Partner Research

Client Segmentation - A Journey to Strategic Selling

Olmstead Associates


An effective client segmentation strategy will enable sales and marketing teams to provide the most valuable clients with an optimal client experience while improving sales results and lowering costs. While many firms have invested heavily in developing segmentation models, much of the industry still relies on individual efforts to rank clients. This happens on a small scale using only one or two data points, such as sales or assets. Firms have an opportunity to standardize segmentation methods by building a model that pulls information from the volume of internal and external data available today; without making their sales professionals become data analysts. The results will provide territory management guidance, break down silos between sales and marketing, and ensure strategic enterprise goals are met. This opportunity allows firms to simultaneously build a repeatable process that can work at scale for your business and adapt to changes to channel mixes or product focuses.

Olmstead is a boutique consulting firm that focuses on the asset management industry.  Their team has worked for asset managers and understand the use cases, constraints, and business drivers.

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The first step is to decide what information best determines each client’s value for your firm. Gathering and processing this data from multiple sources can be overwhelming and can create blocks in getting started. Olmstead believes this massive amount of data can be distilled into 10-15 specific data elements upon which segments can be developed. A best practice is to have all the needed data centrally accessible, but gaps in your data management should not stop you from beginning this journey.


Segmentation is more than a math problem; there is also an art in determining which clients are the most valuable to your business. Therefore, a segmentation model must be flexible enough to account for field knowledge inputs and a distribution team’s strategic focus on certain firms or product offerings.


The key to successfully implementing a segmentation program is to measure the results. You should measure both sales success and the activities and expenses invested to garner those sales.  When these results are cross-referenced with your client segment model, you will be able to make informed decisions about staffing levels, marketing budgets, and product focus. You will also measure your client’s experience to ensure your most valuable clients are receiving the proper amount of attention.


Developing a segmentation program may involve a process of trial and error to determine the best data to use and how to interpret the results. Olmstead has an experienced team of asset management industry professionals who have delivered segmentation for their firms. Take advantage of this experience and avoid the years normally spent developing a segmentation program.  The investment will yield improved sales results, efficient deployment of sales resources, lower the cost of sales, and provide a measurable ROI on the information you subscribe to.

Austin Lewis

Austin Lewis

Olmstead Associates, Manager of Client Engagement


Austin has over 16 years of industry experience spanning retail intermediary as well as institutional businesses. He is a business, data strategy, and analytics leader with a deep understanding of asset management and the data-driven processes that are the crux of the industry. He has led global teams supporting the implementation and rollout of CRM systems and integrations, data governance structures, and data and analytics solutions and outputs.