Segmentation Keeps Black Duck Software's Jing Jiang Swimming in Success
Jing Jiang of Black Duck talks about her organization’s current segmentation effort and the importance of clean data in the latest in our occasional series of Strategic BizOps Professional Profiles.
Greg Keshian: You’re at the beginning of your current segmentation effort. Can you tell us about that?
Jing Jiang: Right now we’re looking at revenue from our new business, our recurring business and our on-demand service segments. We also have our subscription team, which supports our ongoing customer needs and we have a worldwide sales team. We’re growing and we’re hiring more sales reps and we’re at the beginning of finding a new market that we can target to continue our growth. To do that, we’re looking at our industry information to determine which industry generates the most revenue and we are defining our customer personas so we know how to better target customers. In addition to that, this quarter we closed our first deal in Thailand so that might be a new region we can sell into.
GK: Getting clean data for your accounts is part of what you’re working on now. What are the challenges around finding firmographic data about the companies you’re selling to?
JJ: Right now we’re trying to find a tool that supports consistent firmographic data. For our account-based selling activities, with Microsoft Dynamics for example, some of the data shows that it can be retail or it can be software, so it’s very important to have a database or tool that can support a consistent data source. It’s not easy. You need the data to be consistent across industries and formatted the way you want to use it.
GK: How does segmentation drive Black Duck’s marketing and selling activity?
JJ: Segmentation is helping us better understand our customer – who they are, what they need, and how we can help them. If we know why they’re buying from us we know which product to offer and what the potential is for expanding the account or moving them to a subscription.
GK: How does account-based selling and/or marketing change your approach in terms of tools, tracking or reporting?
JJ: We have a large base of recurring enterprise accounts, so account–based selling is very important here. Our marketing team can create different campaigns and nurturing programs to target each account; we’re able to target them with relevant conversation and activity before our sales people engage with them.
GK: What business leaders are involved in segmentation and planning?
JJ: All of them! Our senior management team initiated our segmentation effort, so it’s top down. We are moving very carefully and strategically to be sure that we’re getting the full picture of the data and we’re at the earliest stages now with getting all the data to be consistently solid for the entire set of customers and segments, but going forward I expect that we will have very close involvement with the CEO, CFO, CMO and head of sales.
GK: What’s the most challenging aspect of the segmentation effort for you, and why?
JJ: For us the biggest challenge is data. Black Duck is 12 years old and it’s been changing and growing. Some of our data is inconsistent. In order to get to a better segmentation and understand our data, our customers and our product better, the bottom line is to have a clean set of data. This is our first priority because it hasn’t been a focus in the past.
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Steph served as Rekener’s Community Manager and CMO. A Rekener co-founder, she was previously Senior Director of Marketing at CCC, a $300M+ recurring revenue business, and served in marketing leadership roles at Vertical, @stake, Informio, DotContent and Meridian. Her first recurring revenue role was as an inside sales rep selling real-time stock pricing subscriptions.
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