When creating content, how do you know you're targeting the right people? A better question might be: who are they, how are you connecting with them, and how do you plan to draw them in with your marketing?
Buyer personas are the response inbound businesses have used to answer these questions during the last 10 years.
When manageing your contacts though a newer conversation is happening with buyer personas. If you have both marketing and sales working togther with tools to market, sell, and communicate with your customers, your buyer personas are going to need to fit into each section of your contact management strategy.
Having your buyer personas be the center of your contact management strategy will help drive success for your business. So let's look closely at where buyer personas fit into both marketing and sales.
Why Talk About Buyer Personas?
Let’s review quickly why buyer personas is such a common phrase used within inbound business. A quick definition of a buyer persona is: buyer personas are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers.
Personas help us all -- in marketing, sales, product, and services -- internalize the ideal customer we're trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans. Think about trying to create an email for a marketing campaign, or being on a sales call and not being able to picture who you are talking to. Being able to have a clear understanding and definition of who your buyer personas are allows you to drive content, product development (depending on your industry), sales interactions, and really anything that you do in relation to your potential customers and then customers.
Having a database full of contacts that you cannot define will not help drive success forward or give you return on your investment. So, let's dig in deeper on how buyer personas fit into each section of your inbound strategy.
Buyer Personas for Contact Management
Buyer personas are a key element to your marketing and sales strategies and how you can be most effective with driving success forward. But how do both marketing and sales utilize these personas to drive this success?
Let’s look at buyer personas inside each individual piece of your marketing and sales tools.
Buyer personas is easily found inside of your marketing tools. For marketers to decide on the type of content that is best suited for a blog post, webinar, ebook etc. they first need to define who the different audiences are.
This is why the persona tool is placed right onto the HubSpot Marketing dashboard.
Buyer personas get their start from Marketing. If the the Attract stage of the Inbound Methodology isn't aimed at anyone then no one will be able to get very far in your funnel.
If your buyer personas are not first starting in the marketing section of the growth stack then it will be very difficult to move onto any other stages.
This is why your marketing team will work to research, run surveys, and discover who your companies buyer personas are that way you can get your leads into the next stage: convert.
The convert and close stage is the funnel is the Sales section of your tools.
The 'meat' of your inbound strategy is going to be when your sales reps are turning leads into customers and creating the ROI for your company. And if your sales Rep's are using HubSpot’s Sales and Sales Pro tool where are the buyer personas appearing?
If I am a Sales rep following up with an active lead I am able to see on the Contact record while logging activity that they are a Buyer Persona of ‘Inbound Ingrid’. And if I am struggling to close this lead or in general wish to have a better idea of what they are like I can navigate to Inbound Ingrid’s buyer persona and start to develop a better understanding of my active lead.
The ability for me as a Sales rep to have an easily accessible view of the buyer persona of my lead can cut out unnecessary and 'annoying' questions during my conversations with the lead. Things like, how big is your business? What is your title? This crtieria can all be defined by the buyer persona and when they convert on certain forms or other marketing content can be added to their contact record.
Now moving further down the funnel your sales rep has moved this lead into a Deal and they are now working with the decision maker at the company. The deal is in progress and has been passed along to another rep to help close. When looking on the Deal record and the associated contact we are still able to identify the buyer persona.
During an active deal the details of the persona you are talking to could be the make or breaking point.
At each point during your funnel the persona touched on the contact and helped guide the marketing, sales and eventually the close of the deal. When managing your contacts and developing a contact management strategy it is important to know how your personas and the information you know about them can help you continue to delight your customers.
Buyer Personas as a Contact Management tool
What happens when personas don’t touch on each section of your strategy? There is a breakdown between who the marketer, and sales rep and eventually those deals might not close because the wrong persona is being discussed.
In each stage we discussed buyer personas in relation to the contacts they are associated with. As this is a contacts: growth stack story don't forget to be adding your personas to the contacts that are coming in.
Looking for ways to pass along the persona? Check out this article here on assigning personas to contacts.
And if you are looking to get started with your persona or looking to update them to better reach your actual customers take a look at this persona creation template.
Want to see why buyer personas are a fundamental piece of inbound? Check out this HubSpot Academy Lesson here:
Because if everyone in your business is able to give a one line definition of your top personas you can have more productive conversations around, deals, content creation, and project management.
Next on the Contacts: A Growth Stack Series
Enjoying learning about how you can best align marketing and sales around different tasks and use the Growth Stack to accomplish this? Then don't go just yet and tune in next week on Thursday for the next chapter of the Contact's Growth Stack Story (hint: we are going to get very PERSONAL).