Buyer B2B buying behaviour is changing at a pace never seen before. Your prospective buyers are researching you online and building trust in you even before you know who they are. This is why establishing B2B Buyer Personas is critical.
Without B2B Buyer Personas you can only guess what kind of content your clients and prospects will find helpful. Unless you are clear about their needs and drivers you risk putting up bland - one-size-fits-all - content that your prospects find boring or irrelevant. Developing Buyer Personas will help you shift the focus of your thinking away from *your* needs and interests and towards the people you wish to build trust with.
Creating your B2B Buyer Personas
Thankfully, the process of creating your Buyer Personas is pretty straightforward.
Start by profiling your existing customers (and their customers) and identified prospects - define them as people: their needs, wants, desires, pain points and how you can help them. Then for each customer type build their buyer persona using the following FIVE STEPS:
1. The Persona's Role
Start with the person's position title. Outline their role and what this position actually does in their organisation, who they report to and how their role helps make the company a success.
2.Key drivers of your B2B Buyer Personas
Identify the key drivers for your persona. If we take a 'training manager' for example their driver could be to deliver quality training at a more affordable price. This driver might then lead to secondary motivators like better utilisation of technology or increased productivity in trainees.
3.The Goals of your B2B Buyer Personas:
If you were this person what would your goals be? Think back to past clients you've worked with and conversations you've had with them then put yourself in their place and try to think about what they’re trying to achieve.
4.The Challenges of the B2B Buyer Persona:
Put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re profiling. What day-to-day challenges do they face in their role? You need to understand the pressures and challenges your persona has as an individual. Talking to some of your existing clients is likely to give you some insights to help with this.
5.The Persona's Personal background and demographics:
Understanding the typical personal background and demographics of the persona will increase your empathy and enhance the way you engage with them. It will help you connect. After all - no matter B2C or B2B - people buy from people.
For each customer type you will now have a clear image of the person you are dealing with: their role, their goals, their challenges, even the kind of person they are. Now, ask yourself what knowledge you have that can help this person meet their goals and overcome their challenges? Be creative. Remember we’re thinking about building trust with this individual rather than the organisation they're working for. Help the person.
Knowing your buyer personas will also help you identify the best way to engage with your customers and prospects - which is the first step to helping them. Remember you’re seeking to engage with the person so choose the medium that best fits their persona, whether it's a blog, e-newsletter, tip sheet, how-to white paper, video, or podcast. The same goes for the content you communicate with each persona.
Profiling your buyers and understanding their needs ‘as people’ before writing your blogs and newsletters maximises your ability or connect with them - after all whether it’s B2C or B2B and no matter what you’re selling it’s never about what it’s about, it’s all about people.