In my role with Project Prospecta, I find myself involved with sales more days than not. In my other role at Insynth, I help out with marketing. Being on both sides has given me a new appreciation of the need for sales and marketing to work together.
It’s so important for every part of your business to work towards a common goal (not doing "random acts of marketing").
So in this new year, I’ll be doing a series of blogs on sales enablement.
Sales enablement is about giving your sales team everything they need for success. And one key way to do this is aligning communication to your buyers across all touchpoints. You can do this by getting your whole team to create and use buyer personas.
Why are buyer persona’s important?
Say a salesperson has a great conversation with a prospect. They direct them to the website for more information. But when the prospect arrives at the site they don't find anything that speaks to their concerns. They also don't find relevant supporting materials. So they lose interest.
Buyer personas are key to communicating well to prospects. Buyer personas include general personal information but also common goals, frustrations, and problems. Without this, your team will be speaking into a vacuum. A marketing or sales message may sound great to your team. But it won't resonate unless you craft it with accurate buyer personas in mind.
Chances are YOU understand who your audience is. But what about everyone else in your building product business?
When a business is small it’s easy to align communication with your audience. But as a business grows your market expands. Your audience multiplies. So do the number of touchpoints on your buyer’s journey.
For example, you hire a marketing executive. They have never actually spoken to your buyers before. They don't know how to communicate with the different personalities in your market.
Or your business is growing and you’re trying to reach new people. You wrote your website copy with architects working on domestic projects in mind. But now you’re also trying to engage with designers who are working on commercial projects. How do you speak to both groups in a personal way?
One way to enable sales to do its job is by developing buyer personas across the business. This aligns messaging. It makes each touchpoint work toward an enquiry, order, and customer satisfaction.
You can use these buyer personas to:
- identify good-fit prospects
- build responsive content on your website
- develop targeted marketing campaigns
- inform your post-order follow up
How do you create them?
We've talked about why buyer personas are so powerful. Now let’s talk about how you build them.
First, you’d create buyer personas for each of “persona” in your market. One of these is quantity surveyors working on jobs of a value of £5 million +. Another could be architects working on small projects. Another could be the main contractors of big projects.
Spend some time figuring out what makes each persona unique. The different challenges they face. Their hopes for the future. Their goals for the year. Their responsibilities at work. The competitors in their market.
Even psychographic data. For example: what magazines they like to read. What they do in their free time.
Of course, these are generalizations. But having some specifics in mind helps form a more human picture of your audience. This makes every part of your communication more human, specific, and personal.
How do you find out the information to form a buyer persona?
Members of the sales team will know a lot of this information from talking to them.
Customer experience may know more about buyers' common frustrations with products/solutions.
Marketing may have a unique perspective too.
Include as many people as possible in constructing the buyer personas. This will make sure the buyer personas are accurate, and also help get buy-in from the team.
Promote the Buyer Personas Internally
Make sure they are accessible. Make sure the team refers to them often.
When your back in the office, make a poster for each of them and put them up on one wall.
Until then, create a PDF and send it out to the team for each persona.
Continue to add to the profiles and update them.
The best way to make sure this is happening is to delegate it to one member of your team to champion.
How to Use them
Now, whenever you add anew contact to your CRM tag them with a persona. Then when marketing decides to do an email campaign they can send it to a list of contacts who all have one persona. This means they can tailor their message to the experiences and frustrations of your buyer profile.
You can also create responsive content. Then your homepage will display different messages for an architect than for a quantity surveyor.
You can create brochures with these profiles in mind. So when sales needs to send some supporting materials through, the messaging is spot-on for the buyer profile they’re speaking to.
This continuity of message is powerful. It means that at every point your key messages are relevant to your prospect. They are tailored to help them achieve their goals and overcome their challenges. Then you're not speaking into a vacuum. You’re speaking to Defender Dave. Or Trailblazer Tyler. Or Specifier Sam.
This type of sales enablement is powerful. It requires buy-in from the whole team. But it's worth it. Then every touchpoint works as hard as possible towards a common goal. The benefit isn’t only for your team either. This type of consistent messaging helps every customer have a great experience. Each message is written for them.
To get advice about how you can use buyer personas and build them into the way you work visit our sales enablement page.