Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions experience 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates. Yet, there is a known disconnect between sales and marketing teams that is preventing many organizations from seeing this success. Fixing that starts with one thing - alignment on who you are selling to. Sales teams work in 1-on-1 relationships. They zero in on prospects. Marketing works at scale, targeting groups of people. In order for marketing to bring in the right people for the sales team, sales and marketing need to come together on defining their ideal customer into a valuable tool - a buyer persona.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is a one-page profile of a person who represents a targeted group that you are selling to. It outlines demographics of a person along with their interests and attributes, including their motivations, needs, and barriers towards purchasing whatever it is you're selling. It also summarizes their buying patterns and what it is that ultimately leads them to find and purchase from you.
You should have buyer personas for multiple target groups and for anyone who is part of the buying process - the decision maker, the influencer, the champion.
How do you use a buyer persona?
Sales and marketing teams benefit from buyer personas. First, it brings the teams together by having open conversations about who you are targeting. For sales teams, it is a key part of a sales enablement toolkit for on-boarding and training new members. It also provides insight that better prepares sales reps for conversations with prospects. For marketing teams, it helps bring to life who you're targeting and informs all aspects of a marketing strategy, including what messaging to use, where to advertise, what content to create, and how to know if the leads you're bringing in are the right fit for sales.
How do you create a buyer persona?
Marketing leads the creation of buyer personas. It starts with a conversation with the sales team about who they are targeting and what types of people they interact with during the sales process. The next step is collecting research and data about your ideal customers. The data can be collected from data you have in-house and secondary data. For example:
Conversations with sales team
Data in your CRM
Google Analytics data
Win-loss analysis reports
Interviews with customers
Industry surveys and reports
Statistical data related to your industry
This data is then analyzed, pulling out key insights, and compiled into a visual summary of the person you're profiling - a buyer persona. It's a valuable tool that will make your marketing efforts more effective and your sales and marketing teams working better together.