We too often end up putting our hopes on Q4 to make up for the year - because our segmentation is off

“Our Total Addressable Market is huge. Demand in our category is pounding. Marketing is bringing in enough leads…. but still, momentum stays out – and all our hope is now on Q4 to make up for what was supposed to be a record year.”

I heard this story several times the past week – from different tech-entrepreneurs, in varying contexts, acting in different markets.
I feel for them—the puzzling in their eyes…

Nine out of ten, the answer to this challenge lies in the way we target, i.e., our segmentation.
It’s not that we don’t fish in the right pond – we do.
Our fishing net is just too narrowly mazed – in fear of missing anything. Consequently, 95% of what we ‘catch’ is a plain waste.

Consequently, we lose buckets of time and money – and not only in sales.
…We lose buckets of money advertising to a massive market, hoping the few we need will ‘bite.’
…We lose time sifting through all the ‘leads’ that we lured in with that shiny whitepaper – people that have no intention of becoming a customer at all.
…We lose the right sales in our pipeline because we’re just too busy following up ‘the others’
…We lose time in the sales process because there’s no sense of urgency.
…We leave money on the table because instead of customers buying from us – we have no other option than to buy them at a discount.
…With the customers we do ‘win,’ we waste time in R&D – creating features to try to make them ‘happy’ (but they never will)

And the list goes on. It’s like a virtuous loop that’s just a bad dream.

Back to segmentation. Sure, it is an art. But it’s an art worth mastering.
Segmentation is not about carving out an as large as possible market – it’s the opposite. It’s about carving out the smallest viable audience – the people where you can and will win 8 out of 10 deals. So for most of us, it’s that 1% – the other 99% is a distraction.

Yes, that sounds intimidating. But once you get over that, it will work in your favor – and in that of your ideal customer.

Everything will get simpler, sharper, more concrete, and more credible. -And that pays off in buckets of freed-up time and money.

– We are becoming a magnet for more of the right customers with a fraction of your marketing budget because we will cut through the noise.
– Creating velocity in your pipeline because the value is clear, and the urgency is there
– Ending the race to the bottom by shifting towards customers willing to pay a premium
– Ending the scope creep in your product strategy – making your platform stronger and stronger
– Streamlining your service delivery process with higher margins because there’s less one-off work

All these small shifts will help to create an unstoppable flywheel.

It’s a choice – And it all starts by recognizing the problem.

About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.