Making account segmentation and scoring work for your sales team

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In this five-part blog series, we’ll cover how to optimize the end-to-end sales planning process, including account segmentation and scoring, territory and quota, incenitive compensation, sales forecasting, and deal desk. This first blog discusses how to make the most of an account segmentation and scoring strategy.

At many organizations, knowing which sales accounts are the “best” often is based on rumor and internal politics. But do you really know which sales accounts have the highest potential and which are less likely to buy? Most importantly: Do you know how to accurately assign your sales people and resources in a way that gets the most out of every account?

Improving your sales account planning strategy starts with knowing your target accounts—inside and out. And with an accurate segmentation and scoring process, you can then deliver a more comprehensive territory and quota strategy.

Improve your account segmentation and scoring strategy with these three tips:

Define account segments.

A good segmentation strategy begins with knowing which attributes are the most important to your company’s success—and aligning them to corporate objectives. For example, you might segment your sales accounts based on industry, revenue, prior-year sales, employee headcount, wallet share, or tenure. Additionally, segment accounts based on whether they are “active” or “pipeline” accounts that require further nurturing. This will give you a more sophisticated understanding of which sales accounts you can expect immediate revenue from and accurately forecast future revenue.

Look at account potential.

Lots of sales managers are lured by the rush of chasing after new business—but it’s often easier, faster, and cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to get a foot in the door with a new account. Take a closer look at prior-year sales and identify key active accounts with large expansion opportunity. What can you do differently to drive increased revenue within these accounts?

Collaborate with front-line staff.

When figuring out how to prioritize and rank accounts, make it a collaborative process. Just like assigning sales territories and determining quotas, account segmentation should be a collaboration between sales leaders and front-line staff—the field managers and sales reps. These teams work with the customers daily and have valuable insights to offer when figuring out account growth potential versus exhausted accounts. But make sure the data can back up whatever hunches your sales people might offer.

Segmenting accounts can be an inexact science. But with good data, careful planning, and insightful sales analytics, you can discover new ways of looking at your accounts and potential opportunities to drive growth and enhance business performance.

Want to learn more about building an accurate account segmentation strategy? Watch Anaplan’s two-minute demo about our Account Segmentation and Scoring app.

Check back for our second blog in this sales planning series, where we will discuss how to better optimize your territory and quota setting strategies.

“Before you even start the segmentation, you need to really understand why you’re doing it and what some of the actions are that you’re planning to take, based on what you think you might see. It helps you understand what’s actionable in terms of driving a company’s business.”

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