Within B2B industries, buyers are 48 percent more likely to consider solutions that have been tailored to their needs.

The better you understand your buyer and the motivations that drive them to consider a purchase, the easier it will be to create sales messages that appeal to them. These effective messages will see a greater number of prospective customers engage and progress through the sales funnel towards conversion . The first step to gaining an in-depth understanding of your customers is through the development of key buyer and user persona groups.

Overview of the work involved and the time it takes to complete lesson

This lesson simply groups information you have available from your repository and CRM.  

Estimated Time To Complete : 10 Minute Read, 10 – 20 Minutes of Ideation and Grouping

Definitions and Examples

Persona groups (Personas) – the contacts that you sell to and the users of your product that are classified by similar challenges and goals in relationship to your service.  

Persona Groups at Apollo

Most of the time, people will be grouped by titles, as titles are the most publicly available source of data. Once you speak with the person individually, some classifications may change.  You will use these groups to share common messaging since they share common challenges.

Key Buyer Personas, Buyer Roles and User Personas

Key Buyer Personas – the contacts that are actually involved in the decision making process of your solution

Buyer Persona Roles – the specific role the buyer persona plays in the buying process

5 common buyer persona roles

  • Entry point: The contact most likely to take the first call. Entry point contacts are the ones that inbound the most and have the highest reply rates.
  • Business Owner: The contact who will own the solution if purchased and is the direct beneficiary of its implementation. They are typically your POC during implementation and ongoing support.  Not to be confused with an ordinary end user, this contact is part of the initial evaluation process.
  • Decision Maker: The contact who will make final decision and sign to work with you
  • Technical Buyer: If you are a technical service, the contact who is responsible for ensuring your service can work with the existing infrastructure
  • Economic Buyer: The contact who holds the purse and controls the budget

It is very possible for a persona to share two or more of these roles, which makes your life a lot easier. When you think about the Go-To-Market process, we recommend only focusing on the Entry point, Business owner and Decision Maker roles that are most aligned to your goals.

As you can see in the above example we have stack ranked the probability of the buyer role and what buyer role each persona could be.  For example, we found the CEO/Founder is highly dependent on the size of the company so we taper off the outreach to them accordingly.  Given our rankings we evolved our targeting as our goals evolved.

User Personas – contacts that aren’t involved in the decision making process, but are the direct beneficiaries of your service day to day and can influence the buying process.  Although we don’t sell to them, we still have found it useful to be highly aware of them. As they use the service regularly, they often wield influence over the purchase decisions of other contacts. We don’t target these roles in our outbound unless your business allows for self signup, free user trials or your business has found that a bottoms up sales strategy yields the best results.

Tips / Guidance for building out your Personas Groups and identifying which Buyer Group or User Group they are in

  • You probably already know a lot of this information off the top of your head, which is a great place to start. It’s also best to include CRM and other marketing data to help guide you and expand titles.
  • For the first pass, group people by common titles that work under the same departments.
  • If there are titles that are similar, but a specific additional word makes them a bad fit for the group, be sure to note the negative keyword
    • Ex. Marketing, exclude Content, Social
  • If it is known that the same title can mean different things at different companies, particularly when the companies differ by factors such as industry or size. Be sure to create a separate group when needed and identify the indicators that differentiate them
  • Keep a list of all the titles or program them into your database
  • Continually grow and refine your personas

Next Steps

Now that you have a grasp of your groups and how they play a role in your sales process, you will want to begin further diagnose everything about each group and how you should begin to talk to them.  In the next lesson, we will cover building your first persona framework.

This is part of an 8.1 part academy series called 8.1 steps to build an effective go-to-market strategy.  Feel free to jump to other parts in the series if you’re further down the process or want to review concepts on a certain topic.  This series is being released over a period of time so if there isn’t a link to the topic, it is not available just yet.

Syllabus – Overview and Guiding Principals

1| Foundational Goals: Set yourself up for success

2| Repository: Collect everything you have so far and organize it so you don’t waste time

3| Positioning
3.1| Total Addressable Market (TAM), Target Market (TM), Customer Profile (CP) : Creating Focus
3.2| Key Buyer and User Groups : The people who you sell to and benefit from your service
3.3| Persona Framework: Get to know your groups intimately and turn them into personas

4| Targeting
4.1| Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) = Target accounts + Entrypoint Personas : Prioritizing your highest value effort
4.2| Trigger based targeting : Automatic reasons to reach out to any account that meets your ICP

5| Messaging
5.1| Key Benefit Statement : A distinct and tangible message so your persona knows you’re built for them.
5.2| Email Templates: 7 Proven email templates for every step of your campaign

6| Sequences and Plays: The pre-determined structure for messaging and actions needed to ensure followthrough

7| Execute
7.1| People: Understand the different roles people can play in your organization and when best to use them
7.2| Structure and Process: Define the structure and processes needed to be followed to ensure your systems are operating effectively and efficiently with no lead left behind
7.3| Technology: The difference of Marketing Automation, Sales Automation and CRM and how to make them work in harmony

8| Analyze:
Measure your results against your goals

8.1| Iterate, Optimize and Keep Following Through