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How Buyer Personas Help Marketing, Sales, and Service

Cain & Company
March 5, 2019

It’s true for all of marketing, sales, and customer service – knowing your audience is critical. From writing blogs and mapping your content marketing offers, to structuring your lead nurturing campaigns, to sending one-to-one sales emails, starting with a thorough understanding of who you are talking to and what matters most to them will focus your marketing efforts.

A great way to gain a better understanding of your ideal buyer, including their pains, questions, and what matters most to them, is to create buyer personas. 

What is a buyer persona?

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.

The concept of buyer personas has been around for a while. First developed in 1993, personas were initially adopted by advertising and branding agencies and gained popularity later in the software development community. But the idea of an ideal-fit prospect or target customer is applicable to every business.

How do I create a buyer persona?

Buyer personas are created through research, surveys, and interviews of your target audience. That includes a mix of customers – both “good” and “bad” – prospects, as well as those outside of your contact database who might align with your target audience. It’s okay to start with casual observations about who your average buyers are, perhaps categorized by industry or company size. But over time, it’s important to validate your personas with data. Interview selected prospects and customers and get feedback from other people in your organization like sales and customer service reps who interact directly with customers. This will help you collect both qualitative and quantitative data to paint a picture of who your ideal customer is, what they value, and how your solution fits into their daily lives. 

(P.S. Need a fancy way to visualize your buyer personas? Check out HubSpot's Make My Persona tool.)

How do I use a buyer persona?

Buyer personas help everyone in your organization stay on the same page. By creating personas, your teams in marketing, sales, and customer service will better understand who they are communicating with and how to approach the interactions. This information will help frame marketing copy, sales calls, and support conversations.

How do buyer personas help marketing?

Marketers can create better content when they have a clear vision of their reader. As you write blog articles, build email campaigns, and craft lead nurturing sequences with a clear vision of the challenges and personality of the target persona, the message is more likely to resonate with your reader.

How do buyer personas help sales?

By using personas, sales team members can identify a prospect’s challenges more quickly. Before they even pick up the phone, a sales person can anticipate likely objections and have a vision of how to direct their questions. By asking the right questions, the sales person can quickly identify potential solutions to address the prospect’s challenge(s) and shorten the buying process.

How do buyer personas help service?

The customer service team can respond to service requests more efficiently with a clear understanding of the customers’ needs. By using a common language to refer to personas, customer service team members can improve communication with other areas of the company as they seek to solve customer problems.

Having well-researched and documented buyer personas provides clarity across marketing, sales, and service teams about their ideal-fit customers. This common understanding helps businesses focus on the customer’s needs and guide conversations that address their needs and purchasing motivations.

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