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Wonder why your segmentation isn't working!

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Previously, I have written about the importance of obtaining, analyzing and acting upon voice of customers during a product creation process. Customer/Market segmentation is a big piece of this. However, all this great work goes to nothing if you don't find a way to help your front-line sales teams do customer segmentation in real-time.

Think about this. You spend time, money and precious resources to segment the market so precisely, and develop products to perfectly match those segments. You have created messages and selling tools for each segment. BUT, when a sales person approaches a customer during a prospective sales opportunity, does he/she know how to determine which 'segment' this particular customer falls under? Or do they use their own intuition and approach to determine what the "right" product is for that customer? Are you sure the sales person's 'segmentation' matches the one done during product development? Are they using the appropriate messaging and value propositions?

More likely than not, you have apples and oranges. It is going to leave you scratching your head (not to mention explaining to your management layers) why your sales and profit numbers aren't coming close to your projection. Hmmm!

I think the auto industry does this well. When you walk into a car dealer, the sales person can very quickly determine who you are as a customer, and whether or not s/he should direct you to the shiny red sports car sitting in the middle of the show room. This connection - between upstream and downstream segmentation is a vital, but often ignored piece in product management/marketing.

Take the time to think about how your segmentation will be used by the sales force. Put yourself in a selling situation and think like a sales person. It will help you get better results.

Warm regards,

Gopal Sundaramoorthy

Founder & CEO, Grow Beyond LLC

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