What is Buyer Persona and Why Do You Need It
December 24th 2021
Account Based Sales
As a sales rep, you come across hundreds of prospects each day. Getting to know each prospect personally is impossible and not practical. Not just this, according to a report, at least 50% of leads that you generate aren't the right fit for you. It becomes imperative for organizations to qualify prospects before moving them down the sales funnel. But how are companies going about qualifying prospects quickly and effectively? Buyer personas have a significant role to play here. Read on to learn everything there is to know about buyer personas and how you can go about creating one for your organization.

Table of Content

  • What is a Buyer Persona?
  • What is the Difference Between an Ideal Customer Profile and a Buyer Persona
  • Why do you need a Buyer Persona?
  • How to create a buyer persona?
  • Reinforcing your Buyer Person within the organization
  • Final Words of Advice

What is a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona also referred to as a customer persona, is a fictional persona that represents customers from within your target market. It defines the buying patterns of your target customers. You can derive it through analyzing qualitative and quantitative research and data. You might have more than one persona depending upon the different segments of customers present in your target market. Typically, a buyer persona is used to segment the target market. It is essential to segment the market to align the resources and efforts required to meet each segment's specific needs.

What is the Difference Between an Ideal Customer Profile and a Buyer Persona?

A buyer persona is often confused with an ideal customer profile. However, these terms don’t actually define the same things. An ideal customer profile aims to identify those customers most likely to become high-value and the most successful customers for you. On the other hand, buyer personas aim to identify patterns in the buying behavior of the different kinds of customers in the available market. It aims to facilitate the segmentation of your target market to improve win rates.

Why Do You Need a Buyer Persona?

Did you know that 93% of companies that exceed their revenue goals segment their target market using a buyer persona? Most companies have a buyer persona these days due to its various advantages. Some reasons as to why you need a buyer persona are as follows:

  • Understand Your Customer Better

  • Buyer personas help you in targeting the right customers. It helps you in defining the target customers and their pain points. A better understanding of customer needs and challenges helps develop user-focused strategies. It provides structure and context for your company, making it easier to map out content, allocate your team's time and resources, and achieve alignment across your organization.

  • Improve Win Rates

  • By understanding your customer and their needs and delivering what they are looking for, buyer personas help in improving your win rates. Targeting the right prospects ensures that resources aren't wasted on the wrong fit prospects and can be directed towards the right prospects.

  • Bring Down Churn Rates

  • Churn refers to the rate at which customers stop doing business with you or stop requiring your services. If the customers who were bad fits from the very beginning become customers, the chances are that they'll be dissatisfied down the line. They might end up leaving eventually, thereby increasing churn rates.

  • Align Organizational Activities

  • The buyer persona created is communicated across all departments in the organization. It helps in bringing about cross-departmental consistency. All have the same information relating to the prospect from the sales department, marketing department to customer service.

How to Create a Buyer Persona? - Step-by-step Guide

Creating a buyer persona is crucial to streamlining your sales process. Here is a roadmap of how you can go about creating a buyer persona for your organization:

Step1: Make Use of Data

Creating a buyer persona begins with collecting data about target customers. Data is used later to understand the buying patterns of the ideal customers. Data resources include:

  • Historical Data
  • Existing historical data of customers is the most critical data set available. Historical data is the data relating to your past customers. It includes essential information about their demographics, past purchases, and behavior patterns. You can use it to gather important information about your customer and identify trends.

  • Talk to your sales reps
  • Sales reps are the frontline point of contact who interact with the customers. Talking to them and feedback about customers based on past interactions can provide valuable insights.

  • Market Research
  • Market research is an external source of data. It is collected via surveys and circulating questionnaires to the target audience. It is a good way of getting information about likes, dislikes, and pain points directly from your targeted prospects.

  • Take notes from competitors
  • You can use it to collect data for creating a buyer persona through competitors—taking a look at what the competitors are doing, who they are targeting can simplify how you identify your prospects. You can improve your process by understanding their gaps to enhance your experience.

Step 2: Identify Patterns

Once the data has been collected from various sources, it is analyzed to identify trends. The customer data collected through various internal and external sources are used to identify buyers' patterns. Try to find commonalities in the raw data you have collected. Focus on finding answers to questions critical to understanding your target customers. Some common questions to which you might seek answers include:

  • Who are the customers in terms of their median age and gender?
  • Which stage of their business process are they likely to need your product or service?
  • What are some common challenges that your customers have or are facing?
  • What is your product doing for your customers?

You can also make use of technographic data at this stage. Technographic data provides in-depth tech stack information such as apps and software used by your customers, the date of purchase, the expiry date, the duration, and more. You can use it to identify their intent and what they are looking for in a product or service currently.

Step 3: Build a Primary Persona

A primary persona is built based on the data collected and the patterns identified. The buyer persona created at this stage covers the target customers' demographics and aims to identify buyer behavior. Some essential attributes that might be covered in a buyer persona include:

  • Demographics
  • Demographics of the target customers include information like age, location, gender, profession, and other such attributes relating to the target customers.

  • Challenges
  • Challenges define the pain points of the target customers. It determines the challenges and pain points of the target customers. You can further decide whether they have a solution for the challenge or not, and if they do, then what isn't working out for them. It can help you understand if you can help streamline their solutions or not.

  • Solutions
  • Along with defining the challenges, a buyer persona may try to outline how you can help solve their problems. It can determine what you can do to help your customers better.

  • Goals/Motivations
  • Defining the goals or motivations of the target customers is an integral part of the buyer persona. Identifying your customers' goals would make it easier for you to help them.

    Attributes of Buyer Persona

Step 4: Work With the Sales Team

Sales reps are the people who interact with the customers at the end. With the buyer persona ready, the next step is to communicate it to the sales team. Based on the buyer persona created, the sales reps learn what the customers are concerned with and who they are. You can then come up with possible objections your target customers might raise and how your sales team can address them. You can further go on to create email and call templates based on the buyer persona too.

Reinforcing Your Buyer Person Within the Organization

Transitioning into a framework with a buyer persona integrated within it doesn't end with communicating it with the sales team. The buyer persona created has to be reinforced within the organization. Reinforcing the buyer persona involves communicating it with all the stakeholders in the organization. It aims at aligning each sales and marketing activity with the buyer persona.

The buyer persona created is embedded in all functions of the organization. Be it content creation, defining the marketing outreach strategy, or determining the positioning of the product or service, everything is reworked as per the buyer persona. Not just sales and marketing, but departments like customer support, product development refer to the buyer persona and work out user-focused strategies. Make sure you work to map your customer's journey with the help of the buyer persona and how you can bring value in each step.

Final Words of Advice

With digitalization, where marketers and sales reps are becoming increasingly competitive, having a buyer persona provides direction. To streamline the sales process, having a buyer persona is a must. Improve conversions and better reach at multiple touchpoints using a buyer persona. Steer away from the wrong kind of customers for your business.

Reinforce your buyer persona and align all activities with your ideal customer's buying patterns and behavior. Move on to the creation stage once you have successfully transitioned into the buyer persona framework. Create content and messaging that directly addresses your targeted prospects at the right place and right time. Put your finite resources to the best possible use and bring down costs of pitching and selling to customers outside of your target market. Remember, the more detailed your buyer persona, the sales and marketing efforts will be more focused.

Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
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