How can a buyer persona help you with business development? Learn how to create one and use it in your daily work.
No business can grow sustainably and profitably without a loyal and supportive customer base. Customers have the power to elevate a business and ensure that it stays relevant in the market.
However, in many cases, business developers don't know their customers well enough. That's why when they reach out to them, they fail to persuade them to take action.
One of the main reasons why your leads aren't turning to customers is that they aren't the right ones. You may be contacting people that don't see your business as relevant to their lives. You can have a great product or service, but that doesn't mean that every person will buy it. That's why it's important to contact the right people.
Your customer already has a problem or a pain point they're trying to find a solution for. So, they will buy products that fulfil their expectations, wants, and needs.
So, how can you get to know your customers better?
What is a buyer persona?
One of the best ways to get to know your customers better is to build a buyer persona. First, let's define what a buyer persona is.
A buyer persona is the representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
You shouldn't confuse the buyer persona with the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) which instead represents the type of company that would benefit the most from your product or service.
In order to create your buyer persona you have to research deeply your audience to find out specific characteristics about your customers. You can then use the insights you find to better target your target audience and generate long-term value for your company.
There are many ways a buyer persona can help you in your work. Especially when it comes to your external communications strategy. For example, you can use the buyer persona to personalize your outreach.
But buyer persona are not only helpful to win new customers. You can also use it to build better relationships with your current customers and transform them into brand advocates. Brand advocates will talk about your business and show their support for what your company does both online and offline. They will help your brand gain popularity and help you generate more revenue.
You don't have to know every customer on an individual basis. You can pick a specific number of your target customers. Then, based on the results, you create a customer profile that mirrors your larger customer base.
How to build a buyer persona
Building a buyer persona is a creative, research-led learning process. You're creating characters out of your target audience to help you make the right business decisions.
First, you need to conduct customer research. You can start by using your current customers' list. Find out more about them, and then continue by finding additional ones.
What are some ways you can research your customers?
There are many ways to gather insights into who your audience is. Specifically, you can gain more information on your customers by doing netnography. This qualitative research method gives you insights into customer culture online. So, it's a way to understand more about your customers' online behaviours and interactions. Similarly, you can use digital tools such as Sparktoro and Google Analytics.
On Google Analytics, you can find important customer information such as their age, gender, and location. Also, additional information such as the browsers they use, what pages are they visiting on your website, and how much time they spend on them.
Once you have more information on your customer, you can create your buyer persona. Typically, a buyer persona includes the following:
- Name and photo
- Demographical information
- Motivations, pains, and habits
- Personality traits
- Goals and ambitions
Using a buyer persona in practice
Now that you’ve built your buyer persona, what can you do with it?
Because you now have a representative image of your customer base, your communication with them isn't only about what your business offers. But, how your business can influence their lives positively.
The first way you can use a buyer persona in practice is to win over the competition. Because you know your customer well enough and can fulfill their expectations, they're more likely to buy from you. Or if they already buy from your competitor, they're more likely to turn to you for solutions.
You can also use your buyer persona when it comes to partnerships. Partnerships offer business developers a wealth of information and resources they may not have. They can be a great choice to meet customer demands and their ever-changing preferences.
A buyer persona helps you build a customer-centric approach to your business development strategy. So, even when it comes to strategic partnerships, you'll look for companies that will benefit your business and your customer base.
Use buyer persona for product development
Similarly, a buyer persona can be very useful for product development. Normally, a product goes through numerous stages of development. It requires continuous updates, new features, and marketing. The main goal is to have a product that sells effortlessly. So, a product that customers choose to always buy despite other available options present in the market.
But, what's the relation between product development and buyer personas?
The point of developing a product is to ensure it meets customers' demands. So, if you want your product to be successful, people should be at the forefront. Your customer should always come first!
Your buyer persona acts as a bridge between your product and the audience. A product's success depends on how well it's received in the market. Launching and distributing a product that doesn't reflect customer needs leads to failure.
So, instead of simply creating a product for an audience you don't necessarily know what they want, you do the opposite. You research them. In turn, you have a clearer view of how your business can meet their expectations and then create a product they'll buy.
In addition, a buyer persona also helps create excellence in your customer experience. You know what your customers like and dislike. So, you develop and market a product that solves their problems and caters to their preferences.
Importantly, buyer personas also help you avoid costly business mistakes. For example, instead of using your product development budget for the wrong customer base, you use it for the right one. In this way, you save both time and money.
So, there are many ways you can use buyer personas for business development. They give you more clarity and direction in order to give your customers the solutions they're looking for.
But, it's essential to do research and know your customer! Not understanding who you're selling your products and services to will only lead to wasted effort. In turn, your company will struggle to stay in the market, generate revenue, and grow.
Would you like to learn more about your audience? Join our business development certification program to build your buyer persona and grow your business development career.