Segmentation is one of the hottest topics when it comes to B2B sales. Still today, I can observe the same mistakes, in many ways. And it’s normal! For B2B, segmentation is very technical and must respect a very straight methodology in order to be really effective. One of the main steps of this process is defining the right segmentation criteria.

What are the segmentation criteria? Why are they so important for your strategy? How to define and use them to get better results with sales?

In this post, I’ll go through this particular topic, answer any questions you might have, and go through the different criteria of segmentation.

Let’s get started 😊

What are the different segmentation criteria?

In B2B sales, segmentation criteria are characteristics or parameters used to divide a larger market into smaller, more manageable groups of leads.

These criteria help businesses tailor their marketing and sales strategies to specific subsets of the market, enhancing the effectiveness of their efforts.

Criteria are essential when it comes to segmentation and targeting. Indeed, it wouldn’t be such a good idea to go straight forward and send the same sales message to your broad audience, would it?

Well, the idea is to split up this audience into smaller segments – thanks to the criteria we define – and adapt your outreach strategy to these segments.

There are many different criteria you can use for B2B segmentation. But first, let’s talk about the benefits of using these criteria.

What are the benefits of segmentation criteria?

To make it short, if you don’t use criteria, you won’t be able to get a proper segmentation, and your performance will suffer drastically for it.

That’s the first truth.

Especially when you consider all the benefits that using segmentation criteria enables you to get:

  1. Exploit hyper-personalization
  2. Improve engagement
  3. Better control your budget
  4. Don’t fall under spam
  5. Overall, make your sales campaign more profitable

Exploit hyper-personalization:

Leveraging hyper-personalization is not just a strategy but a necessity for achieving success in sales and marketing campaigns. Especially with automation.

We all do sales automation – if you don’t do it yet, do it, because your competitors do!

But I’m observing so many salespeople doing it the wrong way. Personalization is a must-have and should be done very accurately to be effective.

Well, targeting small segments, thanks to the right criteria is the very first step of this process.

Improve engagement:

Want to improve your reply rate?

The right copywriting sent through the right sales channel to the right person is the way to go.

Thanks to the segmentation criteria, you’ll be able to split your audience accordingly and create messages that resonate with these specific segments of your leads database.

Better control your budget:

Time = cost.

The time your sales rep is using to send the wrong message to the wrong audience costs you money.

Define your criteria, do a proper segmentation, and spend less time focusing on leads that will answer, will be more engaged, will convert, and will bring you cash!

Don’t fall into the spam folder:

Mass mailing of prospecting campaigns was the way to go in the past. Today, if you’re still doing this, you’ll get many red flags from ISPs and mailing servers like Google, for example.

Simply because it’s ineffective – people hate this – and costs money to everyone!

I’m observing more and more actions from these companies to stop invasive mass mailing campaigns. More info about this in this thread:–jthzc/

In other words, if you don’t segment your audience using fin criteria, you’ll risk falling under spam.

Now that you know why you should use segmentation criteria, let’s go through the different types!

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The different types of segmentation criteria:

Before running head first into dividing your target market, you have to understand the four main types of segmentation:

  • Demographic.
  • Psychographic.
  • Behavioral.
  • Geographic.

Instead of me rambling on, here’s a table detailing all the information you need about these different types of segmentation:

Segmentation TypeDefinitionExamplesDecision CriteriaDifficulty to Identify
DemographicIndividual lead characteristics like age, gender, income, education.Age: 18-25,
Gender: Female,
Income: High-income
Market size, accessibility, product relevanceEasy – Generally available through market research and public data
FirmographicCompany attributes like industry, company size.Industry: Technology
Size: SMEs
Location: North America
Company’s strategic goals, market relevance, resource allocationMedium – Requires business data and market research
PsychographicLead’s lifestyle, values, attitudes, and personality.Lifestyle: Health-conscious
Values: Sustainability, Green mindset
Personality: Extroverted
Alignment with brand values, lifestyle appeal, emotional engagementHard – Involves deep consumer insights and psychological factors
BehavioralConsumer behavior(s), usage patterns, and interactions with products/services.Usage Frequency: Daily users
Purchase Behavior: Loyal
Interaction: High online engagement
Customer loyalty, purchase patterns, engagement levelsMedium to Hard – Requires detailed customer data and analytics
GeographicGeographical location; countries, regions, cities, or even neighborhoods.Country: USA,
Region: Pacific Northwest,
City: Seattle
Regional market potential, accessibility, location-specific needsEasy to Medium – Depends on the availability and granularity of location data

Keep in mind that the difficulty to identify each type varies depending on the data available to you and the tools you have to collect and analyze such information.

How to apply segmentation criteria in prospecting?

Okay, I get that this isn’t a Marketing 101 course, how can you, a salesperson or a growth expert actually use this information in your prospecting activity?

There are numerous ways to segment. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll assume that we all here work on LinkedIn as our preferred “hunting ground”.

Let’s discuss a couple of approaches:

The simple approach to using segmentation criteria:

This approach is straightforward; it involves searching for leads mainly based on demographic and firmographic data:

  • Job title
  • The company they work for
  • Seniority at the company
  • Overall work experience

These criteria are probably already used by most of you.. a classic approach. 🤓

However classic it is, this approach quickly falls short because it overlooks one crucial detail; the intention of the lead -we’ll get into that in a second.

By just focusing on the ‘what’ (like job titles) and ‘where’ (like company details), you miss out on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ aspects of customer interactions.

Think about it – not all decision-makers with similar titles and companies have the same incentives.

The more interesting approach:

A second, potentially more attractive approach is to look at your lead’s intent.

For instance, if you’re a recruiter looking for candidates for a client, LinkedIn Recruiter gives you access to the “Open to Work” feature, which is indeed useful.

But there are other indicators of intent.

Leveraging likes, comments, and event participation is a strategy you should consider using more often.

And the good news is that you can now do this with LGM!

Ever dreamed of effortlessly compiling all your LinkedIn brand interactions into a single audience?
Learn how to right here 👉

But there are other intents you can look for:

Want another example, I got you!

Acting on intent is far more effective than simply segmenting by job title or seniority alone because timing is everything.

At its core, segmentation is about finding the right person, at the right time, with the right message.

Intent-based segmentation -and targeting- is all about catching a lead when they’re actively seeking what you offer or are in a prime position to be receptive to your message.

Final Thoughts:

So, now that you have all this knowledge in your arsenal, what’s next?

Well, your mind is probably telling you “Now I need to figure out my copywriting”… Nope! ❌

Yes, segmentation goes hand in hand with copywriting.

Yes, segmentation is useless if you don’t apply it to your copywriting.

But, no. Before moving from one step to the other, there’s a middle one; figuring out your why.

This is a mental exercise. You have to understand why exactly you’re reaching out to these segments you just created:

  • Are you selling them your product? Can you instantly start your conversation with a pitch?
  • Do you want feedback on the trial they just finished?
  • Do you want to start a conversation?

If you’re in the prospecting stage, the “why” you’re looking for is more often than not the last one. You’d be amazed at what a simple conversation can turn into.

So don’t rush out to pitch your product! I’m sure it’s amazing, but hold your horses. Start a conversation with your leads and you’ll understand how much better quality they become.

And who’s better to start a conversation with than the people who have just interacted with you?

Ever dreamed of effortlessly compiling all your LinkedIn brand interactions into a single audience?
Learn how to right here 👉