Know Your Buyers: How to Create B2B Buyer Personas - OneIMS
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Why is creating a B2B buyer persona so important? Let’s take a look at some data. As per a buyer survey report, at least one to six people are involved in 79% of the B2B purchasing decisions. 

According to this same report, around 45% of B2B buyers spent more time doing research before they made a purchase decision, 45% said they used multiple sources for their research, and 41% said they often had to put purchase decisions on hold or accelerate the process due to changing requirements.

So, what do you derive from the above statistics? That it is becoming increasingly difficult to win over B2B buyers.

How do you possibly know what goes inside the mind of a potential customer? Or the source they rely on when looking for a piece of information? You can learn the answers to these questions and more by creating a buyer persona for your business.

Having a detailed B2B buyer persona is one of the most critical elements of B2B. Buyer personas are unique to every business and can help you increase sales through targeted marketing, making it a must-have tool for your marketing team. 

Buyer personas are unique to every business and can help you increase sales through targeted marketing, making it a must-have tool for your marketing team. Click To Tweet

So, without further ado, let us find out what a buyer persona is and how to utilize it to increase your sales. 

What is a B2B Buyer Persona?

A B2B buyer persona is a fictitious personality with key characteristics representing who an ideal customer for your business should be. 

Let us explain in brief.

The B2B buyer persona always focuses on the principal decision-makers of the most relevant companies to your business.

Suppose you are an industrial company building and supplying lathe machines. Your ideal buyer companies could be from the automotive or transport machinery industry. And, your ideal buyer would be the decision-makers of these companies. Hence, your buyer persona can be someone belonging to the senior management of an automotive or a transport machinery company. 

Why Should You Create Buyer Personas for B2B?

Marketing campaigns for any business is expensive. If not strategized correctly, it can also be ineffective.

But more often than not, many companies end up reaching out to people who are not relevant to their business, wasting money and human resources in the process. 

This is where a buyer persona comes in. 

Instead of wasting futile marketing campaigns trying to entice the wrong customer segment, buyer personas help you change your focus on the target customers that can bring revenue to the table.

Your target customers, also known as personas in business linguistics, help you to create targeted marketing campaigns, thereby increasing your ROI. You already have a fictitious image of your ideal target audience; thus, it becomes easier to decide on the most relevant marketing strategies.

You will have a precise understanding of who you are talking to and how to design a product or a service keeping this persona’s exact requirements in mind. Personalized communication is another benefit offered by Buyer personas. 

Why does it matter, you ask?

Because buyers are more likely to get influenced by vendors who offer personalized marketing for addressing the buyers’ specific requirements. According to reports, 72% of consumers say that they engage more with personalized messages from businesses. 

Another major advantage of having a buyer persona is that it contributes to nurturing existing customers as well. For any business, the journey of a buyer doesn’t end with making a purchase. It is just the beginning in some cases. 

The B2B Growth Blueprint

SaaS models, for example, depend on reducing customer attrition by retaining the existing loyalty by offering new products, updating the products, and so on. Buyer personas play crucial roles in this area too. With buyer personas, you know exactly where a customer from a particular industry is heading and offer a product that can solve a problem they might potentially have. It is like predicting what your customers need even before they know they do. 

So, create buyer personas to not only generate leads but to develop and maintain valuable relationships with your customers as well. This will help you in retaining your customers and also bring in new leads in the long run.

It doesn’t end here. There are several other advantages of creating B2B buyer personas, which are:

  • You have a better understanding of the type of customers that you have to deal with in your business. This gives you a clear picture of how you can campaign your products to them more effectively.
  • A buyer persona also tells you about the audience that is not fit for your products. You would therefore know who and where to market your products.
  • It gives you a better understanding of how different personas react and interact with your business at different points in their customer journey.
  • And most importantly, a buyer persona acts as a guide for you to create new products and services for expanding your horizon.

Having an accurate and relevant B2B buyer persona is crucial if you want to maximize ROI for your marketing strategies and increase sales.

