Segmenting Sales Prospects

Segmenting your sales prospects is important because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sales and marketing. Segmenting will ensure that your message meets them where they are. Segmenting also enables you to work more efficiently by delivering a message to pockets of similarly situated buyers.

It can be tempting to employ a marketing and sales strategy that focuses on telling others about you, your business, and your products or services. But a seller-focused message can be ineffective, and it runs the risk of being viewed as self-servicing. Instead, your message should take an audience-first approach by focusing on where they are, what they need, and how they consume information.

With an audience-first approach, you identify the different segments in your prospect pool, assess their unique situations and needs, and then craft tailored messaging, marketing, and sales strategies for each segment.

How to Segment Your Network

Completing a network audit is the most efficient and effective way to determine the composition of your segments, and we share additional information on network audits here. Your target audience will include people you know and those you don’t yet know, including the following:

  • Viable Prospects: people who you know and who are in a position to complete a sale
  • Superfans: people who aren’t in a position to complete a sale with you, but who are influential and can introduce you to Viable Prospects
  • Current Clients and Customers: these are people who already know you and trust you
  • Former Clients or Colleagues: these are people who you have worked with in the past
  • Dream Clients: these are stretch goals that will require long-term planning

Another way to segment your network is to consider which relationships to secure, which to nurture, and which to protect.

  • Secure: prospects that you’d like to transition into new clients or customers
  • Nurture: current clients and customers that are ripe for growth
  • Protect: current clients and customers who you want to keep as clients or customers

When reaching those you don’t have a personal relationship with, we recommend segmenting them based on common situations rather than creating a buyer profile based on various demographic information. This way, you can create messages that are tailored to scenarios your potential clients or customers might face. For instance, if you are a travel agent, your segments might include people looking for ways to save money, people who want to schedule last-minute travel or travel with a pet.

How Segmenting Will Impact Messaging and Content Strategies

Content should always provide value to those with whom you are engaging. When content is valuable, it is far more productive, authentic, and effective. By segmenting your audience, you can tailor your message and content to the needs, value drivers, goals, and objectives of people in that segment.

Even if you have different types of content, you will return to your brand’s core.

The messages will be adjusted to meet that specific audience. To create segment-based content, you should ask yourself:

  1. Determine your brand. What do you want to be known for?
  2. Set content objectives. What do you want your content to do for you?
  3. Evaluate where your segments are. What channels and types of communication are more appropriate?

Once you’ve assessed these three things, you can tailor your content and message to each segment while consistently staying true to who you are and what you want to be known for.

Because different segments have different needs and value drivers, your content should vary for each segment to be valuable. Though you are communicating with smaller groups of people, your message will ultimately be more effective because you are communicating directly with viable prospects.

Segmenting enables content efficiency by putting the audience’s needs first, repurposing content for like-minded buyers, and gathering information about the effectiveness of your content. By segmenting your network, you can work smarter, though not necessarily harder, to convert prospects into sales.