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Stop Wasting Time on Poor Leads: The Importance of Buyer Personas

by | May 20, 2014 | Edinburgh, healthcare marketing, Inbound marketing | 5 comments

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personaAre the leads that your website generates of poor quality?

If so I can tell you why and offer ways to change this.

I work with many Sales and Marketing Directors and they tell me that a lot of their leads are of poor quality.They tell me that their sales team are wasting time on people who are simply not interested.

This costs money and they want a way for their sales team to be spending time only on prospects who are actually interested.

Does this sound familiar?

Amazingly just 56% of B2B organisations verify valid business leads before they are passed to Sales.

Why are your leads poor quality?

The reason your leads are of poor quality is because all that your website does is talk about you and what you sell. This is great for people who are ready to buy.

What about everyone else who isn’t?

Most people when they visit your website are not ready to buy. They are researching a problem that they have and are looking to see if there is a service like yours that solves their problem.

So when they contact you the lead is of poor quality because your sales team is trying to sell to them and all they want is information. They are not ready to engage in a sales conversation at this point.

This is not to say that they will never be ready. If you do not nurture these leads to become marketing and sales qualified then they will simply go to one of your competitors.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is really your ideal customer, a semi fictitious person who is the perfect person to buy your product or service.

When I explain this to our clients, a common response to this is “But we sell to everyone, we don’t have a specific kind of person who buys. It could be anyone”

We are not only talking about your ideal customers demographics, we are talking about a lot more.

  • What does their day look like?
  • Who do they report to?
  • What industry blogs and magazines do they read?
  • What are their goals and challenges?
  • What are their communication preferences – email, telephone etc?
  • What is their job role?

By understanding the answers to these questions you will have a better understanding of who your customers are and only then can you create content that actually talks to them.

Warehouse_1_Buyer_Persona_Example

example buyer persona, source: HubSpot

Why buyer personas are important to you

As I mentioned earlier not all the leads that visit your website are ready to buy. So by understanding who you are talking to you can create content that answers the questions they have before they buy.

By doing this everyone in your business understands who you are talking to.

You also need to create content that nurtures the prospects into Marketing and Sales qualified leads.

It is only these leads that you should pass onto Sales.

How buyer personas help your sales team

Buyer personas are great for your Sales Team because they then know who they are speaking to. You cannot effectively sell your products and services if you don’t understand who you are selling to.

A Sales Agent cannot possibly position your business as the solution if they don’t fully understand the problem. In addition this also means that sales are not wasting their time on people who are never going to buy.

They just concentrate on leads that are hot and have been nurtured by Marketing to a Sales ready lead.

If your Sales Team has a copy of your buyer personas they know what questions and needs they have.

They know what interests them and what doesn’t.

This means they can have more meaningful conversations with their prospects. As  Marketing are sending them better quality leads, the leads they do speak to are much more engaged and therefore a higher percentage will convert.

This also means your Sales teams are not wasting their time on people who are simply not interested in buying.

This will save time for the Sales Agent, Prospect and your Business.

What impact would this have on your business?

How buyer personas benefits your marketing ROI

This is one of the biggest errors I observe marketing teams making. They have not identified who their buyer personas are and are simply marketing to everyone.

Marketing Teams can really target their advertising when they know who to target, it also helps with your marketing message. They give a deeper understanding of the buyer’s journey.

A buyer persona can help with understanding which channels are the most effective in promoting your content.

Buyer personas create a better quality lead and can help you convert more of your website traffic into leads of higher quality.

They can help you to target the messaging on your website and which content needs to be your main focus. It can help with SEO, as you will know what content and keywords are important to your audience.

Having well-defined buyer personas can help in training your marketing team and when outsourcing, gives everyone a clear idea of who you want to be talking to.

This will result in much more effective Marketing.

How buyer personas help with your Customer Services

Marketing works best when Sales, Marketing and Customer Services are all aligned. When each department speaks to each other regularly then everyone understand the needs of the Customer.

In my opinion, a marketing team cannot carry out effective marketing if they do not speak to sales and customer services on a regular basis.

Being on the front line, sales and customer services may understand your customers better than you or your marketing teams. It is these departments who normally speak to your customers every day and therefore understand them.

Your Customer Service team can work far better if they also have a clear understanding of your buyer personas, as they already have an understanding of the problems your customers face on a day to day basis and therefore can work out solutions in advance.

How to create your buyer personas to get quality leads

The best place to start when creating a buyer persona is with:

  • Your customers
  • Your sales team
  • Your customer services team
  • Your prospects
  • Clients you did not convert

By conducting interviews with all of these sources you will start to build up a good picture of what your buyer persona will look like. Most businesses have multiple buyer personas, but start with one and get that right before you move onto another persona.

A buyer persona is not a do it and forget it task, you will need to revisit it regularly to build up a more accurate picture.

As a free gift for reading this post I have created this persona checklist for you to download which will give you some ideas on the right questions to ask.

Key Take Aways

Don’t think you can skip creating buyer personas, as this is why you have no or poor quality leads in the first place.

Create buyer personas by conducting interviews with your prospects, customers, customer services, marketing and sales to understand who you really are selling to.

Use these interviews to build a buyer persona of your best customers. You then need to create content that helps to answer their most asked questions and that addresses their needs.

If you want to find out additional ways to turn more of your website visitors into customers then why not read our free guide on “How to nurture someone from a website visitor to customer

Now it’s your turn

I would really appreciate your comments and thoughts about this blog post.

Any questions? I’m more than happy to answer these in the comments below.

Source: 56% of B2B organisations verify valid business leads before they are passed to Sales.

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