How to Create B2B Buyer Personas


by Amy Geldean
Last updated Jul 9, 2021

Create B2B Buyer Personas

Buyers will be more likely to do business with companies that address their specific needs. That's why you need to create B2B buyer personas that are detailed.

Your team may be wasting time chasing leads that are not a good fit for your company.

A B2B buyer persona will help your team market to your ideal customers.

Your customers will also discover that your solution is a perfect fit for them.

What is a B2B Buyer Persona?

B2B buyer personas are a semi-fictitious representation of your ideal customer.

Other terms used when referring to buyer personas include business persona, customer description, or an ideal customer persona.

You want to have a strong buyer persona to maximize your sales and marketing activities.

Why You Need a Buyer Persona

Understanding your target audience will help you market to them better.  A detailed buyer persona will help you develop relevant content for your customers.

Here are five reasons why buyer personas are essential in B2B marketing:

  • Buyer personas have been shown to double open email rates and increase the click-through rate by 500%.
  • Personalized emails with detailed buyer personas can drive 18 times more revenue than traditional broadcast emails.
  • When marketing to cold leads, content based on detailed personas increased engagement almost six times.
  • B2B lead generation using buyer personas can lead to a shorter sales cycle. (By two to three months).
  • 72% of B2B buyers expect engagement that is personalized and tailored to their needs.

How to Create B2B Buyer Personas

To get started, you need to identify who your best customers are.  The best customers are usually the ones who purchase your higher-priced products.  These customers are the easiest to sell to, are less likely to leave, and have been with you for a long time.

You should be able to find this information in your customer database.

To get more information from your customers, you may want to conduct a survey.

The information you gather can help narrow down who your ideal customer is.  However, your buyer persona must be backed by facts and data, not based on intuition.

The more information you have in your persona, the better.  You should only include essential information that your marketing and sales team can use to optimize their strategy.

Critical Information to Include When Creating Your Persona

The most vital element you need to include when creating a buyer persona is the job title—knowing who you're marketing to will help your sales team reach out to the right person within a company.

Demographic information is also essential.  Basic elements to include are their industry, company size, job title, or job security.

You want to get a mental image of your ideal customer; to do that, you need to know their age, age range, and highest education level.

You also need to know how and where to reach them.  For example, you need to know what social media accounts they use, other online spaces they occupy, and their preferred method of communication.

What to Consider When Creating a Buyer Persona

When creating a buyer persona, there are some other things you need to know about your target audience.  One of the things you need to understand is what their goals are. What are the things they're trying to achieve?  For example, are they trying to streamline processes, or are they looking to build a partnership with a supplier?

Another thing you want to know is what their needs are?  What does our prospective customer need to do to succeed in their job and achieve their goals?  How can we support them with this?  For example, our customers might need a supplier who has an easy ordering system to quickly and efficiently do their job.

You also need to know what their pain points are.  Are there any areas where a supplier is not meeting our customer's needs?  Are there any key challenges they face that we, as their supplier, can help them overcome?

You need to understand what obstacles are keeping your buyers from reaching their business goals.  Knowing the specifics about what causes them pain in their day-to-day efforts will help you prove that they need your solution.

You should also be able to identify what makes your buyers hesitant to purchase.  Then, your marketing and sales team should be able to address their concerns throughout your messaging.

Here are some other questions that need answers to complete your buyer persona:

  • What motivates your customers to buy your product? What are they telling you?
  • What are the features of your product that your customers like the most?
  • What holds them back from buying? What's the most common resistance or objection?
  • What's top-of-mind for them? What keeps them up at night?

Creating a Buyer Persona Template

Once you've gathered all your information, you want to create an easy template for your sales team to use.  A properly developed persona includes all the information that's relevant to your business.

Let's say you're trying to create a buyer persona for suppliers in the wine and alcohol beverage industry.

You'll need to fill out the following seven categories to complete your buyer persona:

1. Profile and Background

To start, you need to understand your prospect's profile.  Next, you need to know what your customers’ job roles are and career paths.

Now say you're looking at salespeople in the wine and alcohol beverage industry.  Each company has a different name for its sales managers, like VP of sales, sales director, etc.

Let's say your typical sales manager.

2. Know Their Demographics

Once you know your customer's profile info, it's time to dissect their demographics.  You want to know their age, their location, or gender.

3. Understand Their Interests

Knowing your customer's interests can help you cater your website and social media content to them.

You can also learn what your customers are interested in outside of work by browsing through their social media accounts.  You may also discover other professional traits—for example, a wine lover who loves to blog about wine.

You'll also want to find out what websites they're visiting, the influencers they're following, and the Instagram pages they look at during their leisure time.

4. Goals and Objectives

Understanding your customer's goals will help you identify their pain points and position your product accordingly.

It's essential to know the difference between goals and objectives.  Goals are statements your customers make about their business.  For example, they want to send cold emails that get more replies.

Objectives are the exact steps that your customers need to reach their goals (e.g., increase sales by 25% by the end of the year.

You can find out your customer's goals by doing surveys, looking at their LinkedIn profiles, or their company website.

5. Business Challenges

When you know the challenges your customers are facing, you'll learn how to market to them.  Your surveys and internet research can help you find out what those challenges are.  Then you can create your educational marketing materials for all the challenges your customer faces.

6. Path To Purchase

How did your customer hear about you? Did they come across your website, read a blog article shared by a friend, word of mouth?

How your customers found you are an invaluable source of information.

7. Common Objectives

Knowing what holds back your customers is essential because it can help prepare you to have the correct answers to their objections.

For example, say you're selling a refrigerator that is explicitly used for alcoholic beverages. Let's say the main objection prospective clients have is that it's too expensive.  You can come back and say that your refrigerator keeps the alcohol fresher for a more extended period than other refrigerators.

What you're saying is, price shouldn't be an issue; perceived value is.

What a Buyer Persona Should Look Like

Here's what a buyer persona might look for in a Sales Manager at a wine and alcohol supply company:

Willie The Wine Distributor

Profile

He's well educated, has at least a bachelor's degree

At least 35 years old

Has at least five years of experience

Located in the United States of America

Interested in wine and blogs about it

Goals
Objectives

How Did He Hear About Us?

Content

Read a blog post shared by a friend about the top 10 supplies wine and alcohol distributors must-have.

Did a Google search on wine and alcohol supplies

Social Networks
Outbound
Path to Purchase
What Could Hold Him Back?

Once you've developed a detailed buyer persona, you'll start seeing benefits immediately.

Your sales messages will have clarity, and you'll experience a higher ROI on your marketing activities.

Having a B2B buyer persona will help you find, convert, and retain more customers.

If you need help creating your buyer persona and developing your marketing strategy, book a discovery call with us today!