How to Put Account Segmentation to Work for Sales Ops


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I recently had a phone conversation with a newly-promoted Sales Ops leader. “Jack” was tapped to lead the group supporting nearly $1 billion in revenue. The company recently completed an account segmentation project. “How do we start putting this into practical use? In the past, we rarely even got a look at any of the data. It was like they kept it under lock-and-key. Now my boss is telling me to make something happen. There’s $1.7 billion in opportunity and he’s telling me to find a way to go get it”

I told Jack that I really could empathize with him. I’ve seen great segmentation work with no concrete action or responsibility that follows. Jack continued on. “Marketing delivers a high-level view of the available market. Pie charts told us all the revenue we were missing. Our executive team agrees there’s significant upside opportunity. Now what do I do?”

Do you need to drive tangible results with account segmentation data? Download the Sales Operations Guide to Account Segmentation here. Maximize the impact of account segmentation and deliver results. Don’t let this work turn into shelf-ware.

Account segmentation is not an esoteric exercise to be put on a shelf. Account segmentation requires a view down at the customer and prospect level. Pie charts won’t help. The data has to be deployed. Action plans must follow and people held accountable to realize the benefits. Successful use of account segmentation requires the following to be known up-front:

  • What specific business problem are you trying to solve?  Are you having a problem getting new customers?  Is it more about retention or growth of existing clients?  Are you failing at new product launches?  Do you have enough “feet on the street”?  Do you really know who your best prospects are and what they need?

  • What are the specific metrics you will use to determine you’re solving the problem?  Surely revenue, share of wallet, and other financials are important.  But these are lagging indicators of success.  You have to also look at leading indicators early to keep on track.  Is sales’ activity focused on “ideal customers” increasing?  Are your sales reps receiving more leads due to focused demand generation?

  • How will you prioritize and assign activities to the effort?  Good account segmentation delivers an account-level view of opportunity.  Upsell/cross sell and new logo revenue are identified at the specific target account level.  Once done, what is the sales manager’s responsibility?  A regular cadence for opportunity review is needed.  Reps need to be held accountable for capturing the revenue available.


How will you use this to drive increased efficiency?  Solid resource planning, territory design, and quota setting should follow.  Great account segmentation work enables you to make great decisions.

  • Great account segmentation will enable sales and marketing to focus on your most viable targets.  You’ll understand how to message to them and where they are.
  • Account segmentation will give you the roadmap to resource allocation.  Know your existing revenue stream is not enough.  You need to quantify upsell, cross-sell  and prospect opportunity to allocate efficiently.
  • Detailed analysis will lead you to more effective quota setting.  We all know a story of an “A” rep that left because his quota was unattainable.  We also know mediocre reps that have earned big money due to bad quota setting.
  • Marketing will be able to deliver more quaity leads based on efficient targeting.  Messaging will be on point and received. 

Get the benefits available to you and your organization from sound account segmentation work.  Don’t keep looking at Marketing’s pie charts wondering what to do next.  Get down to the account and prospect level.  Take action on the data.  Download your copy of the Sales Operations Guide to Account Segmentation here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Patrick Seidell
Patrick Seidell serves as a Senior Consultant at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI). Pat brings 27 years of experience in sales management, sales operations leadership, consulting and market research to SBI with nationally and globally recognized organizations such as DHL, The Gallup Organization, Tribune Company and The NPD Group.


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