For manufacturing organizations that deal with many customers, customer segmentation is a great way gain a broader understanding of your business and its profitability.
Customer segmentation provides valuable insight into exactly who you're working with and how they do business. Government clients are different from retail clients, for instance, and if your business operates in both the B2B and B2C industries you probably have different standards for handling each client type.
The more diversified your client base, the less economic pressure your organization faces. By segmenting your customer base, you have the opportunity to use your manufacturing CRM system to run analytics reports on each segment and gain a clearer picture of the state of your business.
Different segments of your business are governed by different budget cycles. With good customer segmentation and analytics, you're able to forecast profitability more accurately.
Why do these logistics matter? If you segment customers in buying cycles, you can sell your products more consistently. For example, you may only be able to sell to school districts at the end of the fourth quarter when they're looking to spend excess budget.
Analytics also help with tracking how well your sales reps sell to certain customer segments. Some reps may excel at B2B sales but struggle with closing B2C deals.
In addition, you can use analytics to see how products sell across certain customer segments, and then develop marketing campaigns that target segments where you'd like to increase sales.
Customer segmentation helps to improve your internal focus as well. For example, if you're selling a lot to one customer segment, your R&D department may want to focus on developing more products geared toward that segment.
There are many business intelligence (BI) tools designed to assess customer segments and help you analyze profitability. The "slice-and-dice" capabilities of BI reporting tools offer great insight into opportunities for improvement. For instance, you could use BI tools to see sales data and performance trends within specific segments.
So, how do you get started with effective customer segmentation? Start with your business plan. Look at your marketing goals and who you intend to sell to. Then look at your overall production plan. Where is your team most efficient? Is that driving where you sell the most? Determine whether hiring additional new sales reps would help with making necessary improvements.
Take advantage of the BI, reporting and analytics features within your manufacturing CRM software to unlock all the value that customer segmentation has to offer. Your data is a valuable asset, so make sure you're getting the most out of that information.