How to Use Buyer Personas to Boost Sales Performance
September 12, 2022
Who is your ideal customer?
This is one of the most important questions for any organization, and creating effective buyer personas can help you answer this question, understand your audience, and increase sales. Ninety-three percent of companies who exceeded lead and revenue goals segment their database by buyer persona.
Customer personas allow you to connect with your ideal audience, improving the nurturing process and increasing conversion rates.
In recent research, 57 percent of companies said B2B buyers were looking for more business justification to buy, and 51 percent said customers expect more value-added insight. This can only happen when you understand your buyers and create customized sales and marketing material for your ideal target customer.
What is a buyer persona?
First, it’s essential to understand that a buyer persona and a buyer profile are two different things.
- A buyer profile is a description of the type of buyer that’s a good fit for your services
- A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer
A customer persona is based on individual buyers and patterns you find while researching current customers. Buyer personas include detailed descriptions of members of your target audience.
What does a buyer persona include?
Your different buyer personas should include what you need to know about your customers, including their needs, pain points, and the most helpful information.
Buyer personas should include information such as:
- A fictional name
- Professional position
- Professional goals, values, and stressors
- Type of organization they work for
- Communication preferences and where they find information
- Most pressing professional pain points
- Why they are looking for your solution
The key is to create practical, accurate buyer personas. One of the best ways to do this is to talk to your customers.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t do this. Only 42 percent of B2B marketers said they talk to customers as part of their market research. That means you have an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
How many personas do you need?
Your company needs a B2B buyer persona for each decision-maker your sales team encounters. Gartner found that there are generally 6 to 10 decision-makers in the B2B buyer journey, but this number can vary based on your industry.
For example, you might need a persona for these people in the buying process:
- The person who does the initial research for a product or service
- The end-user within the organization
- The gatekeeper who decides whether to include your product or service in the final shortlist that’s passed on to leadership
- The leader who approves the cost/purchase
Your reps will have more effective sales conversations at every stage of the buying process when they have personalized sales material, and your sales and marketing strategy addresses each of these people.
Remember that these should be based on who your team speaks to during the sales process, not a guess or assumption. Real data leads to effective buyer personas that drive results.
How to use buyer personas to increase sales
Once you have one or more well-defined buyer personas, it’s time to use them to make your sales team more effective.
The sales enablement team can drive this effort because they have a connection to a variety of departments and can ensure that everyone uses the same language when speaking to a particular audience segment. This helps ensure that your prospects have a consistent experience no matter who they speak to.
“Buyers have changed a lot throughout the years, and the more information you can provide your sales teams about how your products and/or services can impact and provide value to those buyers, the better. Giving your reps information about what your buyers care about and are motivated by can increase your chances of being able to attribute your solutions to their successes.”
– Stephanie Middaugh, Director of Enablement, WorkRamp
Create a playsheet
One of the best ways to ensure everyone is on the same page is to have a playsheet for each persona. For example, you might have a persona that represents the end-user of your product or service named Sara.
Describe Sara’s primary goals and challenges. Then, list how to present your solution, what language to use, and elevator pitches. You can also create a specific folder of datasheets and other resources that your sales reps can give Sara to help her move forward in the buying process.
When your sales and marketing teams and customer-facing employees share the same information about Sara’s needs and how to approach her, you can ensure that your message is consistent, personalized, persuasive, and effective.
Optimizely used WorkRamp to unify marketing messaging across departments. They increased average contract values by more than 60 percent and significantly expand the enterprise pipeline. WorkRamp was the ideal platform to align sales, marketing, and customer success on consistent messaging.
Customize your email marketing, ads, and more
The next step is to use your gathered information to create targeted marketing and advertising campaigns. This will help you connect with your ideal customers and increase qualified leads.
Don’t be afraid to test different approaches and update your persona documents with what you discover. For example, you might find that Sara doesn’t respond well to specific phrases or pitches. Make sure that’s noted on your persona sheet so every team member knows this and can adjust accordingly.
This level of personalization can have a significant impact. Salesforce found that 97 percent of marketers reported a measurable improvement in sales results due to personalization.
Use buyer personas in your sales enablement strategy
Buyer personas stand out from other marketing tactics because they’re based on actual customer data. There’s nothing theoretical about them; they represent your ideal audience.
As a sales enablement professional, your team can use buyer personas to improve your sales results and unify your messaging across sales, marketing, and customer service.
Keeping your sales content in a central location involves a unified, cohesive marketing approach. WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform you can use to equip your sales team with on-demand training and the materials they need to succeed. Want to learn more? Contact us to schedule a free personalized demo.
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Anna SpoonerFreelance Writer
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.
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