Why Buyer Personas are Important for Business and How to Create Them

Статия - Why Buyer Personas are Important for Business and How to Create Them

Did you know that 3 to 4 buyer personas usually account for over 90% of a company’s sales (according to Mark W. Schaefer)?

Or that using marketing personas made websites 2 to 5 times more effective and easier to use by targeted users?

These facts were just a small part of the interesting content that our special guest shared on the second episode of Limacon’s webinar The Inbounds which took place on May 12th. After the successful first edition we had with Inbound Sales Professor at HubSpot – Kyle Jepson, who shared with our audience how to implement the Frictionless Selling Framework, for our second episode we welcomed a fellow colleague of his. We had a blast having our guest lecturer Tiphaine Amblard. Thanks to her expertise and gained experience, she guided us through the exciting world of what buyer personas are and why they are important for every business. 

What are Buyer Personas?

Customers should be the core of every company strategy. When creating one, you should not forget the first rule of marketing and sales – know your audience well. In order to understand the people who tend to buy from you, you need to create a very specific buyer persona. You can’t expect to have effective campaign results without putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. With creating and knowing your buyer personas, you will understand your customers better and that will help you to always address specific content for their needs.

The definition of a buyer persona that HubSpot gives us is:

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about existing clients. Buyer Personas are fictional, generalized characters that encompass the various needs, goals, and observed behavior patterns among your real and potential customers. They help you understand your customers better.

Before moving on to building your buyer persona, you need to create your ideal customer profile. Forming it allows you to identify a category of people with certain subcategories from which you will differentiate your buyer personas, and that will help you determine the buyer personas, based on the sorts of people included in that profile.

  • In the B2B sector – your ideal customer profile will define which companies are a good fit for you (company size, industry field, etc.). Buyer personas will define the specific people who make purchasing decisions for these companies, or in other words, the people who will work with you.
  • In the B2C sector – the specific people you want to target and their specific needs will form your buyer personas.

Advice: Group them by the goal they are looking to achieve or the challenge they are looking to overcome.

To create a clear definition of your buyer persona, your sales and marketing departments need to join forces to conduct detailed audience research, which will help them understand and relate to the buyer persona. Its complex model should include details such as behaviors, basic demographics and psychographics, pain points and challenges, goals, and buying patterns. 

Why are buyer personas important for your company?

All your departments will benefit from having those personas. For example, they can help your salespeople to better relate to prospects and thus to find the optimal solutions for them. Or to help the support team in solving customers’ problems more effectively. And last but not least, to assist the marketing team in composing the right messages to the audience – аfter all, people want (and probably expect) personalized messages and offers.

The best way to understand why your organization could benefit from having clear buyer personas is to illustrate that with the Flywheel Model, part of the Inbound Methodology of HubSpot. 
 
Winning new customers for your company is just part of the whole journey that you offer to your clients. If you want to have a successful business, you should also focus on the processes after winning your customers. Having that in mind, your model of attracting new customers should not be illustrated as a funnel but as a Flywheel with processes that put the customer at the center of your strategy. You will be able to accelerate your sales and marketing processes by better meeting the needs of the people who match your buyer personas. Implementing this Flywheel model could make your business more successful and your prospects and clients – happier.

How do you define your organization’s buyer personas?

Start with research and then move to collecting information from your current clients.

Create your ideal customer profile in a meeting between sales and marketing teams. Walk through past sales or marketing data that your company has, and compound a checklist with the people who are buying from you. When you have the collected information from your online customer records, it is time to move to interview your existing clients – the people who represent those personas.

 

The truth is that the important details could be gathered not online but only by asking people directly. For example, you can call a group of 10-15 people from your existing clients and ask them identical questions. The best way to be consistent in those interviews is to script your questions. That way you won’t forget any of them and later will be easy to structure the gathered information. Here is the list of questions that our lecturer Tiphaine is suggesting to use:

  • What does it mean to be successful in your role? (for B2B)
  • What are your personal goals (for B2C)
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • What is your job role or title?
  • Which publications blogs do you read? Any shopping preferences? 
  • Ask for basic demographics

The next key step is to collect all the data that you have. Although you may have now information from a group of different people, the answers should sound alike. These answers will sculpt your buyer persona. Gather the data and try to create one persona which will visualize your ideal buyer. Don’t forget to name it and give it a personal avatar.

Developing your buyer personas

Creating a buyer persona happens in several phases. HubSpot has made a free interactive web tool that generates your buyer persona, after answering a series of questions about your ideal customer.

First of all, you have to choose which path you will use in the generator. If you haven’t done your persona research yet, HubSpot’s got you covered with the educational option “What is a Buyer Persona?” (on the left of your screen). This step will guide you through the essentials, such as what does buyer persona represents, how to conduct research and interviews, and how to use all that gathered data for building your own buyer persona.

If you have done your persona research, you should choose the “Make My Persona Tool” option on the right of your screen. HubSpot has built a guided walkthrough which includes a seven-step persona creation flow. All you have to do is select the information that you already have – your persona’s age, education, goals, challenges, etc.

Your final step is to check your buyer persona overview – the information that you have selected in the previous steps. It is a document editor that will help you customize the look, the feel, and the format of your persona’s document.

Once you start creating your persona in the HubSpot’s persona generator, have in mind that you will need data such as demographics, job responsibilities, goals (or objectives), biggest challenges, from where your clients are gaining information, tools they use for work, and preferred method of communication.

After customizing your document, you can download it for free as a PDF or use the sharable link to collaborate with your colleagues.

Why add your buyer personas in HubSpot?

HubSpot offers your business an easier way of structuring and personalizing of the gathered data from your marketing and sales departments. Your buyer persona can include a lot of job titles.

You can go to your HubSpot personal dashboard and search for Top personas report. You can upload your buyer personas report so it could be easily accessible on your dashboard. Then you can add your personas in that report the same way you added information on the HubSpot’s “Make My Persona Tool”. You need to add basic info for your persona, field type, and where this persona is used.

Once you have all this data on your dashboard, you will be able to execute the following important things:

  • Follow how many deals you closed with this type of persona
  • Send customized emails to all people in your email list, marked with this buyer persona
  • Create customized workflows with customized content for these specific personas
  • Use these personas when you are onboarding new team members
  • Make better strategic decisions for your business
  • Monitor which buyer persona is your strongest one – which buyer persona has the strongest lifetime value and has brought the most revenue to your company
  • Gain more customers and keep the existing ones engaged

For a deeper understanding of how to create your buyer persona, you can visit HubSpot Academy's free classes.

Business is changing. The world companies are long past pushing their clients with direct and aggressive sales messages. Your business needs to digitalize its processes in order to achieve better results in these challenging and dynamic times and focus all resources on their customers. In order to achieve this, you need to get to know your buyer personas, and understand their needs. And most importantly, to maintain an open conversation with them especially after closing them as your customers.

We are more than grateful that the lovely Tiphaine Amblard accepted Limacon’s invitation as speaker of the second episode of The Inbounds, and presented such an interesting presentation on the topic of how to create a buyer persona which highlighted with 2 helpful case studies. We would like to also thank our moderator Ivan Bondokov for maintaining the discussion and for addressing viewers’ questions. 

The Inbounds will be back again in June with another special guest of ours. For more information on the topic, stay tuned. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter at welcome@limacon.bg.

 

 

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