How To Create B2B Buyer Personas (with Template)

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Most marketers would agree it’s imperative to understand their target audience, but compiling, analyzing, and distilling customer data to create buyer personas can be a huge undertaking. If you work for a B2B organization, we get it — building B2B client profiles comes with challenges you don’t experience when working directly with consumers. But B2B buyer personas are incredibly helpful, and today, we’d like to share some of our top tips for how to craft research-backed, data-driven buyer personas that can improve your messaging and overall digital presence.

If you don’t have clearly defined buyer personas, you may miss out on knowledge of critical buying impulses that shape your target audience’s decision-making. To learn more about how to create B2B buyer personas (and access our FREE template) keep reading.

Why Buyer Personas Are Useful for B2B Organizations

You will create more impact with your marketing campaigns and communication efforts. By creating detailed buyer personas, B2B companies can understand their target audience better and tailor their marketing efforts to reach and engage them more effectively. Understanding what your customer base wants to hear and how they want to hear it is critical. Buyer personas can help you pinpoint what kinds of marketing strategies may be most effective and what key messages you should include in each of your initiatives. For content marketing agencies like us, buyer personas ensure we include the right blend of topics and content types on behalf of our clients.

You will deploy more effective sales strategies. Buyer personas aren’t just helpful for marketers — they can drastically improve the way sales teams interface with leads. Buyer personas help sales teams understand their prospects’ pain points and motivations, allowing them to create more effective sales strategies and materials that speak directly to their needs. This is particularly important for lengthy, complex sales cycles that are all too common among B2B organizations.

You will pinpoint product development opportunities and enhance the customer experience. The most successful organizations are always looking for ways to adapt emerging needs, whether these changes are unique to their audience or part of a broader industry shift. Since buyer personas are rooted in real customers’ specific needs, challenges, and preferences, product marketing and client success teams can better anticipate ways to innovate, problem-solve, and ultimately surprise and delight their current customers.

How to Create Buyer Personas with Data

When creating a buyer persona, you should never make assumptions about your target audience. Your B2B buyer personas will be stronger if you conduct thorough market research to understand your ideal client’s buying process. If you have access to customers that are willing to give you fifteen minutes of their time, Google Analytics, and a survey tool, you have what you need to put together a data-backed buyer persona.

Interview customers for key insights into buying decisions.

When conducting buyer persona research, consider reaching out to your customer base to see if they’d be willing to participate in a buyer insight interview. When we conduct research interviews, we focus our line of questioning on the following topics:

  • Priority Initiatives. What would cause a potential customer to realize they need a solution like yours?
  • Decision Criteria. What factors contribute to making a final decision?
  • Perceived Barriers. What reasons would a prospect not choose your product?
  • Success Factors. What needs to happen post-purchase for a customer to feel confident they made the right decision?

Together, these key insights can help you summarize who would benefit from your product or service and how you can communicate that you’re a perfect fit.

Leverage digital analytics.

User behavior can tell you a lot about what prospects find engaging. If you deploy email campaigns, take a close look at what kinds of subject lines generate the most opens. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, evaluate which pages and posts are most highly trafficked. If you track form fills, analyze the demographics of people who convert on your site. These are just a few ideas that scratch the surface of what your digital marketing efforts can tell you. While digital analytics involves a lot of interpretation — and yes, some assumptions — these metrics aren’t to be ignored.

Deploy surveys to validate your findings.

Once you start identifying buying trends, you may find it helpful to circulate surveys among your customers to confirm you’re on the right track. Free tools like Google Forms can be utilized and easily distributed to an email list. If you think a larger sample size would be beneficial, consider collecting proprietary data by paying for more respondents through Google Surveys or other similar platforms.

Consult third-party research.

While information straight from the source is always ideal, it’s not always available. We live in an era where research is conducted and published online — don’t be afraid to tap credible sources to strengthen your proprietary findings. Consumer reports, industry trends, and competitor analyses are great places to start.

Once you’re satisfied you understand your target audience, it’s time to distill that information into a buyer persona.

Want to make it even simpler?

Use our Free B2B Buyer Persona Template for a Jump-Start

What to Include in a B2B Buyer Persona

When creating a B2B buyer persona, you’ll want to go beyond just demographics. The best buyer personas include a balanced mixture of numerical data points and in-depth qualitative information. Ideally, you would create a buyer persona for each key decision-maker — because not every decision-maker has the same goals, requirements, and preferences.

  • Name and Photo. Client profiles typically start with the persona’s name and a stock image to represent them — but why? Because naming and affiliating a persona with a photo humanizes the people you’re trying to connect with. At the end of the day, each individual buyer is a living, breathing person with unique needs and problems to solve. Remembering that can help you keep your perspective where it matters — on the people you can help.
  • Job Title and Responsibilities. What your buyer does for work can significantly influence their purchasing decisions. For B2B organizations, pinpointing exactly who you’re targeting and what they do on a day-to-day basis can help you identify better ways to connect with them and serve up your solution on a silver platter.
  • Industry and Company Size. Understanding which industries your ideal buyer works in is crucial to ensure you’re targeting the right verticals. Most buyer personas categorize company size by small business, mid-market, or enterprise.
  • Pain Points and Challenges. When identifying your ideal buyers’ pain points, consider how your solution can resolve the tension your audience experiences. Your prospects have a need, and zeroing in on what friction they experience is key to ensuring your messaging resonates.
  • Buying Habits and Decision-Making Criteria. Even if a lead recognizes your product or service can improve their quality of life, identifying a potential solution is only a small portion of the buying process. Your ideal customers may need to receive a certain number of bids, adhere to stringent budgets, or get buy-in from higher-ups. All aspects of decision-making matter, and you must understand buying impulses that extend beyond your customers’ basic wants to meet all of their requirements.
  • Communication Preferences. Does your target customer spend a lot of time on social media? Do they regularly open and engage with email content? Are they signing up for webinars and ongoing education? By understanding your buyers’ communication preferences, you can focus on strategies that will work, and less time on those with little value.
  • Buyers’ Journey – When you build your B2B buyer persona, one of the most important components to include is your ideal buyer’s journey to becoming a customer. To create a buyer journey flow, reflect on and document the most common significant moments and pivotal points your customer experiences throughout the buying process. Start with their first interaction with your brand, and get as granular as you can, ending with when they convert.

Eager to get started? Download our free template or contact us today.

At 434 Marketing, we create websites with our clients’ ideal customers in mind. Don’t have buyer personas? No worries — we’re a curious group, and we love unearthing key buying impulses and crafting thorough customer personas for our clients to lean on.

If you are a business owner, sales leader, or marketing professional looking to optimize your sales processes and digital experience, we’re here to help. Contact us today and tell us about your challenges and goals. We’d love to learn more.