortunately, with the traceability of behavior on the internet, many segmentation tools already allow you to recognize some interest patterns that can be used in segmentation!

How to segment customers?

Knowing that there are different types of segmentation and that they can be combined with each other to reach a commercial target, to make customer segmentation you must follow a few steps: establish a target for segmentation (conquer more customers, for example; define the characteristics that must be taken into account to include or not a prospect in the targeting profile and analyze your data for those prospects with similar profiles. 

Get to know the best practices when it comes to customer segmentation:

1. Establish a focus

First, you need to focus on targeting. Acquiring new customers? Opening a new market? Loyalty of current customers? Launching a new product? These are some possibilities to guide your grouping.

2. be specific on variables

Once you have a clear target for the segmentation, you need to define which variables will be considered.

To do this, be specific and realistic: what data will really matter? And which ones is it possible to have access considering the available database?

It is often possible to start with a few variables and, if necessary, restrict the segmentation to make the work more assertive.

3. Make filters with your database

With the variables established, go for the segmentation itself, making filters in your database or hiring a service that provides data based on the chosen variables.

This is the time to even analyze if more elements need to be included or even removed so that the database has the desired volume of profiles for your objective.

4. Search for similar profiles

If your focus is on acquiring new customers, an advantage of working with customer segmentation is that you can use tools to target your campaigns to a similar audience – known as “lookalike” in online advertising platforms.

This is a way to expand your targeting, without necessarily having access to this audience in your database.

5. Evaluate the results

As with any activity in the sales area, it is necessary to measure how effective the segmentation created was, whatever the objective.

You may find, for example, that different segments for Customer Success have many characteristics in common and therefore can be worked on together.

Or, on the other hand, a targeting for commercial prospecting may prove too broad to be effective.

So be sure to continually look at your sales metrics!

Tools to help with customer segmentation

Some tools are essential for customer segmentation to be carried out successfully, we list below the main ones:

CRM system

If the objective is to filter the current base of customers and prospects, the CRM system is the ideal tool.

A lot of data can be obtained from yours, but, for this, it is essential that it is regularly supplied by the entire team and, also, that the important fields for your company are defined within each profile.

Database Tools

When it is necessary to go beyond the database that exists at home, the way is to rely on companies and database tools, which gather very up-to-date information on the market.

They are especially useful in the B2B segment and offer segmentation by variables such as job title, company profile, revenue, among others.

Online Advertising Tools

Online advertising tools are also a valuable targeting resource.

Facebook Ads, Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads provide different grouping variables when developing campaigns, including demographic and even behavioral elements, identifying habits and interests.

Segmentation is the first step to commercial success

All the work of identifying, approaching, negotiating and selling starts with customer segmentation.

Therefore, it is essential that your company gives the necessary focus to this stage of the commercial activity.