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Why Buyer Persona Development Should Be a Team Effort

By Carly Stec

Why Buyer Persona Development Should Be a Team Effort

shutterstock_96276815_miniHigh quality buyer personas enable marketing teams to create content that is compatible with the wants and needs of a business' ideal customer.

They serve as a foundation for great content strategies, informing everything from blog titles to proper distribution.

We know this. 

However, marketers aren't the only ones who should have a say in the development.

While buyer personas certainly enable marketers to create targeted content, it's that targeted content that attracts high quality leads for sales to close and client services to work with. It's a linear path to growth and success that starts with knowing (in great detail) who your ideal customers are. 

If your personas don't reflect a collaborative effort between all departments, it's going to influence everyone's ability to do their job correctly. 

Are you picking up what I'm putting down here?

If so, we've outlined how to go about collecting the company-wide insights you need to transform your buyer personas from vague to invaluable.

Client Services Helps Marketing Consolidate 

A lot of businesses are conflicted when it comes to the number of buyer personas they should have in place.

However, it's important to remember that it's not about the customers you should or could have, but the ones you actually want to work with. 

Those are the people that you should be basing your personas off of, because those are the people that you're going to be able to deliver the best results for. 

In order to narrow your focus here, it's a good idea to sit down with some of the members of your client services department and pick their brains. 

By identifying the current customers they are not only working with, but enjoying working with, you'll have a more clear picture of how to consolidate your list.

Remember - attracting more of the clients that you know you can do well for, and have done well for in the past, will help to ensure that your business is know for delivering the greatest value. 

Interviewees Provide a Structure for The Personas 

Once you have a more granular focus on who it is that your business is looking to target, you can begin to conduct interviews with similar existing clients. These interviews can take place over the phone, via email, or if it makes sense, in person.

To ensure that you get the most out of each interview, make it a point to set the interviewees expectations in advance. If the conversation is going to require 30 minutes of their time, you want to be sure that they are aware and willing to set that time aside. 

Once you have a list of people on board, you can move forward with the process.

You want to be sure that you're committed to making the person feel as comfortable as possible speaking with you. The more at ease they feel, the more likely they will be to give you valuable, accurate responses. 

As for questions, here's a few to get the conversation started

Sales Helps Marketing Fill in the Gaps

Rather than try to piece together personas based off of interviews alone, it's important that marketers take advantage of their sale's teams valuable customer knowledge.

While the information from interviews plays an extremely important role in the development, sales can often reveal factors go into a prospects decision making process that may not come across in a formal buyer persona interview. 

These motives, characteristics, and personal details stem from the extensive conversations sales engages in with prospects and customers day in and day out. 

So if you're looking to put forth personas that do more than scratch the surface, consider approaching your sales team with the following questions:

  • What type of questions are people asking? Are there reoccurring themes?
  • How are they communicating with you? What type of language are the using? How familiar are they with industry terms?
  • What are their main pain points? What are they struggling with? What's keeping them from being successful?
  • What type of businesses do they work for? What is their role? Who is the decision maker?

Looking for more guidance?

Fill out the form below to access our free buyer persona kit with everything you need to research and create your personas (that's right...everything.)


Free Assessment:

How does your inbound marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.


Marketing Strategy
Published on September 5, 2014

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