The 1st Step Towards More Qualified Leads: Buyer Persona

Should everyone love your product? Ideally. If not everyone does, should you actively spend time and money trying to make them love it? Absolutely not. You want to convert only those qualified leads that turn into loyal brand advocates. That’s why you need an in-depth understanding of your customers using Buyer Personas. This blog explains what they are and how you can use them to target the right audience for your product without overspending on sales and marketing costs. More qualified leads with Buyer Persona, right this way!

Why Do I Need Buyer Personas?

Today, customers want personalized solutions for their problems rather than your product as such. However, manually scaling your marketing efforts to each of your (potential) customers and their challenges, is impossible. Enter: the Buyer Persona.

A Buyer Persona uses buyer insights to visualize your ideal client. In other words, you’re turning the traits of your customers into a fictional character. MLT Creative reports that 44% of B2B marketers are using Buyer Personas, and you can see why: they make it easier for marketing teams to understand different types of consumers, resulting in more personalized marketing that resonates with different segments in your audience. According to MLT Creative, using Personas in email campaigns even doubles the open rate and generates 5 times more CTR.

Additionally, you can use a Negative Persona to define who you don’t want as a customer. These are people who, for example, don’t have the budget to buy your product. Creating Negative Persona prevents you from overspending on e.g. your cost-per-lead or cost-per-customer. Why? Because you’re no longer spending time and money trying to reach people that will not return your investments in the long run.

Who Can Use Buyer Personas and How?

Buyer Personas are an important tool for your marketing team. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t integrate them throughout your whole organization. To illustrate: your marketing department works with Personas, your sales team uses other metrics, and your customer service colleagues work with yet another set of criteria to meet their targets. In other words, every department approaches your customer in a different way. Therefore, you lose the advantages Buyer Personas can offer: a smooth end-to-end experience for your buyer, and internal alignment between your teams.

“Integrating Buyer Personas throughout different departments guarantees a smooth end-to-end experience for your buyer and internal alignment between your teams.”

Moreover, Buyer Personas can be designed with CRM platforms like Salesforce, and can serve as a basis for personalized sales funnels. This central database for customer information, persona development and mapping out their individual buyer journeys will come in handy when different departments are involved. Using Record Types and Page Layouts, your sales team can differentiate specific steps along the sales funnel according to the Persona: short funnels for bulk orders, longer funnels for custom orders, and so on. Your marketing and service team can then use customer segmentation in the Client Records to guarantee a personal approach to different segments. For example, when it comes to VIP customers, Salesforce Buyer Persona allow you to define different levels of discount and which customers should be prioritized in terms of service response times. This means a personalized approach for your audience without having to face them one-by-one.

How Do Buyer Personas Lead to More Qualified Leads?

One of the main reasons why you should create Buyer Personas, is because they are a clear indication of who you want as a customer. Once you know them, you can focus on the right content and channels to reach these people. In other words, you can discard the content your ideal customer doesn’t want to see, and then you can close down marketing channels that don’t reach this audience. Hence, you reach less unqualified leads.

The more you keep your Persona in mind during this process, the higher the chance you actually reach them, and that’s important: B2B Marketing Community ITSMA says people are 2x more likely to buy from a supplier who seems to identify with them or their problem.

These qualified leads pay themselves back, too. After having a positive brand experience, customers will advocate your product to their colleagues, family or other like-minded people. Consequently, you gain more customers that match your Persona. In short, focusing on your Buyer Persona to sell your product saves you money, today and in the long run.

How Do I Make Buyer Personas?

Who Creates Them?

To create a Buyer Persona, you have to get into the mind of your ideal customer. First, you need as many perspectives as possible. Ask your marketing department what kind of efforts your audience is most engaged with, consult your sales team on past sales data and discuss with your customer service what kind of customers are most loyal and satisfied. However, insights from other departments can be just as valuable: ask your finance or legal department for their take on your Personas, too.

Additionally, you need someone to take the lead on gathering these insights, as well as maintaining your Personas. This can be a marketing colleague, or someone who acts as a link between your departments.

What Information Do I Include?

Your company’s goal, mission, vision, or purpose are primary sources of information for your Buyer Persona. Then, you can start looking for customers that match who you are, and what you do. What traits make customers love your product, and what makes them frustrated? What problem do they want to solve, and how can you best use your product for that? You can source this information from past sales data and customer surveys, and finally, use this input to make educated guesses on things that remain unclear.

In short

  • A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer using market data, trends, and customer characteristics. This Persona helps you define who you want as a customer and how to approach them. A Negative Persona can be used to define who you don’t want as a customer.

  • Focussing on the right Buyer Persona and integrating Negative Persona elevates ROI and prevents overspending on marketing costs like cost-per-lead or cost-per-customer.

  • Having Buyer Persona can generate more qualified leads, because you’re spending your time targeting the right people for your product.

  • To create Buyer Personas, you need as many insights as possible, someone who takes the lead on gathering this information, and you need to update your Personas over time.

  • Your company goals, mission, vision, and purpose are the primary source of information to create Buyer Personas. Next, you can use past sales data or customer surveys to define trends in your audience. Lastly, you can make educated guesses for gaps you need to fill in yourself.

  • Buyer Personas should be integrated throughout your marketing, sales and service teams to guarantee a smooth end-to-end experience for your customer, and internal alignment between your teams.

  • Using the Salesforce platform can help you define personas, set up specific marketing and sales funnels for each persona, and helps your whole organization align efforts to reach and help prospects, leads, and customers.

Now you know how to attract more qualified leads with Buyer Persona. There’s only one step left: creating them. Starting from scratch can be challenging when you’re new to this practice. A professional partner can bring an outside perspective, as well as many years of experience across different industries and solutions to help you create your personas.

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