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    02/02/2024 |

    B2B Buyer Personas: A Blueprint for Personalization

    In B2B, understanding the customer is not just a casual prerequisite; it’s a strategic imperative that can spell the difference between deals won and lost. Enter the B2B buyer persona – a semi-mythical representation of your ideal customer. But why exactly are personas so important and, perhaps even more importantly, how do you bring them to life?

    The term “buyer persona” might conjure up images of a Mad Men-esque character whimsically crafted to fit the tastes of a certain demographic. In reality, a well-developed buyer persona serves as a beacon of insight, guiding the efforts of sales and marketing toward the true heart of customer need.

    Let’s dive into why building B2B buyer personas is essential to every aspect of marketing and sales and how you can construct them with a relatable, human touch.

    Get Personal With B2B Personas

    Contrary to popular belief, emotion has a place in B2B. Businesses are, after all, made up of and run by people who experience emotion – from fear, frustration and anxiety to confidence, jealousy and joy. Every influencer and decision-maker has needs, aspirations and challenges unique to their industry and role.

    Crafting a buyer persona is akin to tailoring a well-fitted suit; it’s not a one-size-fits-all affair. It’s about weaving the fabric of their professional goals, daily trials and individual business alignment to seamlessly address their underlying challenges.

    So make your personas personal. Give them depth. The biggest mistake marketers make is focusing on superficial aspects of the persona that simply have no bearing on how you will interact with them. 

    Your buyer persona isn’t Mick, the marketing manager who enjoys his coffee black, likes his clothes on-trend and spends his free time driving his Tesla along the Pacific Coast Highway with his wife and two kids in two. No, it’s Linda, the marketing director at a mid-sized tech firm who grapples with ever-growing competition and is always on the lookout for cutting-edge solutions that promise innovation and ease of implementation.

    Why B2B Buyer Personas Matter

    Understanding Linda’s buying habits, preferences and pain points allows you to elevate your outreach. By knowing that she preaches the gospel of content marketing and heavily leans on peer recommendations, you can craft a brand story that aligns more closely with her values and MO. This deep understanding enables:

    • Personalized marketing: Linda recommends services with a resonant story and a history of quality. Ensure your messaging is not only personalized but also meaningful and backed by social proof that speaks volumes to her.
    • Cohesive content strategies: From a whitepaper dissecting the tech behind the scenes to a blog on emerging content automation, each piece fits into Linda’s world like a cog in a well-oiled machine.
    • Sales efficiency: When your sales rep knows they’re talking to Linda, not just any marketing director, they can pivot the conversation to her specific pains and their solutions, bypassing generic approaches and closing in on her needs with laser precision.

    A B2B Buyer Persona Template Example

    Creating a B2B buyer persona may seem daunting, but breaking it down into steps can simplify the process. Let’s walk through each one, using Linda as our guiding template:

    1. Identify the role: Begin by categorizing the marketing director role and what it entails.
    2. Demographics: Pinpoint Linda’s specifics, like her age, experience and the size of the company she works for.
    3. Professional background: Map out Linda’s journey to her current role. What experiences have shaped her approach to managing marketing in the tech industry?
    4. Psychographics: Capture her personality traits – is she an early adopter wary of risk or an innovator eager to try new platforms?
    5. Business goals: Linda’s primary goal in Q2 might be to increase lead generation by 20% – how can your solution contribute to that objective?
    6. Objections: Predict the objections she might vocalize, like concerns about budget, implementation time or compatibility issues.
    7. Challenges and solutions: List 3-5 main hurdles she faces, such as keeping content fresh and engagement high. Then, detail how you can help her overcome those hurdles.

    Pro Tips for Developing B2B Buyer Personas

    • Bring in sales: Research is helpful, but your sales team interacts with these people on a personal level and can provide insight into how they think and what they feel.
    • Ask lots of questions: Most persona exercises simply don’t go deep enough. Keep asking questions, especially “So what?” All the information you include should serve a purpose. Answering that one question ensures you give it meaning and connect it back to the greater goal of uncovering what drives your personas. 
    • Stay focused: Buyer personas can become too broad. When thinking about pains and challenges, identify those you can impact. A marketing director might be stressed about hiring and retaining creative talent, but can your data analytics platform solve for that? Unlikely. Focus instead on their challenge measuring success.
    • Revisit, revise and refine: Personas can change over time, either because you learn more about them or because of shifts in the marketplace. Your personas are an ongoing work in progress, so revisit them regularly.

    Put Personas at the Center of Everything

    Well-developed buyer personas should be central to everything you do. With them, your entire team has a foundation to build and connect their strategies, allowing them to create a consistent story across every touch point and phase of the buyer journey. Personas help set the tone for every communication, so that each asset, outreach and campaign speaks to your target audience at an emotional level, introducing a measure of personalization that is powerful, compelling and memorable.

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist headshot
    CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

    Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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