Sending your sales and marketing teams into the field with a well-thought-out plan and a vision of their model client is key to successfully closing more deals. If your team doesn’t know who their ideal buyer is, they’re likely to waste a lot of time chasing dead leads and not knowing how to work around various objections to their offer.
However, with a well-developed list of buyer personas, your business can more efficiently target the right candidates.
What are buyer personas?
Buyer personas help organizations to identify and characterize who their ideal customers are. This information is incredibly valuable to marketing and sales departments for planning everything from the company’s ad campaigns to its social media and content marketing strategy.
Businesses create personas using data gathered from their existing customers, such as demographics, personality, or behavioral characteristics. These personas do not describe actual clients but instead use information about a wide variety of customers, across various segments, to provide representative customer models.
Personas should be concise, but they also need to capture the most critical elements of each of these typical buyers.
Persona research may also reveal your clients’ challenges and pain points, their communication styles, and other helpful information about how they like to connect within the sales process.
You could use your customer database to analyze and build your buyer personas, based on criteria such as:
- What content is most likely to elicit a response from a certain type of customer?
- How do clients participate in the sales journey?
- What issues do your customers face, and how can your business solve those problems?
- What else do you know about your customers to use in their profile?
Buyer personas can be used for marketing strategies
Rather than marketing to a broad, generalized audience, consider adding buyer personas to your marketing strategy to strengthen the connection between your business and your clients.
When you build a buyer persona, you capture a semi-fictionalized concept of your idealized customer through the different steps in their journey as a buyer. The primary goal of these profiles is to locate a recurring problem or inconvenience they may encounter and offer a solution. Building out implementations like this drives more leads and attracts the right customers.
Creating buyer personas based on real-world data and a touch of educated speculation can organically expand your market. If you know your typical client is hungry and in a rush, tailoring content to show how your food or beverage solves this issue creates a more genuine and honest interaction and can resonate profoundly with the potential buyer. When the viewer sees your product as an easy, grab-and-go option, they are more psychologically primed to jump at your offer.
Arranging contacts into categories allows you to target specific groups with the persona that fits their needs. Make organizing contacts smoother by asking visitors to categorize themselves via a form on your website. This has the advantage of streamlining the process and providing you with lists of contacts looking for content aligned with certain personas.
Buyer personas can encapsulate broad groups of people in a single piece of content, but the more aspects of the model client you touch on, the more focused the content becomes as a whole. For this reason, every piece of content needs to spotlight a persona and provide value to the viewer.
You understand your customers more through buyer personas
By analyzing a prototype of your customer in respect of their goals, challenges, and objections, you’ll get a better understanding of what information they might be trying to find online – as well as how best to engage with them.
For example, if you have customers who want to learn more about the health benefits of your product, building a persona based on the questions they ask allows you to address them directly through your sales and marketing strategy. Knowing who your buyer is before you meet them in the field gives you the upper hand in closing the deal.
Customer behavior provides another valuable piece of insight for shaping your sales and marketing approach. Suppose you know your model buyer spends a lot of time researching the ingredients of a product before purchasing it: you could then highlight information on what goes into your food. Taking control of each facet of the information pipeline allows you to educate the buyer while indirectly selling to them.
Understanding the different attributes of your ideal buyer gives you a competitive advantage in closing the deal but requires effective sales communication in order to succeed. To optimize all possible outcomes, you’ll want to align your sales and marketing channels effectively.
How to create effective buyer personas
Building effective buyer personas is key to making your audience feel like you know them and have the answers they need. You’ll want to address every aspect of their journey as a buyer and show how your business can supply the solutions they are looking for.
Where do you find data to build a compelling set of buyer personas?
1. Start with your team
Your organization’s sales and marketing departments interact with buyers daily and know how each fits into the purchasing pipeline. Have your team create generalized descriptions of your best customers to help you determine their needs, learn how you solve their problems, and discover who they are in relation to your business. This data set will give you a much more concrete idea of whom you are tailoring content for and what questions and concerns to address. Your sales team will also know whom your product or services are not meant for, and you can cut that demographic out entirely.
2. Learn about your customers’ needs directly
There is nobody better to ask about their needs than the customer. Getting information directly from the people making the purchases is the most direct way of learning about their issues and what you can do to solve them. It also helps you to break through speculative assumptions about who your potential buyers are.
Home in on those features that customers say that they care about. Continue to have educated opinions for other possible buyer personas, but know the value of real-world examples. Your customers’ demographics are just as important as their psychological motivations, so ask questions that highlight the overall identifiers that brought the customer in and helped close the deal for them.
3. Find out the goals and challenges of the decision-makers involved
If you can solve one or more of a decision-maker’s concerns, helping them to reach their goals faster, your chances of making a sale go up.
Large businesses often find themselves relying on committees to make decisions. Interviewing and learning about each individual on a board of decision-makers can help you to identify which specific aspects of a product or service are important to them.
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to design personas that leverage these elements to give you a competitive edge.
4. Learn about common objections buyers have
If you’re able to determine those moments in which you start to lose a potential buyer, it’s much easier to course-correct and deliver personas better able to seal the deal. Find out what stops your customer from making a purchase and think about how you can address their uncertainty through your content.
For example, say your product is a new protein shake and the buyer is hesitant because of a particular ingredient. Developing a persona that addresses this concern and highlights the benefits of the ingredient in question can change the customer’s opinion and lead to more conversions.
5. Build “battle cards” to understand each buyer persona and better prepare your team
With the help of one-page battle cards, you can quickly categorize your buyer personas and educate sales and marketing departments on the different types of clients they may encounter in the field or online. These cards will help your team navigate communications with individual customers and close more deals by meeting the customer’s needs faster.
Boost your sales team through competitive tools
Knowing who your customers are is the most crucial component of sales. You cannot consistently close deals if you don’t understand your ideal buyer and how to communicate with them. For these reasons, building personas that accurately reflect the different values of each buyer is a necessity.
Finding tech that supports your business by speeding up these processes can be tough. Skynamo is a leading sales technology solution, offering a variety of tools designed to improve your business strategy, buyer personas, and more. Let’s chat about how Skynamo’s software can fit into your sales strategy, today.