B2B Sales leads come in all shapes and sizes but, more crucially, they come from different stages in the purchasing cycle and play varying roles in the buying decision. As such, it’s important to tell them what they want to know precisely at the time and state-of-mind they’re in – that is, if you intend to keep them engaged all throughout. In addition, efficiency requires prioritizing the most promising leads accordingly. This is where leads database segmentation comes in with bells on.
At this point, we need to make a distinction between static segmentation methods and more dynamic (and thus, more exciting) techniques for segmenting a B2B marketing leads database. The problem with static segmentation is that it fails to take into account that today’s B2B marketing campaigns are dealing with moving targets. The traditional demographic-based prospect profiling simply cannot catch up with leads as they proceed with their buying journey.
Dynamic segmentation methods, on the other hand, follow the journey that potential buyers take and help prepare marketing messages that are more appropriate at every step. Below are five examples of such segmentation techniques which you can easily apply into your marketing campaigns. Consider segmenting your sales prospect contact database according to:
1. Origin or acquisition route. Multichannel marketing campaigns pose the additional challenges of determining the most productive and effective marketing medium as well as allocating resources based on these metrics. Segmenting leads according to which channels they come from enables sharper analysis for prioritizing and discontinuing the use of particular mediums as well as identifying audiences’ preferred marketing channel.
2. Site behavior exhibited. Observing and analyzing how site visitors arrive at, navigate around, stay on, or return to your website provide a wealth of useful information to profile prospects and segment your lists. This is known as “behavior-based” segmentation and is an essential requirement for highly-targeted marketing campaigns. Data on number of pages visited, number of visits, type of pages viewed, etc. help develop profiles useful in segmentation.
3. CTAs taken. The calls-to-action followed by your prospects leave a digital fingerprint that allows you to identify which stage of the buying cycle they’re already in at a particular point in time. Conversion events occurring on your website, paid search, email campaign, phone prospecting, inbound marketing, etc. can tell you the level of engagement and specific preferences related to your leads.
4. Content affinity. Prospect segmentation based on content preferences and interests operates on the principle that leads belonging to a particular buyer profile or stage in the buying cycle are drawn toward specific content subjects and topics. This is certainly true since differences in sales readiness and buyer roles tend to manifest as varied informational needs.
5. Assumptions based on data. The previous four items apply fairly well to marketers following longer and relatively more complex sales cycles but may somewhat be unnecessary for others. If you’re looking at a short and reasonably linear sales cycle, then you can work with demographic, firmographic, geographic, and psychographic segmentation provided that you take into account the changing needs of your prospect as they trickle down through your funnel.
These five methods are, by no means, the only ones you should be considering. There are other methods that you can discover for yourself. In fact, you should constantly be experimenting to find the segmentation strategy that gives you optimal results. Use these five ideas as your starting points and work from there.