June 6 by Krysta Williams
For those who aren’t familiar with the term, buyer personas are semi-fictional profiles of your best buyers. These profiles are often created by marketers to help target and distribute campaigns to the people most likely to buy their particular products or services.
Although buyer personas are most applicable to the work of the marketer, the insights they contain can help all aspects of a business including sales, customer service, product development, and much more.
Whether you’re responsible for persona creation or simply just looking for ways to improve business performance, this blog post is for you. Keep reading to learn how buyer personas can improve business.
Buyer personas facilitate more meaningful sales interactions.
It’s no secret: The modern buyers’ journey is more complicated than ever before. In fact, experts estimate that 50%-90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before the buyer even speaks to a sales rep.
With the rise of the internet came the rapid proliferation of information. This grants buyers with immediate access to pages and pages of content about products and services. The result is a more empowered, educated, and independent buyer, who no longer relies on the help of a sales rep to make an informed buying decision.
While this shift undoubtedly makes for a better buying experience, it presents a unique set of challenges for the modern sales rep—the most significant being a lack of opportunity and time to engage with their prospects. To drive continued success, sales reps must make the most out of every interaction.
Well-developed buyer personas can provide a sales rep with the understanding they need to facilitate meaningful interactions with potential buyers. From the unique challenges they face, to specific buying motivators—buyer personas provide sales reps with the context they need to tailor their communications and outreach effectively.
Buyer personas can drastically improve the effectiveness of sales outreach.
In 2018, it’s no longer enough to call a prospect on a whim and ask for their business. To successfully move a prospective buyer through the sales funnel, salespeople must reach out with the right message, at the right time, through the appropriate channel. Buyer personas contain all the information sales reps need to do just that.
Personalized sales outreach can be the difference between closing a deal or radio silence. In fact, high-performing sales teams are 2.8 times more likely than under-performing teams to say their sales organizations focus on personalized interactions. By offering more personalized selling experiences at scale, top sales teams are winning the attention of prospects and customers who are tired of a one-size-fits-all sales outreach.
Buyer personas help sales reps build trust with prospects:
Trust is a critical component of sales. Think about it, you wouldn’t buy a car from a questionable salesman or a house from a realtor you don’t trust. So, why would your sales prospects be any different?
There’s no way around it: In sales, the quicker you build trust with your prospect, the more likely it is that you will close a deal. Yet, building trust in sales is often easier said than done. In fact, only 3% of buyers trust sales reps. The reason for this is simple – most buyers don’t believe you’re looking out for their best interest, but rather, just looking to make a quick buck off them.
For this reason, it has become more important than ever for a rep to focus first on building a trusting relationship with a prospect, before they even think of delivering their pitch. And that means doing your homework! Before you pick up your phone and dial at random, take the time to get to know who you are taking to.
Like our first point, buyer personas can provide reps with the information they need to get to know their prospects more intimately– not as sales opportunities, but as people. This information lays foundation to form a strong relationship with your prospects, and exponentially increases your chances of earning their trust.
The more you familiarize yourself with each persona, the more you can develop messaging that resonates with each of them. Ultimately, your efforts will not only help to close a deal, but by expressing a vested interest in your customer base, you’ll shine a brighter light on your entire organization.
Buyer personas allow sales reps to prioritize their workload:
Regardless of the industry you work in, there is nothing more frustrating to a sales rep than devoting countless hours working a prospect through the sales funnel, only for the deal to fall through in the end. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. Often, this occurs because sales reps don’t have the information necessary to effectively qualify and prioritize their leads. In fact, according to CSO Insights, 45% of sales rep’s report that they need help figuring out which accounts to prioritize.
Buyer personas remove the guess work from lead prioritization. Buyer persona profiles offer reps a quick and efficient way to determine if a lead is a good fit for their organization’s products or services. Because buyer personas are comprised of real data and characteristics of existing customers, reps can hone in on the attributes of their best buyers, to easily identify leads with the greatest chance of converting into paying customers.
Knowing the characteristics of a qualified lead allows sales professionals to follow up with better leads faster and prioritize their workload efficiently.
Buyer personas aren’t just for marketers—they provide valuable insights about customers and prospects that can be used by employees across all departments. For sales professionals looking to leverage the insights found within buyer personas, it’s important to work with your marketing team. To start this process and open lines of communication, company leadership must work to facilitate sales and marketing alignment.
Alignment not only gives sales access to buyer personas, it also facilitates important discussions about the characteristics that make someone a ‘good prospect’. After all, sales have a much closer relationship to prospects and can provide important feedback about the accuracy of buyer personas. This means, both teams will benefit!
We hope this post provided you with a new perspective on buyer personas and that you can use this information to improve sales and marketing efforts within your organization.
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