The Importance of Buyer Personas
Let’s say you were to have a discussion with an end user, a manager, a VP, and the CEO of a company. Would you give them all the same elevator pitch? How about asking the same questions? Would you introduce features & benefits in the same way?
The answer is almost 100% of the time going to be resounding no.
This is because everyone has different priorities, different pain points, and different ideal solutions. All of these factors shape each role into their own “buyer persona.”
In other words, simply think of a persona as a fictional representation of the various stakeholders you interact with in a sales cycle. They’re typically given a name, assigned a general personality, and have defined goals, pain points, and ideal solutions.
“71% of companies that exceed goals have documented buyer personas.”
I hope that grabbed your attention the same way it got mine when reading Chapter 13 of Samatha Stone’s “Unleash Possible. By understanding your customers & soon-to-be customers in detail, you can tailor messaging and presentations to be buyer-centric.
In turn, you can more effectively build champions, amplifiers, coaches, and influencers to increase your chances of winning the deal.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to build yours from scratch! We’ve compiled the essential components of buyer personas and made an example & template available for free download below
#1 Build out 4-5 Personas at a Minimum
In reality, there’s likely 10-12 buyer personas or more that could be generated. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s best to keep it simple and stick with 4-5. To start thinking through various stakeholder profiles, consider the following:
- Which executives typically sign off on your product/service?
- Which leadership roles are generally involved in sponsoring an evaluation of your offering?
- Who are the roles responsible for implementing or using your solution?
- Think about supporting characters. Which roles typically help you build your business case, amplify your value, or coach you to sell?
#2 What are they Responsible for? What's a Day in their Life Look Like?
Be thinking about what an average day looks like for a given CXO you’re working to get in front of. And don’t forget to consider what a typical workday looks like for your end users! Are they more strategy-oriented? Focused on process adoption? Carrying out initiatives, or creating them?
#3 What are Their Long-Term Goals? What Keeps them up at Night?
At the end of the day, organizations make purchases to solve challenges or to carry out strategic initiatives. So, acquaint yourself with where your prospects “Point A” is and what their “Point Z” is.
#4 What Makes your Offering the Ideal Solution? Can you Articulate it Based on the Persona?
With an understanding of each stakeholder profile, their day-to-day, their challenges, and their desired future outcomes, now comes the fun part. It’s time to wrap it all up and shape your delivery! Consider what your solution delivers and how it differs from your competitors. And don’t forget to follow a framework for each of your buyer personas. Here’s a story-telling style format just for you:
“In working with other [Personas/Roles], such as the [Role] at [Similar Company], I found that their big picture objective is [initative] and found themselves struggling with [pain point] during their [day-to-day responsibilities]. To remove the roadblocks and drive towards their [objective/initative], they evaluated a variety of vendors and ultimately selected us and implemented [your solution]. This is because of our ability to deliver [main value driver] and our unique ability to [unique differentiator]. At the end of the day, we achieved [desired outcome] by [increased/decreased key metric].
To sum this up, we covered an important stat on buyer personas, why they’re critical to have, and how to build them for yourself.
Now, it’s time for you either map out your first sales buyer persona or add (or simply refresh) to your existing group!