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Know Which Accounts Are Ready to Buy. How To Score and Segment Your Accounts Like a Pro.

Dec 15, 2022
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Growing a business is hard.

Just because you’ve reached product-market fit doesn’t mean that you’re about to hit hypergrowth. You need to find ways to scale. And in today’s world, scale repeatedly and predictably. That’s what your go-to-market team is for. But the question is, where do they start?

For the sake of this post, let’s say you have a good understanding of your ICP. The next thing you need to figure out is which accounts in your universe are 1) not a good fit 2) a good fit and most importantly 3) a good fit right now. That’s where segmentation comes into play.

Segmentation is a way to tailor your sales and marketing efforts to specific types of customers. By dividing your customers into segments—and then focusing most heavily on those segments who are most likely to buy—you can increase efficiency and improve overall results by creating tailored experiences that appeal directly to each group’s wants and needs.

Segmenting accounts gives you an edge keeping your GTM teams hyper focused by helping them use the right hooks to make progress in the right accounts. For example, let’s say you’re pitching a cloud native security solution to a fairly old fashioned company that has yet to move their infrastructure to the cloud, you’re wasting your time.

Ideally you should have 3-5 segments based on distinct characteristics of your market. So how do you go about creating and executing against these segments?

Let’s dive a bit deeper

Dive into your own data to build your segments.

A few great ways to develop account segments include inspecting your closed won data, interviewing sales reps, and jumping on calls with your buyers. You’ll start to see some trends in specific characteristics that indicate customers that are most likely to buy and even better, buy right now. These are the accounts that you want to focus on.

For example, you could be targeting customers that use salesforce as their CRM, but those that are actively doing custom development for their SFDC instance have a 25% higher ACV. Or you could be targeting customers heavily using data services from cloud providers. You might find that accounts with data teams of a certain size close twice as fast.

After you’ve identified these characteristics, you should try to segment them even further. You want to figure out what the account distribution looks like across firmographics such as size, revenue, industry and geography. Even if you sell into one or two major industries, you want to look at their distribution across those sub-segments.

Score your accounts by those most ready to buy.

This is where things can stay simple or get really sophisticated. There are plenty of black box techniques out there that analyze your existing customers and make forward looking projections. The key here is being able to explain why the scoring works and how it works in tandem with your late stage opportunities and closed won deals.

Let’s bring this to life. If you have an open source product being heavily used by development teams, and your product is licensed per seat, then the size of a buyer’s software development team indicates account potential. But the extent to which your product is being used and the presence of other technologies that you can displace can indicate how likely they are to become a customer.

Alternatively, if your product is licensed based on data volume, then the size of the data engineering team or install base is a big indicator of account potential. But the presence of data migration related projects or initiatives can really help signal if the account is ready to make an investment right now.

As you score your prospects, you may want to cross-reference your top accounts in each segment with the distribution by industry, size and location to make sure they align with your forward looking strategy as well as those most likely to become future customers.

Plan your territories and staffing needs.

The major segments, types of accounts in each segment, their distribution by size, account potential, and industry are important factors in planning your account strategy. Hire too few reps and you are leaving yourself open to competitors, while if you hire too many without the right set of account assignments, you set yourself up for productivity challenges.

The total account potential by segment should be an important factor in helping you determine your staffing and territory strategy. If you leave much of this unplanned or leave it to the reps to figure out, then you’re setting your team up for failure.

But if you do all this legwork upfront — and do it well — then the payoff will be creating profitable territories for all your reps.

Need help scoring and segmenting your accounts? Book some time Book some time with one of our GTM experts today.

Or if you want to learn more, join us for our upcoming RevOps MasterClass with Ali Jones, Head of Revenue Operations at Chronosphere where she’ll walk through her proven framework for scoring and segmenting accounts having 3X’d ARR for her business.

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