How to create personas for B2B companies

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

Zig Ziglar

A massive 72% of B2B buyers expect personalized engagement from vendors, tailored to their needs – this, according to research by US software giant, Salesforce, titled State of the Connected Customer. Even more interesting, or perhaps unsettling for business owners, is how 76% of the customers surveyed, feel it’s never been easier to take their business elsewhere, thanks to technology.

In today’s fast-paced digital era, the old saying; time is money has never rung truer. The average B2B buyer has no time for the one-size-fits-all sales pitches of the pre-technology days, or to sift through a minefield of information to find what they need.

Today’s buyer wants customized solutions and expects you to understand and meet his needs.

So, how do you “get into” your clients’ minds to understand their needs? The simplest way is to create buyer personas, or archetypes, in layman’s terms.

Personas are detailed profiles of your ideal clients, based on your team’s combined research, and data: Designed to help you understand their needs to tailor your solutions accordingly.

Now, there are no shortcuts to creating high-value personas, but a carefully crafted profile can be invaluable to your marketing strategy. Done right, it could increase your conversions by 73%, according to Aberdeen research. To do so, you need to consider these factors:

1. Buyer demographics

First and foremost, you need a proper understanding of your buyers’ background. This includes:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Income
  • Geographical location
  • Interest
  • Job title and role
  • Career goals
  • Job-related challenges
  • Challenges and,
  • Necessity points

2. Their company’s DNA and what drives them

Dealing with B2B buyers often means you’re dealing with multiple decision-makers. To understand what drives your buyers, it’s imperative to have a detailed understanding of their firms, as well as the industries in which they operate.

You need to learn about:

  • Their company sizes
  • Culture
  • The average day of a typical employee
  • Reporting structure
  • Relevant decision-makers

Equally important, you need to find out about the industries the companies clients belong to, and what products or services your buyer’s firm provides for them. Bear in mind when dealing with multiple decision-makers, you’ll need to create multiple personas to help give you a better understanding of the personality traits involved.

3. Influences

These include questions about how your buyers absorb information, their preferred platforms, and sources of information. To do this, you’ll have to consider the social media platforms they use and other networks they’re on, popular keywords and language used your buyers’ circles as well as the type of publications they’re interested in. Simply put, if your buyers are all on LinkedIn, there’s no use trying to engage them on Facebook. You need to go where they are.

4. Challenges and deal breakers

Lastly, you need to learn about your buyer’s challenges, as well as those faced by his organization. The more you know about these, allows you to optimize your messages for maximum conversion.

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