Buyer personas can help marketers increase their conversions from responses to marketing qualified leads. Initially these were created by software developers to help analyze how different types of users would play with the interfaces they designed. It appears that how they were used in the early 80’s is not that different from how they are used now, and this is a real missed opportunity.
At present, having accurate and documented buyer personas is vital to marketers, as they are essential in having a cohesive sales and marketing machine, that drives results. Buyer personas help in developing an effective B2B content marketing strategy, building traction across marketing channels and in helping the team stay focused.
There are some useful resources that can help build better B2B Buyer Personas:
Survey of Current Customers – Send out a survey to those in your email list who are the most engaged. Ask how they became customers, what made them decide to become customers and more importantly what will make them stay. Asking these questions from your current customers is the easiest way to build strong buyer personas.
Survey of Former Customers – Getting in touch with your former customers may not get you loads of favourable responses but getting even a few replies will be incredibly helpful. Ask what stopped them from interacting with your business. Are they happy with their new vendor? How can you get them back?
Lost Customer Interviews – Surveys give you straightforward answers while interviews will allow you to dig deeper and get more information.
Advocate Interviews – Your best customers are those who went through the buyer journey and sales funnel quickly. They are the ones who bought the most, stayed the longest and made the most referrals. Ask them what they like about your business.
Sales Manager Inputs – Your sales team can provide credible inputs on what motivates your buyer. Talk to them and listen to what they have to say.
Customer Support Inputs – The customer support staff can give you a wider picture of why customers are hard to pin down, why they don’t contact you, why they reschedule appointments and what do they need.
Leadership Team Inputs – Your leadership team can provide you with information that you might have missed. They know your buyers extremely well and it is information that only they can provide.
CRM data – The customer relationship management platform usually contains recorded calls, notes and other pertinent information that can be layered into buyer personas. These are helpful in buyer persona segmentation – you can see what is the most common demographic for the best buyers and the most common among lost customers?
Social Media Data – Social media data is the least understood and used when it comes to pulling insights about buyers. There are social listening and monitoring tools that can sort, filter and work through opinions, sentiments communications between your customers, social profiles and competitors. Take advantage of these in generating buyer personas.
Buyer persona shows a picture of your most important customer segments which includes their demographics, psychographics and digital habits. Create a few buyer personas per industry you’re trying to reach and you can start mapping out your Buyer Journey. Understanding your customers better now, will always have positive results in the future.