Why your Buyer Personas Need the Sales Team’s Customer Insight

by Joanne Dolezal on 29th March 2018

Are your customers just a blur of names and data? In the latest blog on how your sales team can support your content marketing, we look at the importance of buyer personas and the valuable customer insights your customer facing teams have as the first line of contact with them.

So, what exactly goes into developing your Buyer Personas?

Selecting the right dimensions or shared characteristics to include can be hard for the marketing team. In many organisations, the marketing team never gets to meet the customer and has very little sense of who they are.

Customer insight + relevance = customer value + £sales.

This is where the sales and customer facing teams come in. They may have better information, insight, because they’re in contact with your customers daily and hear what they say:

  • What is your target customer’s desired experience?
  • What do they want the outcome to be: a relief from some kind of irritation or the holiday of a lifetime?
  • Are you trying to solve a problem, or fulfill their dreams and desires?
  • No less important: who are they buying for?

B2C Buyer Personas include…

In consumer marketing (B2C), you may be selling to the purchaser in the household, but not the actual user, e.g. toiletries for younger teens, but bought by mum! You need to know who they’re buying for and why, what they value about their purchase and what the pressures are on them in order to buy.

When you develop personas, you can think about typical challenges or issues the person is facing, or a day in the life of. Think about their information sources: are they mobile users, active on social media or do they prefer print ads?

It can be helpful to get some magazines and pull out pictures of the kind of things this person would like, the brands they would like or even a picture that looks like them.

Then, think of their common objections – what reasons do they give for not doing something?

They may say things like: “I would, but…” or “We haven’t yet, because…”

Sales people are fantastic at surfacing and then dealing with these objections, because that’s what they’re really good at.

B2B Buyer Personas include…

With commercial / enterprise customers (B2B), you may need slightly different information, because largely they’re buying for the organisation. You may be marketing to one of the buying ‘team’ – not always the end-user. Depending on how big and important that purchase is, it may leave them feeling anxious and exposed, particularly if they’re in a project management role. They’ll worry about everything that could go wrong, that colleagues will hate it or find fault once they start using it.

We’ve all been in that position, where we’re project managing something new and championing it, but you may be feeling exposed. Everybody in the organisation who’s using or paying for it will have an opinion.

Either way, developing buyer personas will help you to reach the hearts and minds of customers just like them. This will help you to create content that is personal, relevant, honest and reassuring.

If there is no sales team…

You may not have a sales team. You may be the sales team, along with marketing and every other business function.

You may need to work around the sales team, for whatever reason. Overstretched, poor communication, or needing that extra dimension.

Because if it’s a past customer, you also have the opportunity to go back and ask:

“What problem did we solve for you?

How has it impacted your business?

What are the positive changes you’ve seen?”

We know what is involved in developing buyer personas. They take time, research, testing and repetition before they ‘stand up’ but it’s important for marketing to move away from assumptions, hypotheses, “business as usual”.

What is the reward?

Your customers have never had so much choice, and so much information at their fingertips.

Do they choose you?

Or do they choose a competitor who speaks their language, shares their interests and publishes content that looks and sounds like them?

Our online course, Content Marketing Conquered, takes you through everything you need to know about developing Buyer Personas. We also help you develop your online value proposition. Oh, and there’s a deep audit, content generation framework and guidance on how to build a a ‘proper plan’ around it.

One that reflects you. And your goals.

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 Why Your Sales Team holds the key to Content Marketing. Why not check out the other blogs in the series:

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.

 

Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash
Joanne DolezalWhy your Buyer Personas Need the Sales Team’s Customer Insight

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