If you understand the love between your customer and company, you’ll become more effective with lead generation. You’ll then know how to seduce with information that is important to the client during the customer journey.
What are buyer personas?Buying results from the relation you have with the customer. But do you know on what that relation is based upon? Interaction between people. This explains why the buyer persona system is applied in Business-2-Business (B2b). Because sales and procurement are both a social process that go further than checklists and specifications.
Insight into the purchase strategy of a customer is the result of buyer personas. Essential for your marketing strategy. Buyer personas tell human stories about behavior, scenarios, thoughts and interactions along the way towards achieving goals. Customers want to solve their problems. Your challenge is to fulfill a leading role in this process.
How do you develop buyer personas?
Developing buyer personas is an time-consuming process. That appears from the 5 components approach of Tony Zambito. He believes that buyer personas can shorten the sales cycle by 20% up to 30% when used properly. Count your profits! I’ll elaborate the steps below.
Step 1: Research of purchase behavior – the troubleshooterDetermine which obstacles buyers experience towards achieving their goals. Establish the problem definition by asking customers:
- What did you encounter while searching for solutions?
- How do you experience the journey?
- What do you ultimately want to achieve, what is your goal?
Step 2: Archetype description – let’s go modelingSymbolize your buyers by classifying behavior and goals. Create your own unique types, because those best describe the customer and his story. Don’t base yourself on job descriptions.
Step 3: Buyer persona scenario – watch the movieWatch the movie ‘the customer looking for his solution’: how is he doing research, what actions is he undertaking? Determine for all customer stories how customers achieve their goals and perform tasks.
Step 4: Creating models – from a plate of spaghetti to tight pastaThis step is a real challenge. Creating models requires high intelligence. Read the thoughts of the buyer and make them explicit, but don’t fill them out. Which patterns of behavior and beliefs during the customer journey do you notice?
Step 5: Purchasing strategy – the snare through the componentsThe insights from steps 1 through 4 indicate what buyers experienced in achieving their goals. This step involves identifying which communication and information help solving the obstacles that buyers experience during the customer journey.
The obstacles of the buyer persona
Developing buyer personas is a process of trial and error. Avoid the following pitfalls:
Remain in limbo as an interviewer. Let the conversations with your customers provide the insights. Rush Some marketers only clear 1 hour to develop buyer personas. Take it seriously or don’t do it. Static story It remains a target audience description without describing behavior. Describing customer behavior is essential because only then you know how to help your clients during their customer journey. Too many personas It’s impractical to create a persona for each decision maker and influencer. Each persona indeed deserves a specific marketing approach. Look carefully where the motives and insights overlap. Work with up to 5 personas. Reinvent the wheel Working together is key. Share the available information with Marketing, Sales and Product Management. Perfection that isn’t realized It’s better to score a 7 with an approach that pays off instead of having the ambition of a 9 that lingers. Changing your mindset is difficult, but try to start and finish something off.
What’s in it for me – The hard benefits
Buyers are in the lead. They decide on the basis of your information and colleagues if you end up on the shortlist. Knowledge of their goals, issues and behavior ensures relevant conversations during the customer journey. Then you’ll have more chance of a lead becoming a customer.
In B2B, the sales cycle is becoming longer and more complex. Research shows that customers have already gone through 60 to 70% of the buying process online before they contact your sales colleagues. Does your information and communication comply with this development? I’ll mention some of the hard benefits of an elaborate buyer persona strategy below.
Scoring social marketing Through discussions on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs on customer issues, you are relevant. If you’re solving problems of other organizations, you’ll create ambassadors that tell others about the good experience they had with you. You can measure this with the Net Promoter Score. Sharper SEO Implement the purchasing strategy of the customer into the content for your website. Pay to your “frequently asked questions” or “challenges of our customers” sections. Increase your findability with relevant keywords. Informing inbound marketing You know which customer issues you need to discuss in whitepapers, videos, webinars and blog posts. With this, you confirm your status as expert and let customers come to you. That’s the essence of inbound marketing. Converting ‘Google AdWords‘ lead generation campaigns The customer journey and especially the obstacles are most important for your keywords, advertisements and landing pages. It’s about the connection with your product or service.