How to Create Buyer Personas that Will Actually Help Your Team Close Sales (3 Top Tips)
Buyer personas: Are they a concept we’ve reluctantly inherited from the late 90s or are they a razor-sharp sales aid?
Buyer personas help sales reps understand who they’re talking to. They also teach reps how to approach prospects, perfectly position products, and speak to customers in a way that builds an instant connection.
So dreaming up names, fabricating ages and job titles, creating funny back-stories, and working out imaginary scenarios to create a realistic representation of your target customer seems like a no-brainer, right?
But think about this: How does knowing that ‘Designer Dan’ prefers Smarties to M&Ms, or that ‘Mary from Marketing’ likes to swim on a Wednesday, really help your sales team boost sales?
Although buyer personas are often enthusiastically created and eagerly accepted by sales reps, it usually doesn’t take long before “Operations Ollie’, ‘Purchasing Paul’ and “Anne from Accounting” are dumped into the trash can or left to gather dust on the sales floor noticeboard.
Personas are basically useless if they don’t provide any value to your sales team.
There are three easy ways you can turn a useless buyer persona into an effective tool that your sales reps can use to close deals.
Involve Your Sales Reps
To build a truly authentic representation of your target customer, you need input from the people who know them best.
You don’t need to dig out a person’s best friend’s number or interrogate their closest family members to get this insight.
You just need to talk to your team.
Your team of sales reps are the people who speak to your target prospects every single day, so who better to uncover unforeseen objections and undiscovered needs?
Involving reps in the buyer persona creation process will not only add valuable depth and authenticity to your personas, it will also motivate and engage your team.
They’ll realize that these personas are based on real-life facts, not hypothetical fantasy. They’ll start to see (and reap!) the benefits that these real-life, insight-backed personas bring to their sales process.
Leave Stereotypes at the Door
Meet Helen from HR. She lives in Massachusetts, is in her late thirties, and runs a team of eight. Helen is never at her desk as she’s always running to and from meetings and rarely has time for lunch: she’s too busy hiring, firing, and training people at work, and then looking after two kids, three dogs, and a hamster at home.
If your sales team is selling onboarding software, their go-to-persona might be Helen from HR. She’s overworked, over-stressed, and desperately needs something to make her day easier.
Onboarding software is the perfect solution, right? But wait.
Does she make the decisions when it comes to integrating new software into the company? Is onboarding software something she’s been looking at? Is she likely to bypass your calls, ignore your emails, and put your onboarding software suggestions in the ‘deal with it later (more like never)’ basket?
Buyer personas are typically built on stereotypical assumptions made around job titles, roles, and key responsibilities.
But they shouldn’t be.
Buyer personas should be based on people’s objectives or challenges. Uncover clues about who the decision-makers are. Then, discover their primary goals, what motivates them, what will help them get a promotion or raise, as well as how, when, and why they’re likely to choose products like yours.
Use Psychological Information
As we’ve seen, buyer personas are usually given a name, age, location, and job title – they are even sometimes even assigned a photo to make them more ‘’real’’.
But how does a fictional name or stock photo help your reps build instant relationships, soothe pain points, or overcome problems with their real customers?
Instead of spending time thinking of a suitable name or location for your persona, get under the skin of your prospective buyers. Dig out some real, in-depth information that gives your persona context, not character.
For example, what problems are your potential customers facing? How are they trying to solve these problems? Is it working? Why not? What will happen if they don’t solve these problems? How will they feel if they do solve them?
Your buyer personas should be built on solid, in-depth, and well-researched insights into the different problems, priorities, success factors, and decision criteria that play into your customer’s decision-making.
Buyer Personas in a Nutshell...
It’s time to dig out your forgotten buyer personas – dust ‘em off and turn them from forgotten fictional flops into real-life working characters.
Fruitless outreach, pointless sales pitches, and cold, lifeless conversations will turn into guaranteed, red-hot conversions with these three tips for buyer persona creations.
Author's Bio: Amanda is a content writer at Process Street. Her background is in marketing and project management, so she has a wealth of experience to draw from. This adds a touch of reality and a whole heap of depth to the content she writes.
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