Creating Customer Personas and Why they are Important to Your Sales Campaign
Updated: Jan 30
Before you can design a great sales campaign, you need to know who you're talking to. Who is your audience? What are their needs? What are their challenges, and how can your products or services help them overcome them? You can't create an effective campaign if you don't know the answers to these and other questions.
One of the ways to answer these questions is to create customer personas. A persona is a fictional character you’ve created that represents a specific target customer. You can then base your sales campaign around these personas, creating ads and other marketing tools that speak to the actual live customers represented by these personas.
How do you create personas, and why are they so vital to sales campaigns? Let’s take a deeper look at customer personas and how the team here at Scaling Sales can help you design the ideal set of personas for your business.
What is a Customer Persona?
We stated that a persona is a specific type of customer, but what does that mean? These personas aren’t based on a single customer. Instead, they’re the cumulation of data you’ve gathered about various customers, including businesses. Personas need to be fairly specific in some ways, which means you’ll likely need to create a number of personas.
For example, say your company offers SaaS software for accounting firms. You might create a persona for a small firm that has less than $1 million in annual revenue, under five employees, and is less than ten years old. This is going to be one of your targets, and they’re going to have specific needs. However, they’re not your only potential customer. You may also want to create personas for firms that bring in millions in revenue, have two hundred employees and maintain multiple offices in a dozen different states.
The number of personas and what each represents is going to be different for every company. It all depends on who you’re trying to reach and what services you offer. While you may not want to create hundreds of personas, having a dozen or so for each product or service is not unusual.
How Do You Create a Customer Persona?
The first step to creating a customer persona is to gather data about your customers or potential customers. You can gather this information from your website analytics, market research, customer feedback, and other methods. The more data you have, the more fine-tuned your personas will be. You will want to ask basic questions such as company size, annual revenue, how old the business is, what key pain points the company is struggling with, and what their overall goals are.
Next, you need to analyze this data. Look for patterns. Are there any trends among annual revenue, industries, number of employees, location, etc.? All of these patterns can be used to create personas. If possible, gather data about their challenges or goals, too, so you can incorporate that information into your personas.
For example, you may have a persona representing an accounting firm with an average revenue of $500,000 a year, has less than ten employees, and operates out of a single office but also does remote work. Creating a persona for this type of customer will help you fine-tune your marketing campaigns and may even play a part in the development of future products and services.
Using a Customer Persona
Once you have created personas, you want to compare them to the challenges these customers are dealing with. Why are they buying your products? What are their goals for doing so, and how can you meet those goals? By answering these questions, you'll be able to direct your sales campaigns to address them. When customers matching a persona see these ads, they will often feel like the ad is speaking directly to them, which in turn helps increase the chance they will convert into a paying customer.
The persona discussed above may face challenges such as growing their business and balancing work with their home life, while they may not find adapting to new technology as challenging as other personas. Because they do research on products, you’ll want to provide information about your services, and you will likely get their attention through social media marketing.
Some teams find it helpful to name each persona and even include a basic stock photo of a person or business, and this helps make that persona more tangible instead of an amalgamation of data. Instead of talking about "small businesses with less than 50 employees," it can be easier to talk about "Jones & Sons, LLC." It's not necessary to name your personas, but many people find it helps.
Why Are Personas Important?
As you can see, creating a marketing campaign aimed at a persona is much easier. If you ask your marketing team to build a sales campaign for a product without personas, they're marketing to a faceless company. You may have a vague idea of who your audience is, but without researching to confirm that idea, you may find that you're not actually reaching them. Here are a few of the key reasons why personas are important in sales campaigns:
Your ads are relevant
Think about the ads you see. If you receive a postcard for something that isn't relevant to your life, you don't think about buying that product, and you throw the card away. You're being ignored if you aren't sending relevant ads to your customers. Personas help you craft relevant ads that address actual concerns customers have.
You save money
Investing time, money, and resources on ads that aren’t relevant to your customers is a waste. While it’s possible your ads will reach some people who are interested in what you offer, this happens almost by accident. A scattershot approach will hit some targets, but it’s not going to give you a good return on investment. Marketing to people who have no need or desire for your products and services is a waste of money.
You know where your customers are
Getting a great return on investment is one of the key points of a successful sales campaign, but you can't do that if you don't know where your customers are. Creating personas will help you determine if your customers are on social media or if they typically read industry trades or magazines. You might find that your customer base is mostly younger, so they're likely to be online. They may not read the newspaper or watch television, so running ads there would not be a good use of resources. Instead, online ads or ads on streaming services may be a better option.
Personas help identify partners
Are you considering partnering with another business, celebrity, or influencer? Personas can help you identify these individuals so you can create partnerships that are beneficial for you. Partnering with the wrong person, just like advertising in the wrong place, isn’t going to give you a good ROI.
Scaling Sales is Here to Help You Develop Customer Personas and More
If you’re not certain where to start gathering data or how to identify patterns in it, Scaling Sales can help. Whether you’re looking for a consultant, training for your sales team, or considering hiring a fractional VP of sales, we’ve got you covered. Reach out to us today via our contact form to learn more or to ask any questions you may have.