Are your B2B Buyer Personas actually working?

B2B Product owners and marketers have never had access to more data about their ideal buyer than they do today. Data is king, but too much information can also be a curse and often create confusion in marketing and product teams. That’s why it’s critical to have robust buyer personas that represent you’re ideal customers and prospects. The data tells you whom to talk to, but a buyer persona shows you how to speak to them and what features and benefits are most likely to drive sales.

Organizations who use well-developed buyer personas effectively in their sales and marketing processes see these types of results on average:

  • 10-25% increase in marketing-influenced revenue
  • 2-3 month shorter sales cycle from persona-based lead generation
  • 3x increase in closed sales deals

Many B2B firms we surveyed (approx. 40%) have Buyer Personas. However, when we asked those firms how often they leveraged those personas when developing new products, sales training and marketing programs, we found that roughly only a third employed their personas regularly. 

Many B2B Sales and Product leaders felt that their personas were only relevant for marketing and that they “knew” their personas, so they didn’t need to reference them when building programs and outreach campaigns.

This lack of use and perceived lack of ongoing relevance means that many B2B companies fail to maximize their return on their product design, sales and marketing efforts. As a result, they tend to undervalue a crucial tool that can help them better reach their ideal customers.

3 Common Persona Pitfalls:

1. Having an internal team create personas based only on their insights – The best personas should be created from multiple data points. Your sales and marketing teams are a great source of feedback, but personas should be built based on direct customer actions and feedback.
2. Failure to keep them up to date – Well-built personas won’t change quickly, but they will change over time as customers’ communication preferences, needs and goals evolve.
3. Too many or too few – Personas aren’t one size fits all, nor are you likely to need 20. The ideal number is usually 3 to 5, with the goal being to capture 80% of your ideal customers.

If you are looking to validate the use of B2B personas in your business, here are some simple questions you can ask your product, marketing and sales leaders: 

  1. How do you validate a new sales script or process from your ideal customer’s perspective when you launch a new sales script or process?
  2. How do you know which product features are most likely to resonate with your ideal prospect when you change/create products? 
  3. When you go to market with a new campaign, how do you validate which channels are most likely to reach your ideal customers?


How To Build Buyer Personas That Work

The process of creating a business buyer persona involves several steps:

  1. Research: The first step in building a business buyer persona is to gather data on your target market. This can include researching your existing customers, conducting surveys, and analyzing data from your website, social media, and other sources. You should also research your competition, and analyze what is working for them and what isn’t.

  2. Identify key characteristics: Once you have gathered data, you can begin to identify key characteristics of your target market. This includes demographic information such as age, gender, job title, and income, as well as behavioral and psychographic information such as values, goals, and pain points.

  3. Create detailed profiles: Using the information gathered in steps 1 and 2, you can create detailed profiles of your ideal business buyer personas. These profiles should include detailed information such as demographics, job responsibilities, pain points, and decision-making processes.

  4. Validate and refine your personas: Once you have created your personas, it is important to validate and refine them. This can be done by conducting interviews with existing customers or by testing your personas with your sales and marketing teams. This will help to ensure that your personas are accurate and actionable.

  5. Use the personas: Once you have created your business buyer personas, it is important to use them in your sales, marketing and customer support efforts. This can include tailoring your messaging and campaigns to specific personas and creating products and services that meet the specific needs of your target market. Additionally, regularly reviewing and updating your personas is important as your target market and business strategy evolve.


Looking to update or create B2B Personas that will allow you to convert more prospects and increase customer satisfaction? Book a quick Discovery Call with Shane Lawrence, our Managing Partner. Shane will share what we see best in class B2B companies doing to maximize their Persona ROI and can also speak to any of your specific interests. Book Your Call


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