Questions To Ask Your Sales Team To Improve Your Buyer Personas
Your top sales reps can give unique insight into the behaviour and characteristics of your buyers – helping you build effective buyer personas. However, you’ll need to ask the right questions to uncover the useful information!
Buyer personas model the personalities, behaviours, goals and challenges of potential customers. They are an incredibly useful tool for informing your company’s marketing and sales strategies. However, many B2B marketers either haven’t developed personas, or have ineffective ones.
Your sales reps can help you build buyer personas that actually work!
Sales spend every day interacting one-on-one with prospects and customers and can give unique insight into the behaviour and characteristics of your buyers.
Top sellers develop an understanding of the people they are communicating with, and recognise patterns in their questions and interest levels. They pick up on the smaller details that the marketing team isn’t exposed to.
However, when you sit down with your sales reps, you need to ask the right questions to uncover the useful information that will help you to build effective buyer personas.
We’ve included some examples to get you started:
1. Who are you targeting?
Many times, what marketing considers the buyer persona is not who sales is actually targeting. So ask them!!! Find out which job roles they are targeting? In which industry? Which functional areas?
2. Who is actually buying?
After asking sales reps who they’re selling to, your next question should be “who’s actually buying?”. Your sales reps can describe characteristics of customers who are actually purchasing your offerings.
Again, ask which job roles? Which functional areas? But go further than that. Ask about age, gender and personality. Try and build a clear picture of who you are selling to.
Ask how they came to be interested in your product/service? Where and how buyers first heard about your company and your offerings?
Ask what reasons buyers give when deciding to make a purchase, as well as those they give for not buying. This will help you to identify common factors in buyer decision-making.
3. What companies do buyers work for?
Your sales team can also provide details about buyers’ organisations. Such details include company size and revenue, industry, number of employees, and the amount of their budget that’s allocated to your area of interest.
4. How do buyers prefer to communicate?
Another important insight sales can provide is what form of communication buyers respond best to.
Salespeople typically use a variety of methods for reaching out to prospective buyers, from phone calls to email and social media. Understanding how buyers respond to each of these channels can help optimsise your marketing outreach efforts.
5. What questions are buyers asking?
The key to creating an effective buyer persona is understanding exactly what it is buyers are looking for. Ask your sales reps about the questions prospects and customers are asking them.
These questions will usually include basic information about your product or service as; What does it do? How much does it cost? What are the technical details?
When you know exactly what information your persona is seeking, you can create content that answers these questions.
6. What pains are buyers experiencing?
Buyers seek new products or services when they have a specific problem they need to solve. Sales should be able to tell you about the challenges customers are solving with our product AND how they speak about this pain.
Being familiar with buyers’ challenges and the language they use to describe them can provide insight into how best to deliver value.
7. What are your buyers’ journeys?
Learn about customer behaviour by asking your reps about the path that buyers take to becoming customers – their buyer’s journeys!
They should be able to tell you:
- About the different stages involved in the buying journey for different types of buyers
- What influences buyers at each stage, and what accelerates or decelerates their path to becoming a customer (Have they read any specific pieces of content? Recieved certain emails? Had any outreach from sales? etc.)
- What criteria are most important in a buyer’s decision to purchase your offering?
- What solution they were using prior to your product or service?
Now you’re armed with a list of questions, find out how else you should be using your sales team to inform your personas.