Ah, summer – the time of year when vacations are plentiful, desks become vacant, phones go unanswered, and B2B marketers are left with the hope that their hot leads don’t go cold with automated “out of office” messages. If you want to beat the summer stall, now is the time to implement successful segmentation. Yet, knowing where to start can be daunting any time of the year, especially if the data needed for segmentation does not exist. In fact, according to our recent study, most B2B companies are falling short when it comes to maintaining a complete database.

If you can relate, sit back, relax and grab a mojito because we’ve come up with four tips to consider for better segmentation.

1. Analyze Buyers: It may sound obvious, but marketers should regularly ask themselves the all-important question, “Who buys from my company?” To do this, extract data from CRM systems to determine which contacts from specific companies are making the buying decisions. Combing through a year’s worth of data – including titles of buyers, size of company, industry vertical and location – is a recommended starting point. We also suggest repeating the process over time, as these buyer profiles change and evolve.

2. Hard Sell vs. Education: A study by Marketing Metrics found the average company has a 60-70 percent probability of selling again to existing customers and a 20-40 percent chance of successfully selling to lapsed customers. For this reason, marketers should be aware of the types of messages they deliver when speaking to both current and non-customers. To achieve desired results, remember to make a hard sell to an already familiar customer and, on the flip-side, be sure to educate potential leads about why they might need certain services.

3. Understand Personas: Once marketers know who their buyers are, they’ll want to understand more about them. Building buyer personas through interviews or focus groups will help determine what influences buyers, such as company goals, priorities and the buying and decision-making processes in place. In an eBook from industry experts Maribeth Ross and Adele Revella, the authors recommend making the buyer the center of the universe by learning how to speak the buyer’s language and working to achieve buy-in from all areas of the organization around specified personas.

4. Leverage Technology: Today, more tools are available than ever to give a company an advantage over the competition. For example, by reviewing activity on brand websites, marketers can learn what content their buyers are downloading to identify new customers and prospects who exhibit similar behavior. With this data in hand, marketers can create long-term messaging tracks customized for those particular buyers.

 By following these simple guidelines, B2B marketers can avoid limited segmentation, low conversions and incorrect lead routing to better position their companies during the summertime lull. Now, the only thing left to worry about is remembering the sunscreen!