We have been segmenting our customer base for quite a while now. Why? Well, with over 15,000 customers and a growth rate of 45% year over year, we wanted to create a system that helps us continuously learn about market demands and our customer’s business priorities. There are many reasons why this is important to us, but let me try to formulate a few of them:
- Innovation: Listening to both our customer’s praises and their frustrations lets us improve our portfolio of services. We strive to be an infrastructure innovator and only by incorporating real-time, end user market experience can we continuously improve our product line-up and really get it right.
- Connecting the dots: Whether it’s about gaming, e-commerce, web hosting or streaming: our customers really know their markets and growth trends. They understand end user demands, making them the beating heart of the industry. Touching base with these experts allows us to keep up with the fast evolving market places.
- Focus: We believe in ‘sticking to our knitting’ (our core business of course being infrastructure based on high scalability, connectivity, reliability and affordability). Segmenting our customers permits us to penetrate new market places without diversification or distraction from what we do well.
- Differentiation: We like to go one step further for our customers by providing industry know-how. We share this added knowledge during consultation of our hosting solutions, allowing us to take on a trusted advisory role with our customers.
- Customer satisfaction: Everyone at Leaseweb – from support to administration – is committed to this. We know that our customers are responsible for our success, which is why each employee receives a financial bonus for customer satisfaction and retention.
We have defined three verticals to segment our customers and better understand their wants and needs: Resellers, Internet Professionals and Traditional Online. We like to keep it simple, as our definitions of these three verticals show:
- Resellers: Use infrastructure building blocks, potentially adding value by reselling hardware or software services. We partner with hundreds of unmanaged and managed hosters, as well as with Value Added Resellers that offer SAAS & PAAS solutions. Example customers of this vertical are AFAS, Info Support, Masterhost, Dediserv and Kaspersky.
- Internet Professionals: Own their existence to the rise of the Internet. Online activity is their core business, with services like access to games, videos & marketplaces. Examples are Twenga.com, Code Masters, Wikipedia and Kelkoo.com.
- Traditional Online: Did not originate as an internet business, but uses infrastructure to outsource internal IT, global cloud applications, disaster recovery or as a new sales and marketing channel. This vertical covers traditional segments such as the Retail & Franchising Fast Moving Consumer Goods. Well-known companies within these segments are Heineken, Danone and Bose.
On top of this high–level customer segmentation we further define whether a company is an Enterprise customer (250 or more employees and > Euro 50 Million Euro in revenue) – or an SMB/SME (10 to 250 employees and a maximum Euro 50 Million Euro in revenue).
A personal approach to doing business
The customer verticals have influenced our internal structure for quite some time now. Relationships are key to growing a flourishing business, so we employ specialized account managers whose personality, cultural background and work experience match the business model and personality of our respective customer. Our customers need account managers they can rely on 100% of the time, especially when the going gets tough. This makes finding the right account manager for a customer just as important as finding the right partner for marriage.
We have to stress the importance of finding the right contact person and building trust in business, especially when our uptime is such a critical success factor. In fact, building trust begins even before someone chooses Leaseweb for their infrastructure. That’s why, over the last twelve months, we have trained and integrated six experienced, full-time Business Development Managers who focus on specific customer needs in combination with market trends. This lean, mean multinational team with six nationalities and seven languages has allowed Leaseweb to deepen its coverage, ranging from a high level vertical view to the nitty gritty segments within these verticals.
This group of adaptive, optimistic and actually just damn nice people really enjoy speaking with business and technical representatives. They are opening the gateways to specialized niches and knowledge, which is necessary to improve our customer service further and to focus more on what our customers and the market is telling us. For example, a reseller that identifies itself as a managed hosting provider has different needs from those companies who focus on unmanaged hosting or system integration services. We recognize this and build our internal knowledge so we can better cater to these different segments. By letting our customers lead the way, we improve our operations with constant steps.
Business development: Are you up for it?
As the internet continues to evolve, so does Leaseweb, which means that new business opportunities need to be uncovered again and again. This demand to explore and discover new segments also means that we are always looking to recruit experienced Business Development Managers (BDMs) open for a new challenge. Please take a look at our vacancies and let us know if you would like to join this dynamic environment and start making a difference with our customers and the business.