Home Services Resources Clients Blog About Us

Industry Specialization Benchmark

Vertical Market Specialization by B2B Vendors Benchmarking Study

To compete for the highly sought-after enterprise budget, vendors are implementing more sophisticated and narrowly targeted go-to-market strategies.  Many such efforts involve some level of industry specialization. 

The Vertical Market Specialization by B2B Vendors Benchmarking Study examines how companies selling to other businesses align resources and go-to-market efforts around target industries, and what best practices can be gleaned from their experiences.  

We spoke to 125 B2B product and services companies who shared information about:

  • Drivers of industry specialization

  • Benefits of industry specialization

  • Degree of specialization by function

  • The evolution of industry specialization and its results

The study looked at industry specialization in five functional areas:
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Alliances
  • Services
  • Products

Table of Contents

Study Overview



Participant Profiles

Study Findings

Drivers & Degree of Specialization

Reasons to specialize by industry

Maturity of Industry Specialization

Breadth of Industry Specialization

Degree of Industry Specialization in Key Functions

Reasons not to specialize by industry

Results of Industry Specialization

Benefits of industry specialization

Evolution of Industry Specialization

Plans for industry specialization


Industry marketing activities

Industry Marketing Responsibilities & Staffing

Impact of marketing specialization on key metrics

Industry Marketing Tactics


Sales Alignment to Industries

Industry Specialist Support


      Industry-Specialized Offerings

Creating Industry-Specialized Offerings

Professional Services

Developing Professional Services for Specific Industries


Value of Industry-Focused Alliances


Succeeding with Industry Specialization


List of Figures

Figure 1: Study participants by type of company

Figure 2: Industries of participating product companies

Figure 3: Functional roles

Figure 4: Titles of participants

Figure 5: Drivers of Industry Specialization

Figure 11: Reasons not to specialize by industry

Figure 6: Years that industry focus has been present in company

Figure 7: Average number of focus industries, by company size

Figure 8: Number of focus industries, by years specialization has been in place

Figure 9: Level of industry specialization of key functions

Figure 10: Degree of industry specialization in key functions

Figure 12: Perceived degree of benefits of industry specialization

Figure 13: Benefits of industry specialization by number of years that industry specialization is in place

Figure 14: Level of industry specialization in the past two years

Figure 15: Two-year plan for level of specialization, based on how long specialization has been in place

Figure 16: Types of industry-specific marketing activities

Figure 17: Average industry revenue per industry-focused marketing staff member

Figure 18: How industry marketers spend their time

Figure 19: Companies reporting notable or significant impact of industry specialization, by level of marketing specialization

Figure 20: Companies rating industry marketing tactics & tools very effective

Figure 21: Percent of sales force that is industry-aligned

Figure 22: Sales resources receiving support from industry specialists

Figure 23: Industry-specific products and product add-ons offered

Figure 24: Sources of industry-specific products and add-ons

Figure 24: Companies offering industry-specific services

Figure 25: Companies reporting notable or significant benefits from each type of alliance partner


This study  was conducted in cooperation with The Insight Advantage


 Order Complete Study

 Pages: 30

 Charts & Figures: 25



Free Executive Summary

Industry Check-Up

  • Assess your sales effectiveness in a target vertical market.
  • Launch the action plan to achieve your goals in a top industry.

Request an Industry Check-Up

Contact Us    1-650-740-5065    Email Us

Copyright © The Shirman Group 2007 All Rights Reserved