Author: Paul Arnold
Do you know your future customers? Probably not, reading the future is not in many people's skill sets. However, with some research and educated guesses, you can build a picture of future clients.
This process is called developing buyer personas. Buyer personas are composite pictures of your typical customers. There are a quite a few benefits to creating buyer personas, but the biggest ones are:
If you are considering beginning a sales and marketing campaign for your cloud SaaS business, you must create buyer personas. They are the heart of sales and marketing.
However, even if a plan isn't in the works, any business can benefit from in-depth knowledge about their customers.
How To Create A Buyer Persona
Creating buyer personas requires a lot of research and conducting deep customer insights. The more you do, and the broader you get, the better understanding you will have of prospective clients. You can begin with a survey of your current customers.
The survey should cover everything from basic demographics of buyers and companies, to asking about their current problems or strengths as they relate to your product.
What you are trying to find out is who and why a company would buy your service, the size of the business, their budgets, markets, and other information that helps you understand the ‘pains’ the company is experiencing.
But, the most significant question you will want to ask is, why do they take some actions and not others? Why would they use your service? Why would they consider working with your company?
But don't just research your current customers, you will also want to get out and talk to prospective customers, current employees, and communicate with other stakeholders in your industry and beyond.
The best employees to speak with about your prospective clients is your sales staff. They are the ones out on the front lines of marketing. They are on the streets and in the meetings learning about emerging needs of businesses. Speak with them and get a first-hand account of what they experience.
The next thing you want to do is compile all the data into one document. Then comes the next step, finding the trends.
Trend and Habits
After the data is compiled, start looking for patterns. What kinds of actions do your customers repeat? Are there trends that are specific to one group and not to another? Look for trends within industries, regions, size of budgets, etc. Look for patterns that explain behaviours or decisions within a company.
As you discover and list the trends, your buyer personas are going to emerge.
Create a buyer persona with a name and a representative photo and assign those habits and trends to the persona. Make up a name for the persona, because this will help during marketing meetings and keep things organised. This will give you a broad picture of who is buying your products, and who is most likely to buy your products.
How Many Personas Do You Need?
You need to create as many as you need to represent your customer segments. If you do business with a variety of industries, you may want to create a persona for each one. Or, if you do a lot of business with one company or government agency, you might want to create buyer personas for each of their departments.
There might also be a lot of differences between the people in your customer segments. These differences can range from education to cultures to geography. If necessary, you may want to create a persona based on one those demographics.
After all, a prospective client with a University degree in one area may have much different buying habits than a client with a University degree in another region.
Don't worry about having too many or too few personas. The idea is to understand the people most likely to benefit from your product. And, ultimately, direct your marketing towards them.
There are a lot of buyer persona resources available on the internet such as the HubSpot Tool - https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona
Buyer personas are a powerful tool for companies. If your company is considering a change to their sales and marketing campaign or want a better understanding of your market before going to market and raising investment, consider doing research and creating some buyer personas or, reach out to the Vivolution team who will be glad to answer any questions you may have. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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