The buying habits of Businesses are changing constantly. Studies show that on an average B2B buying decision typically involves one to six individuals. They research more and relationship building has become more crucial than ever before.
It becomes even more challenging if you are selling services as an agency. The intangibility of the deliverables wouldn’t be understood by everyone in the organisation you are trying to get a deal from. Hence, defining your ideal B2B buyer is important.
What is a Buyer Persona?
It is a representation of an ideal customer for your offerings. It is a fictional representation that covers a common set of traits of buyers like demographics, firmographics, pain-points, and interests.
If you know your ideal buyer persona’s motivations and the problems they find challenging, you can personalise the marketing message to suit their needs and speak directly to the people who want to buy your product or services. It clears the ambiguity between marketing messages to use and takes out all the guesswork.
How to discover an ideal buyer for your agency?
An ideal buyer persona should be well-researched and data backed. So a thorough research, survey and interviews should be conducted for your target audience to derive an actionable buyer persona.
There are three main steps to creating a Buyer persona:
Step 1: Know the customer
You cannot derive an effective buyer persona without putting in some work and talking with customers.
Here’s how you can collect the required data:
A. Survey current customers: An ideal way to find what pain-points your product or service is solving for them is by sending them questionnaires. You should know what makes them happy and delivers delight. At times offering a small incentive would help you get more responses but the answers would be very beneficial to your buyer persona study.
B. Conduct 1-1 interviews: Create focus groups and conduct interviews to discover challenges the targeted cohorts face and how your product or service helps them. It can be a great data point to uncover challenges, motivations and desired outcomes of the target group.
C. Diving into Analytics: Looking into your traffic analytics data can help you narrow down the demographic data of your traffic and customers. It would provide you their age, location and device information.
D. Talk with front-line employees: Customer facing employees are one of the best data points to gather information. You can ask them the same questions and get data about your ideal customer.
E. Enrich data using tools like Clearbit: With the help of email address or domain name Clearbit can provide you up to 85 data points and help answer many questions that you require to build a buyer persona template.
A solid B2B Buyer persona will require personal questions as well as work related questions.
Personal question can be:
- What is the buyer’s age?
- What is the buyer’s gender?
- Where does the buyer live?
- What does the buyer do to entertain themselves? (Read books, watch Sci-fi movies)
- What is their household income?
- Who are the buyers’ role-models?
- Which platforms the buyer spends most of their time online?
- What is the education level of the buyer?
Work related questions can be:
- What is the buyer’s role in the company?
- What is the size of their organisation?
- How is the customer’s performance evaluated within their organisation?
- What are the most common objections?
- Is the buyer tech savvy?
- Which social media platforms is the buyer active on?
- What are the buyer’s preferred modes of communication?
- What are the biggest pain-points of the buyer?
- What goals or end objectives is the buyer trying to achieve?
- How does the buyer visualise your service in helping them achieve their goals?
Conducting deeper research rather than taking a guess would be more expensive but it will be much more beneficial in the longer run once you identify and craft your actual ideal buyer persona.
Step 2: Segmentation
Once you have done the research and have data available the next step is to segment your buyer profiles before you create buyer persona templates.
Not all your buyers would fall under one category. Usually a service firm has 3-4 buyer personas.
So, once you have the data you would need to create different segments of your ideal customers based on the difference in their behaviour.
For example say you have a web design agency and you are targeting two segments of buyers one with older management and the other with up and coming entrepreneurs.
Another way to segment your buyer persona can be according to the size of the company targeted. A buyer working in a small scale organisation would have different requirements as compared to a buyer working with a large scale organisation.
These segmentations allow you to craft messages and buyer funnels that suit the targeted buyer’s needs and requirements. For example the older management in the example above would not be that tech savvy as hence you would require to tweak your marketing message to appeal to them accordingly.
Step 3: Create a buyer persona template
Once you have answers to your set of questions and have separated the information into the types of customers you have, it is time to start framing your buyer persona templates.
We have shared an example below:
- Overview: Manages a team of 5 people at an Ecommerce firm. Completed his undergraduate degree in Management in 2004.
- Demographics: Male. Age 45. Annual income $80,000. Lives in Houston, Texas with two young children.
- Pain points: Standing out from other similar ecommerce companies and staff retention.
- Fears: His firm being unprofitable. Losing one of his best agents to a competitor.
- Goals/Motivations: Work for one of the best ecommerce company in the USA. Finding top-quality candidates and achieving a salary of $120,000.
- Hobbies: Motivating his team. Activities such as running marathons. Taking vacations with family.
- Common objections: “I’d love to pay for a lean and responsive website, but my superior won’t grant the budget.”
It is how you frame an ideal b2b buyer persona template.
Having such a framework to work on helps agencies identify potential buyers from the prospects, track leads better in CRM, create customised funnels for specific buyer personas and lead them through the most preferred Marketing channel.
Buyer personas will be the foundation of getting better ROI for marketing efforts and target marketing. It helps you understand the buyer better and how your services would provide value to the targeted persona. It helps humanise the sales and marketing messages and increases the likelihood that the efforts on that front clicks and delivers results.