This is Terry, 54 years old and married with two kids. He hates Twitter, eating at his desk, traffic jams- but he loves playing golf and hanging out with his dogs.”

Yawn.

Some people think that buyer personas are unimportant, but they’re actually useless.

How does knowing Terry is married and loves to eat Smarties help your reps make a sale? And where are they now, like the tech exec or marketing personas you carefully put together?

We think that poor Polly from purchasing is probably gathering dust on the noticeboard in the canteen or buried deep within your company’s internal network of folders.

Now that you’re paying attention, we can come clean: while buyer personas may not be perfect for every situation they are still important to consider.

A buyer persona is a great way for salespeople to close deals.

Your business exists to satisfy buyers. To do that, you need a deep understanding of who they are and what they want.

The more you know about the person, the easier it will be for your sales reps to sell them what they need.

  • It’s important to know how you should approach and communicate with your prospects.
  • When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough for them.
  • Make sure you are targeting the right people with your product or service.
  • Speak to prospects in a way that they will understand and develop stronger connections as a result.

To beat your competition, you must have a deep emotional understanding of your customers.

Forbes said that companies with a strong emotional connection to their customers outperform competitors by 85%.

Your buyer personas need to be accurate and used by your sales team.


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

Why your buyer team personas arent working (and what to do about it)

Creating a set of buyer personas will help you understand your target audience better and its something that should be done before any other marketing campaign.

Without customer insight, personas cant do anything for your business. They need to be shared with the right people and kept in a place where they are accessible.

So where are you going wrong?

1. Your buyer team personas are focused on stereotypes

Buyer personas are usually based on assumptions made around job titles, personality traits, and key responsibilities: Peter the Programmer (45), who runs a team of two. It is important to remember that paraphrasing does not always mean simplifying or summarizing what was said in order to make it sound better; rather you should try your best at recreating it so as much meaning remains intact when possible. The key thing about paraphrasing is making sure there are no errors in grammar while still

Peter might not be in the traditional HR or Sales department, but that doesnt mean he has any less challenges than they do.

If you work in HR, it’s likely your responsibility to make sure the team is running smoothly. But what if someone else has been tasked with coming up with new software that makes employees more efficient?

If you dont bother to find out what Peter the Programmer is interested in, then he may not be a potential customer for your products and services.

Your buyer personas should be based on the key objectives or challenges your product or service can address. You need to find out what the difficult insights are that will help you understand how, when, and why buyers choose products like yours.

2. Your buyer team personas are just focused on demographics

Knowing a buyer’s age, income or ethnicity doesn’t seem to have any effect on the sale. It just seems like an easy way for companies to add diversity.

The more you focus on personal details unrelated to the problems that your product or service addresses, the less likely it is for a customer to be drawn in. BuyerPersona

It might seem like a good idea to use surface-level demographics to get your foot in the door, but it wont help you connect with them on an emotional level.

If you’re looking for psychological information, start by asking about their attitudes and aspirations. Learn how they feel in certain situations, find out what motivates them to do things the way that they do.

I think the best way to get to know a person is by learning about their context and not who they are as an individual.

  • Have you ever helped them with any problems?
  • How does it make them feel?
  • What are they hoping for?
  • If they don’t find a solution, there’s going to be some serious problems.
  • Will they feel proud of themselves if they succeed?
  • How are they currently handling the problems that arise?
  • Why do they think their diversity initiatives are effective?

Your personas should be based on research into your customers priorities, success factors, and decision-making criteria.

BuyerPersona says that understanding the customer is important, and it helps reps find opportunities faster.

3. Your buyer team personas are somehow inauthentic

The people who know your customers better than anyone are the sales team. These individuals spend their days speaking with potential buyers and negotiating hard to close deals.

The best way to get a true sense of your prospect is with real, first-hand stories. You need the gritty details.

Customer research and market intelligence are essential for shaping the way you present yourself. However, nothing beats hearing real war stories from those on the front line.

Your reps can find a lot of things: objections they didn’t know about, needs that weren’t discovered and pain points.

Building personas is a great way to create more real-life insights, and it will also help with buy-in from your reps. This means that when you show them how they can use this new knowledge or insight in their sales process, not only are they on board but engaged as well.

Once youve created your personas, make sure they are being used by all sales reps. Keep them up-to-date and relevant to the market.

2 ways to help buyer team personas working hard for your sales team

A lot of companies put a lot of time and effort into making personas to help them understand their customers. But once they’re done, there’s not much attention given after that.

Below are two ways to make sure your carefully crafted personas stay in the trash and not on someones desk.

Create successful sales materials by utilizing team personas

The idea of personas is a great one, but you need to take it further by making sure they are present in the sales process.

You need to use the data youve gathered from buyer personas and other information about your product or service to create effective sales materials for your team.

One way to help your sales reps is by giving them practical persona-based materials that will remind them who they’re talking to, give you different approaches for each customer’s needs, and address their unique pain points.

  • Competitor battle-cards
  • Sales scripts
  • Product one-sheets

A persona isn’t just something to help you with the design process, it should be put into use as soon as possible.

Use team personas to make sales enablement materials

The sales enablement materials are created to help communicate with potential customers and encourage them through the process of buying a product, from awareness all the way up to purchase.

Source

team persona

The materials that are used to train people should be easy for customers. They need to understand the buyers journey and know how it relates back to salespeople.

The goal of your entire sales funnel and platform is to solve the problem for customers. This means you need to know their problems, then create content that will attract them, before offering a product or service in order to fix it.

There are many ways to create sales enablement materials, including:

  • Targeted email campaigns
  • Landing pages
  • Social media content
  • Informative blog posts
  • Case studies
  • Product reviews
  • Post-sales materials

But what does diversity have to do with creating good sales materials?

It’s difficult to stand out in a crowded marketplace. To do so, you need to figure out what will make your company attractive and grab the customer’s attention.

It’s important to use the personas you’ve created when creating content, sending messages, and using platforms. If your customer doesn’t use Twitter for example, an expensive campaign on it will do nothing to drive sales.

When youve got their attention, use your personas to figure out what they need. What are their pain points? What do they want to achieve and how can we help them?

Content that speaks directly to your customers is the best way to start a sales pitch. Once youve captured their interest, it then becomes up to your team of salespeople to close them on an offer.

Time to warm em up

We use personas to shape our sales enablement materials at Process Street. We have several different types of people who work there, so we make sure they feel included.

Weve found that tech executives have a lot of time constraints and can’t stand long discussions or waffle. They use Twitter a lot, and company growth is what keeps them up at night.

So, we focus on processes and efficiency during the awareness stage of their buyer journey. We use Twitter to attract their attention with direct messages free from fluff. As they move through interest, we center our messaging around pain points and goals.

As we send prospects down the funnel to our salespeople, it’s important that they understand what this means for them and their company. They need to know how these products will help scale their business.

The only way we can sell to the tech execs is if they come into our company as a warm lead. This means that when my sales team first talk to them, it’s easier and guaranteed because those who are selling know exactly what these people want.

You should start by mapping out your buyer personas and then use those to create a marketing plan.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.