Market Research

How to Build and Distribute B2B Buyer Persona Frameworks

December 4, 2013

How to Build and Distribute B2B Buyer Persona Frameworks

Some of the most impactful projects I do here at OpenView are buyer persona projects. These projects answer the basic question, “Who is the buyer?” and provide insights on their pain points, duties, and influence on the buying process.

What are some best principles to abide by when constructing buyer persona frameworks?

1. Brainstorm with your sales and marketing teams.

This can be especially helpful for generating a list of the job titles involved in the buying process. You may find that these roles can be combined into distinct classes of personas, but it is important to collaborate across teams to ensure you don’t miss anyone.

2. Combine roles with overlapping characteristics to create distinct categories of personas.

One example is creating an IT Technical Buyer Persona by combining all IT Manager, Director, and Systems-orientated roles. The key is to understand whether these roles have similar responsibilities that can be rolled into a single category.

3. Make sure to include multiple sources of data.

This can include your CRM, interviews with your sales team, customer interviews, secondary research, and industry thought leaders, if possible.

4. Think about what information you want to present about your personas.

Consider highlighting aspects such as: job duties, titles, personal pain points (ex: what are the challenges they face on a day to day basis), internal goals, and needs (ex: desired solutions to the problems they face). If you are combining several job titles, you will want to give a brief overview (ex: titles, experience required in job, and who they report to) of the role the persona plays in the organization.

A key data point you want to report is the persona’s buying criteria. This is the key characteristics they are looking for in a provider of services, their product, and desired outcomes for the product/service they are purchasing.

5. Circulate your personas to the sales and marketing teams to get their input.

In order for your research to gain acceptance and traction, you will need to get buy-in from sales and marketing. Ask them if your personas pass the “sniff test” — is there something that is missing or goes against collective wisdom? The goal is to use the review meeting to stimulate a productive discussion about the personas and create a feedback loop that will drive their adoption within the organization. If all of the stakeholders feel they have contributed to the projects, they are far more likely to push their respective teams to adopt it within the organization.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

buyer insights researchFor a complete walk-through of how to conduct buyer insights research from start to finish, download our free eBook, Buyer Insights Research: How to Understand Your Buyers So You can Eliminate the Guesswork.

Learn how to:

  • Introduce a more customer-centric way of thinking across the organization
  • Improve customer acquisition effectiveness
  • Focus on the decision-makers within a target company and their key influencers
  • Understand the subtle distinctions between different roles in the buying process
  • Build a pipeline with more targeted and effective messaging
  • Create compelling product packaging and pricing schemes
  • Enhance customer success and retention with improved product and service delivery
Download the eBook

Corporate Strategy, Sales Operations

Sudip is in charge of Corporate Strategy, Sales Operations at <a href="">Alegeus Technologies</a>. Previously, he worked at OpenView from 2012 until 2014 with portfolio companies to provide insights on the markets they operate in, their customers, and drive development of business strategies.