Buyer Personas: Who are you selling to?

If you do not get your personas right, you will be far off from your revenue goals.

Defining buyer personas is a foundational step for your sales team.

A buyer persona is a detailed representation of a specific segment of the target audience, encompassing characteristics, behaviors, goals, and pain points.

If you do not get your personas right, you will be far off from your revenue goals. You will ultimately create content that does not resonate with the actual needs of the target audience, waste time and resources prospecting the wrong accounts that will not convert, and see a decline in your sales pipeline.

Creating buyer personas, job stories and hero statements are activities that help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of the members of your target audience.

For example, you may know your target buyers are HR professionals, but do you know what their specific needs and interests are? What is the typical background of your ideal buyer? To get a full understanding of what makes your best customers tick, it’s critical to develop detailed personas for your business.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers based on data and research.

They help you focus your time on qualified prospects, guide product development to suit the needs of your target customers and align all work across your organization, including your client engagement and delivery teams.

As a result, you’ll be able to attract high-value visitors, leads, and customers to your business who you’ll be more likely to retain over time.

More specifically, having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow-up, and anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention.

Now that we’ve established that personas are really important to your business.

How do you create Buyer Personas?

It’s all about how you obtain your market research and customer data, and then present that information within your business.

Gather Customer Information

The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.).

Depending on your business, you could have as few as one or two personas, or as many as 10 or 20. But if you’re new to personas, start small — you can always develop more personas later if needed.

Here are some practical methods for gathering the information you need to develop personas:

  1. Look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how certain leads or customers find and consume your content.
  2. Use form fields that capture important persona information when creating forms to use on your website. For example, if all of your personas vary based on company size, ask each lead for information about company size on your forms.
  3. Consider your sales team’s feedback on the leads they’re interacting with most. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers you serve best?
  4. Interview customers and prospects to discover what they like about your product or service.

Develop the Persona

The next step is to use your research to identify patterns and commonalities from the answers to your interview questions, develop at least one primary persona, and share that persona with the rest of the company.

  1. Fill in your persona’s basic demographic information.
  2. Share what you’ve learned about your persona’s motivations.
  3. Help your sales team prepare for conversations with your persona.
  4. Craft messaging for your persona.
  5. Finally, make sure you give your persona a name (e.g. Finance Manager Joshua, or IT Barry) so everyone internally refers to each persona the same way, allowing for cross-team consistency.

Job Stories

If you have a well-defined buyer persona, you’ve taken the first step in optimizing your marketing efforts by getting to know the type of person who is most likely to buy your products and services. However, your work is not quite complete. In order to understand what your customers are trying to do, you might want to use jobs theory, which is a way of exploring why people buy products.

How do you identify Jobs to Be Done?

If you want to uncover the job people are hiring your product to do, you’re going to need to interview some of your existing customers. One thing to keep in mind is that in sales, you should focus more on how you can help people understand the job your product does, rather than trying to think of ways to improve your product to do the job better.

As you try to define your customers’ job to be done, fit it into this standard “job story” template:

As a _______, when I _______, I want to ______ so that I can ______.

As a persona, when I situation, I want to motivation so that I can outcome.

  1. JTBD for an Online Shopper: As a busy professional, when I shop for groceries online, I want to save time and avoid the hassle of going to the store, so that I can focus on more important tasks and have the convenience of having items delivered to my doorstep.
  2. JTBD for a Fitness Enthusiast: As a fitness enthusiast, when I search for a workout app, I want to find a comprehensive program that suits my fitness goals and preferences, so that I can stay motivated, track my progress, and achieve my desired level of fitness.
  3. JTBD for a Business Traveler: As a frequent business traveler, when I book a hotel, I want to find accommodations with a central location and amenities conducive to work, so that I can easily access meetings, be productive during my stay, and have a comfortable experience while on the road.

Once you explore the job story, you’ll be better able to see which of your products is best for the job and start thinking about how to let your customers know.

Hero Statements

Now that you know who your persona is and what job they’re trying to get done, you’re ready to create your hero statement. Here is the format of the hero statement:

Your company is a hero to buyer persona who job to be done.

  1. Example for a Tech Startup: Your company is a hero to a tech entrepreneur who is launching a new product.Your sales pitch: We provide reliable and scalable cloud hosting services that meet the unique needs of their growing business.
  2. Example for a Health-Conscious Consumer: Your company is a hero to health-conscious consumers prioritizing organic and sustainable food choices. Your sales pitch: We offer a range of locally sourced, organic products that cater to their dietary preferences and ethical considerations.
  3. Example for a Small Business Owner: Your company is a hero to small business owners who need efficient financial management tools. Your sales pitch: Our accounting software simplifies bookkeeping, streamlines invoicing, and provides valuable insights, empowering them to focus on growing their business.

If you haven’t fully defined your primary buyer persona yet, you can use your ideal customer profile as the first version of your hero statement. An ideal customer profile is a description of the company (not the individual buyer or end-user) that’s a perfect fit for your solution.

If you use your ideal customer profile, that’s okay as a temporary solution, but be sure to revisit your hero statement once you know who your primary buyer persona is, and update it to include it.

Adapt your sales pitch by persona

Your sales pitch is the way you present your solution to your prospects and persuade them to take action. You should tailor your sales pitch by persona to address their specific needs, objections, and questions.

  1. Example for a Tech Startup: Your company is a hero to a tech entrepreneur who is launching a new product. We understand the challenges you face in ensuring a robust online presence for your innovative solutions. Your sales pitch: Our cloud hosting services provide the reliability and scalability necessary to support the unique needs of your growing business, so you can focus on bringing your groundbreaking product to market with confidence.
  2. Example for a Health-Conscious Consumer: Your company is a hero to health-conscious consumers who prioritize organic and sustainable food choices. Your sales pitch: We recognize your commitment to a healthy lifestyle and ethical food consumption. That's why we offer a diverse range of locally sourced, organic products that not only cater to your dietary preferences but also align with your ethical considerations. With us, you can make mindful choices for your well-being and the planet.
  3. Example for a Small Business Owner: Your company is a hero to small business owners who need efficient financial management tools. Your sales pitch: We understand the complexities of running a small business, and that's why our accounting software is designed to be your reliable partner. It simplifies bookkeeping, streamlines invoicing, and provides valuable insights, empowering you to focus on growing your business and achieving your entrepreneurial vision.

You should also use the language, tone, and style that resonate with each persona. For example, for "Tech-savvy Terry", you could use technical terms, data, and case studies to showcase your solution's features and performance and emphasize how it can help him achieve his goals and overcome his challenges.

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