According to Sirius Decisions, 60% of B2B companies say they don’t really know who their buyers really are.
Today’s product managers and marketers are challenged to connect with more prospects to drive more business growth. To accomplish this, you need to really know who your prospects are. These aren’t the people using your products or services. They are the ones on the buying committee who select the best solutions to meet their company’s needs. Many organizations tend to believe they know who their true buyers are, but how have you validated that? Do you know what buyers care about in 2017 versus 2018 and beyond? Without continuous market validation, it makes it difficult for product managers to drive business outcomes that meet the needs of their customers. Plus it causes marketing to spend money on tactics that aren’t bringing the desired return on investment. It’s like aiming at your targets in the dark. So, how do you shine a light on these very important people and get to know them better? Developing a detailed Buyer Persona is the answer.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a comprehensive profile of your ideal buyer based on interviews, research, and data collected from your target audience. It includes details like demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and more. Sound interesting? If you’re wondering how this will help you, let’s take a look.
How do they help your company?
Without buyer personas, it’s difficult to know where to aim. In fact, according to Deloitte and Touche, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are not focused on the customer. The benefits of customer orientation include:
Value proposition: In depth buyer personas allow you to think like a customer first, instead of about your company and product. It completely changes your view so you’re able to take your value proposition from product-focused to being focused on customer business outcomes. When you really understand who your customer is, and what they need to solve, your value proposition actually speaks to that need and not about your product.
82% of companies using buyer personas have managed to create an improved value proposition.
Alignment of solutions to needs: Customers don’t buy the what, they buy the WHY. Buyer Personas bring clarity to customer needs. They help you understand how your solutions address buyers’ needs and concerns. Not only that, this valuable information allows you to more easily recognize new and innovative ways to help your customers. This means new product development or the identification of additional markets to approach.
Market segmentation and competition: Your personas help by identifying which market segments or verticals have the greatest need for your product or solution. It also allows you to identify what’s unique about your solution, so you may effectively differentiate yours from that of your competitors’. Then you’re better equipped to show your prospects how you are better at addressing their challenges and why they should select your product or service over others. This results in the development of a more effective Market Requirements Document (MRD) and Solution Go-To-Market Plan.
Who’s in your audience: If you don’t know who you are speaking to, how can you speak their language and address all their issues, challenges, and pain points? Your buyer persona provides you with the necessary insights, so you really know who you are communicating with and what solutions they need.
Key criterion when buying your solution: How do you know what questions your prospects have when selecting the best solution to meet their company’s needs? If you don’t know what they want to know at different stages of their buyer’s journey, how can you create effective content to address these questions? You need to be able to help them tick all the boxes on their list of must-haves and show them why yours is the best solution to produce the business outcomes they’re seeking. Your buyer personas will give you all this information, in the detail you need, to ensure that yours is the solution they select.
How your Buyers Research: We all know that buyers are doing significant research online before engaging a sales rep. In fact, “74% of business buyers told Forrester they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase.” But do you know where they research when preparing to buy your solutions? Are they attending tradeshows, clicking on Google pay-per- click ads, or spending time in social media? Are there certain publishers they’re following or certain communi-ties where they’re active? A complete buyer persona provides you with all this information and more. This tells you where to spend your marketing budget for optimum ROI.
In summary, buyer personas help product management and marketing strategy by:
- Facilitating the creation of a customer-centric value proposition that really speaks to your ideal customer’s needs.
- Producing better alignment of your solutions with your prospects’ desired business outcomes. Understanding the WHY behind buying your solution.
- Showing you which market segments or verticals should be prioritized and how to best differentiate your solutions from those of your com-petitors.
- Telling you all about your buyer so you really understand their issues, challenges and pain points.
- Revealing the criterion your customers use when buying your solution.
- Showing you how your prospects research before they buy your solution.
Join us for our next article, where we’ll look at how buyer personas help you with your sales strategy.