Customer segmentation and visit activity planning
Increased field sales performance is directly correlated to having a sales activity plan developed from a thorough understanding of customer sales potential. It determines how much time and effort should be applied to each customer to meet sales targets and business goals.
However, such a plan should also take account of the physical locations of the field team, the size of their territories, their sales targets and how accounts or leads are allocated. Also, and often ignored, the logistics of getting to see all of the highest potential customers. Get it right and sales will flourish with more of the right kind of customers being visited each day. Get it wrong and the team will be discouraged as unlikely to hit targets.
Who should my team visit? Who should they telephone? When? Why?
A common frustration for sales and marketing managers is having only a limited way to segment (or group) their customers to define and assign call patterns, determine pricing policy and identify an optimum contact strategy. Understanding how to differentiate customers – both current and future – and clearly define their profiles, will ensure your team are visiting customers with the most potential at the right intervals.
Common challenges include:
- Oversimplified customer segments (e.g. A, B, C, D) derived solely from past sales value
- Lack of definition and/or quantification around the elements that constitute different customer classifications
- Incomplete profiling resulting in some customers being misclassified into the wrong target groups
- The presence of duplicated customer records disguising what should constitute key accounts
- Limited understanding of customer profitability and potential – not just based on historic trading but also taking account of external factors influencing market sector growth
- Uncertainty regarding pricing policy and who should receive discounts
- Insufficient data accuracy or completeness to support sales and marketing planning or subsequent analysis
We impove targeting with ‘granular’ niche customer segmentation
To overcome customer targeting challenges, Tech4T design granular customer segmentation schemes with profitability and sales potential at the forefront. These dictate pricing, visit frequency, channel (visit, telephone, social, email or direct mail), sampling and value added service strategies. Most importantly, segmentation underpins field force structures needed to drive higher sales.
Customers currently receiving visits but whose value doesn’t warrant one, will be replaced with visits to customers and prospects much more likely to buy. Customers who can easily be serviced by a less expensive method such as telesales or email are also identified.
Additionally, many low spending customers may also spend with your competition. Tech4T use predictive analytics to identify these customers so you can give them more attention and increase your “share of wallet” – their total spend on a product or service.
In customer service or support terms, having a robust segmentation system is equally important. We can work with you to fully understand what your team (or teams) are currently doing day to day, who they are visiting and why, at what frequency, for how long, etc. From this information we produce one or more statistically-driven segmentation plans to compare likely productivity gains.
- Better prioritisation of sales visits including a call frequency for every segment
- Customers also segmented by status (active, inactive, lapsed) and ranked by potential spend
- Sales transactions translated into customer profitability to drive pricing policies
- Easier identification of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities through basket analysis modelling
- Improved retention of high value customers likely to defect to competitors
- A profile (precise definition) of each segment for developing marketing messages and offers
- Customers and accounts allocated to the most appropriate channel – visit, telesales, email
- Market potential estimates for each segment and your percentage penetration…
Sales activity planning needed to meet revenue or product targets
Whilst customer segmentation will drive highly targeted field team and marketing activities, there are significant additional gains to be made by extending the computation to every individual key account or high value customer. Based on each customer’s predicted sales potential and the business focus – possibly in terms of product targets, we identify the optimum visit frequency, visit duration, seasonal variation, etc. needed to realise the maximum sales potential at a customer level.
The resulting workload can then be built into a sales team activity plan which is a key input for correctly sizing the field team.
Steering the field team with targeting insights – identifying customers in need of attention
Using pattern detection and predictive analytics we identify changes in customer behaviour. This intelligence is usually computed on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, with outputs fed to the sales team on who to contact, why and when. For instance, those likely to defect. Or others where there is a stronger likelihood for up-sell.
Note. We can optionally maintain a copy of your sales and marketing database which we can also make available on line, up-dating your system regularly to deliver weekly or monthly prioritised targeting insights in the form of contact lists for marketing, telesales and field teams.
Contact us to see how you can often largely negate the impact of a reduced headcount by focusing your team on high potential customers and cutting out visits to low value people using improved customer segmentation and activity planning.