Previously we discovered why your buyer personas need the sales team’s customer insights. Content marketing is becoming ever more important and developing your buyer personas equally so. Regardless of the type of company, your marketing team are trying hard to understand what your customers are after. However, they’re not customer-facing and don’t spend time with them the way the sales team does, so the two teams need to work more closely together.
Now let’s look at how involving your sales team (and other customer facing colleagues) in developing your buyer personas, makes your content marketing suddenly much more relevant to your target customers. It becomes about ‘them’, less about ‘you’.
Top 10 questions for your customer-facing teams
These are busy people who may or may not understand how marketers work, and think. But ask the right questions and you’ll get the right answers. Here are our top 10 questions, based on the many workshops we’ve had the pleasure to run:
- how do customers describe us and what we do?
- what type or tone of language do they use?
- how do they describe their problem, goal or mindset?
- how do they describe the way they feel about this?
- what don’t they know about us that you wish they knew?
- what brought them to us (and not to a competitor)?
- who are they buying for?
- how important is this purchase to them?
- what do they hope it will do for them?
- what is keeping them awake at night?
Focusing on what keeps them awake at night is the most effective way to get their attention.
Educating them as to how you can help, earns their attention.
Over time, this will drive more traffic to you website and generate more leads, of better quality. These will be people who are genuinely interested in you and what you can do for them, making them easier to convert into sales.
Think of it as shared ownership, content created together. The sales team also gain: marketing that serves them better, is closer to what they want and to what the customers are asking them for.
Building your Buyer Personas
Your buyer personas are likely to include:
1. their role – either in the household for B2C or the organisation for B2B
2. their goals – what are they trying to achieve, overcome, avoid, improve
3. their sources – where do they look for inspiration, guidance, information
4. their common objections – what is stopping them or holding them back
5. your value proposition – tailored to each buyer persona, why should they choose you
Once you have well-developed buyer personas, everything you say is like a conversation with someone you know well – it really is that personal. You know your buyer persona (i.e. customer) well enough to know what they are interested in.
Over time, this will help all of your customer-facing teams – ensuring consistency in all of your customer communications. After all, the customer journey doesn’t stop with the first enquiry – it could be a relationship that lasts for years.
It will even influence product and service design, human resources (recruitment and training), operations and finance.
As Peter Drucker famously said:
“the role of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well, the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
Where do you start with Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas can be tricky to develop and most organisations will develop them gradually, over a few months. There are a number of reasons for this:
- it takes time to get everyone in the same room!
- it takes time to get everyone in the right mindset
- it’s crucial to move beyond your assumptions about the customer
- your theories and hypotheses need to be discussed AND TESTED
- testing is essential and it takes time
Remember, buyer personas are individual to your business and sector, as well as to your products and services.
Where can you find help?
If you want to develop your buyer personas in-house, why not check out our online course Content Marketing Conquered. We devote a whole session just to buyer personas and our process has helped dozens of teams to crack this over the years.
We’ve also run many brainstorming workshops with sales, customer services and marketing teams together, helping them get to the heart of their customers mindset and creating buyer personas that will stand the test of time.
There are many free guides and templates online, as well as blogs and videos, and these will help to get started.
They can vary in quality, though, so you may want to take from the best.
In the meantime, why not download our FREE eBook.
Then check out our Content Marketing Conquered – Online Programme.
We dedicate a whole session to developing your buyer personas, based on the many workshops we’ve run and dozens of clients and trainees we’ve taken on this journey.
We’ll be looking at how to involve the sales team more in your content marketing in this series of blogs.
What key insights can marketers learn from the sales team?
It’s not easy to get sales and marketing working in harmony but we share tips and real life examples from the sales and marketing teams we’ve worked with – saving you time, money and heartache.
We hope you’ve enjoyed Buyer Personas and the Top 10 Questions for your Sales Team. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:
- Why Your Sales Team Holds the Key to Content Marketing
- Content Marketing and the Inbound Funnel
- Content Marketing and the Journey from Segmentation to Buyer Personas
- Why your Buyer Personas Need the Sales Team’s Customer Insight
Or if video is your preferred content type, click here to view the recording.
Our new online programme Content Marketing Conquered is designed with you in mind. Based on our successful workshop programme and latest strategies, we guide you to the top in 6 easy steps.
Don’t leave without grabbing your free eBook.