How to Create B2B Buyer Personas

It is crucial to create B2B buyer personas according to your business. And, to do that, you need to analyze your target customers. 

When creating a B2B buyer persona, you have to base the customer description on your actual target customer’s information, including the industry they operate in, the location of their business, and of course the challenges faced by the buyer that you can effectively solve. 

Therefore, the basic steps towards building a B2B buyer persona involve a lot of research and planning.

Let’s review the steps for a quick understanding:

Pick and Choose Your Ideal Industries

The first step towards researching your buyers is to find out how your brand fits into different industries and companies. There are a plethora of options available. For example, if you are a SaaS company that offers project management software, you can target a horde of businesses across a wide spectrum. But instead of going all out and targeting all of them, choose the ones that you think will benefit most from your product and thus will also find it valuable. 

Once you have chosen the crème of those options, it’s now time to focus on the attributes of your target buyers.

Researching the Buyer Attributes

Since you need to conduct thorough research before designing a buyer persona, it is important to delve deep into understanding your ideal customer characteristics. You have to include the following categories in your research:

Demographics: Information like the industry the buyer operates in, the position they work in within the company, and the location of the company are all important factors that contribute to creating an accurate B2B buyer persona. 

Career: their career length is also a piece of important information that you cannot ignore. This will help you in understanding their decision-making capabilities. 

Media: what kind of media do they use for research and interaction? How do they source any information? What are the channels of communication that they generally rely on?

Functions within the Company: what are some of the major responsibilities and activities that they are regularly undertaking within the business? How much of a decision-making power do they have within the company?

Motivations: any business goals or objectives that they have?

Challenges: What are the challenges they face in their way towards achieving their business goals?

Brands: what are the brands that they trust? Do they use these brands in their business? Do they like them or do they plan to bring about changes in the brand shortly?

Dig Out Data to Create the Ideal Buyer Persona

How do you do find data to creating your ideal buyer persona? Data. 

Lay out a detailed survey and share it on different social media platforms and other public forums to reach as many people from your chosen industries as possible. You should ideally include all the questions you need answers to, like the brands they trust, their pain points, and so on. 

Apart from conducting surveys, you can also use different tools to mine data from Google analytics and other analytics tools to help you create your ideal buyer persona.

Creation of the Buyer Personas

Gathering customer data takes the most effort and time. But once you have all the information in place, you would have a clear pattern emerging in front of you. These patterns will take the form of different buyer personalities that are ideal for your business. The next step is to classify them by their industries and jobs. 

Each buyer should be brought to life with a face and a name. Given below are examples of what a buyer persona can look like. 

B2B Buyer Persona Examples

One of the most intriguing questions that can bug your mind when you create buyer personas is how many should be enough for your business? Well, the answer is rather simple. You need to create as many as you might need. To help you out with this tricky part, here are some quick B2B buyer persona examples just for you:

Persona 1

Name: Frederic Hoffman

Role: Chief Customer Service Officer

Interests: Travel enthusiast, technology geek

Country of Origin: Scotland

Age Group: 26-37 

Education: Bachelors in Commerce

Income: £109,000

Objectives: Ensuring the customers are happy with the service. Helping customers with banking products and services.

Challenges: There is a need for streamlining the process of customer service.

Shopping Preference: Not an impulsive buyer. Researches thoroughly before buying.

Extract: With this buyer persona, you can understand clearly that Frederic is a customer-friendly personality. He deals with different customers every day and hence has a sunny personality. He belongs to the operations management target audience and is a tech-savvy person. He is struggling with the process of serving his customers in a streamlined manner. This can mean he has difficulty in time management and a project management tool might solve his problem.

Persona 2

Name: Diane Dougherty

Age: 46

Country: United States

Income: $107000

Education: Master’s degree

Job Role: Director at hospital critical care unit

Goals: To provide faster and better services to patients.

Challenges: To curtail expenses without compromising on quality.

