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B2B Market Segmentation: All You Need to Know

Data is king in the modern world of sales, and using the right data in the right place is important if you want to generate leads and close deals efficiently. And there’s no better place to use data to improve your processes than in market segmentation. 

A company’s messaging, advertising strategy, and pitch can greatly vary depending on the target market it’s directed towards. So it probably comes as no surprise that creating market segments and building multiple discrete campaigns that will resonate best with each group typically yields better conversion rates rather than using one generic message.

A simple example would be this: if Copper CRM wanted to run a campaign urging people to switch to Copper from Salesforce, the campaign would only be successful if it showed up on the feeds of users that are using Salesforce or its products. And to do this, Copper CRM will have to target the right market segment before running its campaign, because the entire campaign would fall apart otherwise, owing to its very specific messaging.

But how does Copper CRM go about creating this segment? And what are the different ways in which it can segment its market? This post will tell you everything about how you can go about doing it.

What is B2B Market Segmentation?

Market segmentation, simply put, is the process of grouping or dividing your prospects and customers into buckets or cohorts. Market segmentation is typically done to improve conversion rates, optimize ad spends, and deliver a more personalized user experience.

In the context of B2B companies, even though the decision makers are individuals, key variables such as where they work, how much authority they have to make a purchase, or what technologies they currently use factor into the segmentation process. At the end of the day, B2B companies sell to other companies, and the company as a whole is the “buyer” here.

Now, let’s look at some of the different ways in which B2B companies can be segmented.

Types of B2B Market Segmentation

There is no one way to segment your target market. You can segment your audience based on several factors, and the best segments are ones that are built using multiple variables. Here are some of the different variables that you can use to segment your target market.

1. Firmographics

Just like you’d assess a jobseeker’s qualities before hiring them, it’s imperative that you assess a business’ traits before you try to sell to them. Doing so allows you to gauge whether a particular business is worth pursuing or not. This is where firmographic data comes into play. Firmographic data can entail any data pertaining to an organization that indicates its willingness to buy. 

The following are a few firmographic factors to base your market segmentation off. 

Number of employees

The number of employees in an organization can determine their affordability and willingness to invest in your product. For example, consider a product/service that enables businesses to cut down on the difficulty, time, effort and resources spent by a big chunk of their employees (what most products/services are intended for, be it coffee or SaaS tools). If it is priced similar to the annual salary of an employee, a business with a lot of employees wouldn’t mind spending on your product because it would help them be more productive at a fraction of the cost. A quick Google search should help you get this data.

Revenue

The more well-to-do a business is, the more avenues it is looking at to maximize its profitability. Targeting well performing businesses has the added advantage of enhanced affordability. Pair these two together and you have a good chance of convincing businesses with chunky revenues to invest it wisely (into your product of course) to make those revenues even bigger. You can find a business’ revenue by searching the internet for their income statements.

Funding, Mergers, and Acquisitions

Again, recently funded/acquired/merged businesses are an indicator that they have the budget and are looking to expand, meaning a higher propensity to buy your product. Segmenting your market based on the funding or acquisition recency can be a great and easy way to go about segmenting your prospects because such prospects are eager to invest their newly acquired capital into growth avenues.

Depending on your product/service specifications, other firmographic factors such as geographic location and company structure can also be extremely relevant when segmenting your prospects. Using firmographic data to segment your market into intent-based buckets can help you target prospects using extremely specific data that can further make the nurture phase a lot more easy and efficient. One way of getting a ton of free, quality firmographic intent insights is by subscribing to our weekly alerts here!

2. Technographics

Technographic data can be an extremely precise indicator of buying intent. Technographics, or the interactions between user and technology, can give away a ton of information regarding a prospect’s propensity to buy your product or service. 

Take for instance the tech stack of a prospective business. By analyzing tech stacks, you can find businesses that use products like yours. If a business that already uses a product that can be supplemented by your own product, you have a prospect that’s more likely to become your customer. You can also estimate a business budget by looking at how much they spend on what technologies.

You can further use technographics to find your competitors’ customers. Targeting your competitors’ customers is a sure-fire way of targeting prospects with a need for your product because they already have a use for a product like yours. You can use this free resource to help you obtain some of the aforementioned technographic insights. Slintel’s technographic tool can also come in handy when segmenting your prospects.

3. Thematic Intent

Every business’s product or service can be attributed to certain broad and narrow thematic scopes. By analyzing and segmenting businesses based on the thematic scopes that fall within your product/service’s offering, you can pinpoint prospects with a high intent to buy your product.

To identify themes, one must first recognize connotative and contextual identifiers within your business model that can be extrapolated and used to identify prospects that show signs of a use-case for your product. Keywords form the crux of thematic intent indicators as they help you identify prospects that align with your product’s use-cases. 

Identifying prospective websites containing relevant keywords that denote a potential need for your product is an extremely precise way to segment customers based on their intent to buy your product. For example, if you’re a business that sells POS solutions, you should be on the lookout for businesses that use the add to cart or buy now keywords within their website.

Once you’ve analyzed and found the right keyword use-case identifiers, google is your best friend to help you go out and find and segment those high intent prospects. 

4. Expiring Contracts

Expiring contracts are the clearest indicator that a business has a use for a particular product. Your competitors’ customers expiring contracts only make for a great chance for you to snap them up before a new contract can be agreed. To obtain this data, you’ll need a tool like Slintel, the leader in technographics with 45K+ technologies tracked across 17 million businesses along with contract data. Using this data you can target your competitors’ customers with expiring contracts at the right time.

Pairing firmographic psychographic, thematic buying intent, and contract data can help you segment your customers in a systematic way that allows you to prioritize high-intent prospects and target customers actively looking to buy your product. The next step is to begin nurturing your prospects and turn them into customers.

5. Authority

Once you’ve segmented prospective businesses that are actively searching for a product like yours, you’ll have to approach the right decision maker using the right information.

Finding the right decision maker involves qualifying them based on their decision making authority. You want to target an employee within a prospective business that’s at least a manager or above if you’re looking to make a sale. Any employee below manager-level would most likely not have the decision making authority to pursue a deal. LinkedIn can be a great platform to find an employee with the right decision making authority to reach out to

Using Sales Intelligence for B2B Market Segmentation

Now, this is the part that you’ve been waiting for—how to actually segment your B2B market to improve your marketing and sales. There are innumerable ways of going about this, since only you know how you want to segment your market, and B2B target segments will vary from campaign to campaign. 

Companies usually segment their prospects based on the different buyer personas or ideal customer profiles they target. While doing this manually may take you a while to dig up so much about your prospects, the end results are so worth it. And if you don’t want to do it manually, you can always use sales intelligence software that will allow you to get all this information about thousands of companies in one sweep.

An intent-driven sales intelligence tool like Slintel can deliver thematic, technographic, and firmographic intent, competitor and contract insights, along with live company updates and 60 other rich buying intent indicators right to your CRM or database. It really can be that simple 🙂 Talk to us to learn how you can do this today.

Vasisht Nagarkatti

Vasisht Nagarkatti

Vasisht Nagarkatti handles content marketing at Slintel. A content ninja, Vasisht relishes any opportunity to get his creative juices flowing. Marketing, journalism, music, photography, filmmaking and web design are a few trades that Vasisht may find himself dabbling in.

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