Buyer personas, sometimes called marketing personas, are semi-fictional representations of your real customers. Buyer personas allow you to understand different customers’ challenges and needs so you can better serve them.

According to Amanda Greenwood, a writer for the Sales Hacker blog, buyer personas are among the best tools sales reps can use to close a deal. By using buyer personas, sales professionals can establish the best way to approach and communicate with prospects. They also learn how to position their product and service and develop stronger connections with buyers.

However, buyer personas only help when they contain valuable information and get used. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Greenwood’s thoughts on three reasons your buyer personas may not be working as well as they could for your sales team.

  1. Your buyer personas are mostly stereotypes. Greenwood notes that most buyer personas are built around job titles, personality traits and key responsibilities. You might be targeting Peter the Programmer, but he may have similar challenges to Harriet in HR or Sam in Sales, she says. When creating your buyer personas, focus on key objectives and challenges. Greenwood recommends examining the how, when and why buyers are likely to choose products and services like yours.
  2. Your buyer personas are focused on demographics. Many buyer personas feature a name, an age, an income and a set of pain points. However, this information doesn’t help you make a sale, says Greenwood. While surface-level demographics can help you get a foot in the door with a prospect, it’s important to use that data to build up a meaningful persona. Collect psychological information so you can understand your prospects’ attitudes and aspirations. Get to know how they do things and why they do them.
  3. Your buyer personas aren’t genuine. To get to the heart of your potential buyers, you need true stories—the gritty, gory and raw details, says Greenwood. Nobody knows your prospects better than your sales reps. Talk to your sales team to gain real-life insight into prospective buyers. This will allow you to create authentic buyer personas that aren’t forced and fake. As a result, says Greenwood, your buyer personas won’t be left to gather dust, but will become part of everything your sales reps do.

How To Keep Buyer Personas Working For Your Sales Team
Once you have crafted buyer personas, don’t let them sit there—put them to use. Here’s how:
Use personas to create sales materials. You can use buyer persona data and information to create tools such as sales scripts and product one-sheets. Greenwood says that presenting your personas, distributing copies and sticking them to bulletin boards or digital boards can help your sales team stay focused on persona-based selling.

Use personas to create sales enablement materials. These assets help encourage prospects through the sales funnel. According to Greenwood, effective sales enablement materials effortlessly guide customers through the buyer’s journey, from awareness to action. These materials might include landing pages, case studies or blog posts.

Building effective buyer personas is the first step. Then, you and your sales team must continue to use them. Consider the points above to help your sales reps turn cold customers into warm leads for your sales reps to convert into buyers.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Amanda Greenwood is a writer for the Sales Hacker blog.