Buyer personas are an essential part of your fintech marketing strategy. Personas help you define who your prospects are and how you ought to sell to them. The problem is: It's easy to get lost in the weeds and gather irrelevant information.
To successfully execute your B2B inbound marketing strategy, you need personas that drive sales. You're doing it wrong if your personas don't contain sales-relevant data. Here are seven sales-relevant buyer persona data points that you must always collect:
Prospect role in the buyer's journey
B2B buyer journeys are complex and involve multiple steps. A different role takes over and evaluates a portion of your offer at each step. Catering to these roles is essential, and your content must address their concerns. Therefore, you must understand your prospect's role during the buyer persona creation process.
Often, marketing teams record the prospect's job title and leave it at that. However, job titles and roles are not always the same.
For instance, a product owner in one company might be involved in the final sign-off. The product owner might defer to the CMO for final approval at another company.
Here are the primary roles your buyers occupy in the B2B fintech buyer journey:
Product user - This person will use your product daily
Indirect beneficiary - This person's job becomes easier thanks to your product
Budget owner - This person decides whether your product is worth the price and compares it to your competitors
Final approver - This person signs off on the purchase following input from the other roles
Note that at some companies, these roles will overlap. Note which category your prospect belongs to since this will help you figure out how to sell your product to them.
For example, the product user will be interested in figuring out the nitty-gritty of your product and less concerned with costs. The final approver will want to know whether your product will fulfill their goals in the organization.
The result is coherent messaging throughout your content that appeals to everyone involved in the buyer's journey.
Buyer journey roles overlap depending on the organization's size where your prospect works. Large companies tend to have distinct roles while smaller companies will combine them.
When examining sales data, you might find that your sales team generates more appeal from smaller organizations than larger ones. You can reverse-engineer your sales process with these prospects and standardize it.
These insights are possible only if you collect company data. Here are the metrics you must always have, at a minimum:
Number of employees
Company size (valuation or market cap)
Correlate these points to sales data and figure out where your best customers come from. Doubling your efforts with those segments will help you generate more sales and greater ROI from content marketing.
What metrics are your prospects judged by, and which benchmarks do they follow? Most marketing teams cannot answer this question since they're busy crafting a USP. Instead, dive into your prospects' daily routines, and explore their metrics.
All jobs are governed by metrics these days. Discover which ones matter to your prospect. For instance, a CFO's primary metrics revolve around cash flow, working capital, and net income. Margins and revenue trends also matter.
A controller (who works under the CFO) will track the following metrics:
Time to product monthly close reports
Ability to offer ad-hoc insights to the CFO
Internal audit metrics
Working to discover your prospect's key metrics will help you speak their language when marketing to them. For instance, content directed toward the CFO can speak about organization-level metrics, and that directed toward the controller can talk about monthly close efficiency.
Metrics help you speak your prospects' language. The result is more sales and content that builds authority with your prospects.
Are your prospects conservative or risk-takers? Do they tend to favor the easy route to success, or are they willing to risk a bit more to achieve that final percent of efficiency?
Many marketing teams mistake this advice as asking them to play Freud. However, this is not the case. Instead, note three to four adjectives that define your persona.
Defining adjectives like this will help you figure out what tones your content must strike. Most companies say their tone must be "professional," but what does that even mean?
Content that is professional for a marketing audience will be too informal for an institutional finance one. An AR automation product directed at SMBs must be sold in a different language compared to a RegTech product directed at custodial firms.
"Professional" means nothing. The adjectives your persona adheres to define the degree of professionality in your content. Besides, these adjectives will help you strike the right tone in your website's copy.
Goals and challenges
What are your persona's goals, and what challenges do they face in their pursuit of said goals? This point is closely tied to the previous one about metrics. However, goals and challenges view issues from a higher point of view.
Note that when talking about goals, I'm referring to business-oriented goals. Your CFO persona might want to climb Everest, but that's irrelevant to your sales goals. At the very least, your content marketing team cannot use it.
Be as specific as you can when noting your persona's goals. For instance, "increase revenues" is every company's goal. It doesn't tell you much.
However, a goal such as "increase X product line's revenues by 10%" is more specific and helps you quantify your product's benefits. If your product helps them save 10%, that puts them much closer to their overall goal.
Documenting challenges is self-explanatory. They offer you the chance to explain how your product eliminates them. Again, be specific when documenting challenges.
"Manual processes" is not specific enough. "Manual processes reducing productivity by 15%" is what you're aiming for.
Here's the biggest tip: Record each persona's key objections. You'll do your sales team a huge favor and smooth the buyer journey tremendously.
Every persona has different objections. The trick is to uncover them. Traditional buyer persona interviews don't cover this topic enough. In fact, some of your interview respondents might shy away from offering insights.
Warm-up your prospects by talking to them on the phone or face-to-face. Once you've established a bond, no matter how tenuous it might be, ask them what they look for in a product like yours.
Their answers will help you understand their goals, the metrics they will use to evaluate you, and the challenges they face. You'll also understand their objections if you read between the lines.
Gathering information from prior sales calls will also help. Most marketing teams don't conduct this exercise because it's tedious. It's a lot of unstructured data that demands mining.
However, document these objections, and you'll create content and buyer journeys that does the work for your sales team.
Here's another data point that marketing teams rarely gather: What prices are acceptable to the people controlling budgets or the final approvers? Depending on company demographics, these roles might belong to the same person.
Much like discovering objections, you must ask the right questions when gathering value perception. Asking "what price would you pay for this" is amateurish.
You'll never receive the right answer. Instead, ask them to grade prices based on the following:
Price is a bargain
Price is a little expensive
Price is too much
That's all there is to it. You can ask your prospects to enter values corresponding to each category, but it's best to give them a range instead.
This exercise will help you segment your audience better and charge the right prices.
Buyer personas are central to content marketing success. They put you in the buyer's shoes and help you customize buyer journeys.
However, don't get side tracked by gathering irrelevant data. Use the list in this article to gather relevant data that helps you deliver relevant content and makes your sales team's life easier.
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