There is a common question among Chief Executive Officers. How do I stay relevant in a changing market? Many industries are experiencing significant shifts. Disruptive technologies take root, or markets are saturated. The reasons are many. As CEO, your task is to stay relevant in the midst of these changes.


It is no longer a one-time event to define your position in the market. Long dead is the five year plan based on a traditional mission statement. Sticking to an unchanged strategic position is nothing less than a controlled nose dive


What I’m suggesting is a regular, recurring analysis of your market position. One that meditates on the market needs from an external perspective.


Re-examine your segmentation.

Segmentation provides insight into your changing market, accounts and buyers. By the end of the exercise, you will know which accounts to prioritize. You can align your sales strategy with the needs of your buyers. As the result of a sound segmentation strategy, you will better align with the market. Then your corporate, product, sales, and marketing strategies will fit together in unison. 


Market Segmentation

Let’s start with the impossibly broad market. The nebulous “China Market” of a billion consumers. The lucrative potential of the coveted “NFL Cities.” The ridiculously large numbers you hear young entrepreneurs toss around on Shark Tank. You know the ones I’m talking about. Market Segmentation takes that broad market and reduces it to the realistic and relevant


Of course, not all markets are created equal. To further complicate matters, all markets have changed over the last ten years. The challenge is in determining which customers are worth going after next. Then selecting the proper sales channels can be an added difficulty.


To remain on target, you need to pursue specific target markets. What was true a year ago quite literally may not be true today. And what’s true today may not be true in the future. So be careful not to assume you have this figured out already. Dig deep into the data and redraw your segmentation lines. Then allocate your sales and marketing resources to maximize your revenue potential.


Account Segmentation

The next step is to understand the potential of every account in your market. Identify which accounts in your market segment are going to generate the most revenue. Identify those accounts that generate that revenue over the shortest period of time.


Typically, the sales team is provided revenue potential at market level only. But that’s not enough. They need to know the revenue potential by account, product, and solution.


With this complete picture, territories and quotes can be designed well. Accounts and incentive plans can be assigned for optimal performance.


Buyer Segmentation

The tendency is for an organization to stop at the account level. If you stop there, you’re making a big mistake. You need to go one layer deeper down to the individual buyer. Your buyers can be segmented not only by role, but by psychographic differentiators. With the explosion of information access, you can understand their personal motivators. Define details such as their objectives, fears, and measures of success. Then sales and marketing can engineer laser-guided campaigns that address these detailed needs.


It is at this Buyer Segmentation level that you can have one-on-one, tailored conversations. This is the ultimate pulse of the market you need to tap into.


Stay Relevant.

How do you remain significant in a changing market? Re-examine your position in the market. To stay relevant, overhaul your segmentation strategy. Put yourself in a position for success. Not based on yesterday’s suSegmentation_Questionnaire1ccess, but on tomorrow’s potential.


Download this Segmentation Questionnaire to start the strategic discussion. Guide the executive conversation down the path of future success.




Dan Bernoske

Develops innovative revenue growth solutions and designs the SBI client experience.

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

Read full bio >