Who are your customers? What is their job title? What are their biggest challenges? How can your product/service solve those challenges?
These are just a handful of the questions that you may have answered in order to have a true understanding of your buyer personas. But it’s not enough to simply collect the answers to these questions, add a picture, and a few descriptive paragraphs to just let your personas collect dust in your Google Drive.
Your buyer personas should be one of the most worn-out documents in your sales and marketing arsenal. If not, your team may be lengthening the sales cycle and not even know it. Here are a few ways buyer personas can help shorten the sales cycle for your team.
Seek and you Will Find
As the saying goes, seek and you will find. What people often forget, however, is that if you don’t know what you’re seeking, it’s going to be very hard to find. Salespeople–both young and experienced–waste the greatest amount of time when they spend time with the wrong people or deliver the wrong message. Instead, when personas are used across the entire organization, salespeople know whom to target, they know what to say, and they know how to navigate the connections between role players.
Alignment Between Sales and Marketing
According to Marketing Sherpa, 61% of marketers send all leads directly to sales, despite only 27% of those leads actually being qualified. Not only does that contribute to significant time wasted, but it also represents a tremendous waste of resources and opportunity.
Without clearly agreed-upon buyer personas, there can be no effective lead triage or scoring mechanism put in place. This not only means that salespeople have less time to focus on their best opportunities, but they are also approaching those opportunities with bad messaging and tactics. Simply put, it’s impossible to have alignment without clarity on whom you are trying to attract.
I should also point out that buyer personas should never be considered complete. They are a living document that is a constant work in progress. By ensuring that personas are clearly communicated and utilized throughout your company, you also ensure that they will be kept up-to-date, making your marketing and lead generation efforts more effective and further cutting cycle times and sales costs.
Sales Call Planning
The best time to use buyer personas is when planning a sales strategy call. Reviewing personas before a sales call will allow you to start off on the right foot and as the call goes on quickly determine the sales tactics you should employ. This cuts down the analysis time and allows you to maintain a proactive posture throughout the sales process, further cutting the sales cycle time.
How Good are your Buyer Personas?
The key to formulating a good persona is knowing how to work with your team to engage in the persona development exercise. Vendilli has been walking clients through this exercise for years. It’s one of the most crucial steps in our onboarding process. So, if you’re having trouble figuring out who your best buyer is, and how to find more “good-fit leads” for your company, contact Vendilli. We’re always happy to help!