Her Source of Information: Hospital newsletters, after-work socialization with department staff.

Extract: Diane is a well-rounded persona. She is looking to provide faster hospital services while also cutting down on expenses. Will a hospital management system entice her?

Persona 3

Name: Carla Munro

Age: 28

Country: United States

Income: 900.000

Job Role: Fashion entrepreneur 

Goals: She is specifically looking to create inclusive designs that incorporate all body shapes and sizes while keeping up with the latest trends

Challenges: She is finding it difficult to find manufacturers who can help bring her wide range of designs to life. Most manufacturers have prototypes that serve only a certain range of shapes and sizes. Even if they agree, the prices charged are super high. 

Extract: Carla is very clear about what she is looking for. There are not many options available for her. As a manufacturer, you can approach her and offer her space where she can freely create her designs without being forced to stick to the existing prototypes or having to pay an exorbitant amount. 

Hence, you see there can be different personas with a variety of requirements and demographics. There is no end to the variety of personas that can be designed and created. 

B2B Buyer Persona Creating Templates and Tools

A lot of marketers tend to fast-track in creating buyer personas for their business as they feel they know their customers well. It is far from the truth in reality. 

Never assume that you know your target audience well. After all, why depend on assumption when you can have solid data to rely on? Real data from your real customers will help you in creating realistic persona profiles that will do your business a world of good.

There are different ways in which you can create buyer personas for your business to understand the market that you would want to cater to. There are tools and templates available online to help you in the process of creating your ideal buyer personas. 

Here are some of such websites that offer buyer persona tools and templates. Check them out:

HubSpot Make My Persona

How can you ignore HubSpot when you are looking for free buyer persona templates for your B2B business? HubSpot has plenty of Make My Persona templates that are visually appealing and easy to download and use. The tool is user-friendly and pretty intuitive. There are around 19 questions that guide you in building the persona that you can use for your business.

Xtensio

Want to try your hands in creating a buyer persona for your B2B business free of cost? Xtensio is the place to head to. Neither do you need to spend even a cent, nor do you need to register or create an account. Just start creating your business buyer persona using the free tool. The best thing? There is also a free guide to help you get started.

Delve AI

With Delve AI’s Live Persona, you can use your Google Analytics data to generate a buyer persona. You can have a go with a free trial to check out how it works but thereafter it is a paid tool. However, it is highly rated and offers persona creation for both B2B and B2C businesses. 

Up Close & Persona

This is one of the most simplistic tools available online for creating B2B buyer personas. It asks you a few questions and based on your answers, gives you the persona of your ideal customer. 

Notion 

Notion can provide you with the most simplistic buyer persona template that is easy to use and convenient for a quick structure for persona creation.

Compose.ly 

This is yet another website that offers a free buyer persona template. You can just sign up to download their free buyer persona template and start using it for your business. 

Final Words

With B2B buyer persona mapping, it will become much easier for you to create a better marketing campaign and reach out to your target audience because you know who to approach. The message you are trying to convey will resonate much well with such an audience because what you are offering is valuable and relevant to them.

Just remember one thing- the personas that you create for your business will keep changing with time. Just like nothing else is constant in life and the world, the interests, requirements, preferences, and challenges of your buyer personas are also likely to change with time. You need to keep adapting to the changes and accordingly evolve the buyer personas for your business.

Keep in touch with your customers so that you are aware of their requirements and changing perspectives. Also, keep yourself updated with the latest industry news to ensure that your B2B buyer personas are still relevant for your business.

If you need help creating the ideal buyer persona for your B2B business or need assistance in devising effective marketing strategies to attract more leads, you can always contact the experienced marketing professionals at OneIMS.

Written By Samuel Thimothy

As the Chief Growth Officer, I provide leadership, direction and resource stewardship to the organization’s sales and marketing function. I also collaborate with our digital marketing strategy team in developing and executing growth marketing campaigns for our loyal clients.

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