Creating a B2B customer persona, but not sure where to start?
You’re in luck. In this post, we’re discussing exactly how to create a customer persona from scratch that enables you to reach and relate to your target audience. Let’s get started.
9 Reasons Why You Need to Create B2B Customer Personas
Customer personas aren’t just nice to have. They’re absolutely essential.
A surprising amount of B2B SaaS are clueless about what makes their customers tick. They don’t know who their customers are and what makes them buy. As a result, they constantly struggle with low retention rates, high churn numbers, and mismatched customers. Because they have a fuzzy understanding of their customers, they have an equally fuzzy marketing message. Target customers may not connect with the message.
Does this sound like you?
If it does, don’t worry. There’s a simple answer: Create a customer persona.
Customer personas help you understand who your customers are. When you take the time to describe their basic demographics, goals, and buying motivations, you’ll be able to do the following with ease:
- Align your products with the customer’s goals
- Ease hesitations and answer any objections with your marketing copy
- Understand what moves your customer to buy
- Understand when your customer is most likely to buy
- Understand what your customer values
- Learn more about what your customer is looking for in a product
- Speak directly to the customer’s needs and goals
- Personalize your marketing messages for the right audience
- Create case studies that can help convert your audience
Whoa! That’s a whole lot of goodness that comes from filling out a B2B customer persona template. (By the way, you can download your own free customer persona template at the end of this post.)
Many mistakenly believe that customer personas are only for B2C businesses. However, both B2B and B2C businesses can benefit from creating customer personas. The reason is simple. Both B2B and B2C speak to an individual person. Even if you’re targeting an enterprise, you still need to reach that one key stakeholder. So, no matter if you’re a B2B or a B2C, your marketing strategy must focus on the individual. This is who will decide whether to choose your solution or go on to the next.
Why You Need Multiple Customer Personas
Most businesses have multiple customer types, yours included. This means that you need to create a unique customer persona for each type of customer that you work with. Don’t try to skate by with one generic customer persona.
List every type of customer who will want to use your product. But here’s something you must remember: When creating customer personas, focus on the individual stakeholder, i.e. the person who is buying your product.
This is an essential distinction for B2B customers. Your buyer is likely not the same person as the end user. Of course, it’s important to understand what your end users need in your product. However, when it comes to getting your foot in the door (a.k.a. marketing), you’re speaking to the buyer. This is why you need to have a clear understanding of who that buyer is and what motivates them to buy.
Go Beyond the Basics
When creating your B2B customer personas, challenge yourself to go beyond the basics. Every customer persona should include basic demographics such as industry and job title, but that elementary data won’t help you craft a strong customer profile. To do that, you’ll need to answer the following questions about your target customer:
What problem does your B2B customer need to solve?
Remembering that the customer is your buyer and not necessarily the end user, ask yourself this question: What is this customer’s pain? Yes, they’re tasked with finding a solution to the end user’s problem, but what is the big picture here? Are they looking to improve their company’s positioning in their industry? Are they hoping to increase revenue quickly? Do they want to improve productivity?
This is what you need to understand to craft on-point marketing messages.
Who are the stakeholders and possible gatekeepers that stand in your way?
In a B2B environment, there’s not just one stakeholder to consider. In most cases, your customer will need to get buy-in from multiple stakeholders. On average, a company with 100 to 500 employees has an average of seven decision-makers. Be sure to include key decision makers in your persona profile.
What type of reassurances does your B2B customer need?
Every customer needs some type of reassurance before they buy, whether that’s in the way of a money-back guarantee, an ROI calculator, a white paper, or a case study that reflects a similar pain point/customer. Figure out what type of reassurance the customer is looking for and document it on your profile.
What are your B2B customer’s objections?
What stops your customer from buying your product? Perhaps they’re not convinced that your product will provide an acceptable return on their investment. Perhaps they’re uncomfortable with the price of your product. Perhaps they don’t like changing products and they need to be convinced that your solution is better than their current one. Include the customer’s top two or three objections in your profile.
What is your B2B customer afraid of?
Your customer’s objections are also connected to their fears. Be sure to list their top fears, such as gaining a poor reputation, making a bad financial decision, or getting fired.
What social media channels does your B2B customer use?
Social media is important for B2B marketing because the decision maker is an individual who likely uses LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, et al in their day-to-day life. Research shows that 84% of CEOs and VPs use social media to make buying decisions.
In your customer profile, list the social media channels that your customers may use.
Who does your B2B customer trust?
Customers often trust industry leaders, but they also trust other customers who resemble them in some way (same industry, pain point, et al). Also list where your customer prefers to go for research before making their purchase. Do they visit blogs or forums? Which ones? Do they prefer to attend live conferences? Which ones?
What keywords does your B2B customer use?
It’s important to know what words/phrases your customer uses to describe their pain point or need. This may be less technical than the end user. List three keyword phrases that you can include in your marketing copy.
What are your customer’s values?
Finally, what’s most important to the customer? For some customers, price is the most important consideration. For others, the presence or absence of comprehensive customer support may be the deciding factor.
Not sure what’s most important to your customers? Here’s an easy way to figure out what the customer values: Check out their common objections. This often points to what they value most.
Here’s what to do now that you know the basics of creating a B2B customer persona:
Download our free B2B customer persona template at the bottom of this post.
Check out these related resources:
- B2B SaaS Pricing Strategies You Need to Know
- How to Generate B2B SaaS Leads When You Have Low to No Budget