Buyer Persona Framework: What Is Its Purpose in a B2B Environment?
This blog post is the first of a three-part series on utilizing buyer persona frameworks in a B2B environment. This week’s post explains what a buyer persona framework is and its purpose in a B2B environment.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a description of an individual or group of individuals who play a role in the decision to purchase a product. These descriptions go beyond buyer demographics, firmographics, and functional roles, and try to capture an individual’s role in the buying process, behavior, motivations, likes/dislikes, and other unobserved traits that impact a buyer’s perception of problems and solutions and the way they approach the buying process. Those who are core to the decision-making process are generally referred to as core buyer personas and are the individuals who are the focal points in the development of a go to market strategy. Those who are not directly involved in the decision-making process are called influencer personas. For a more in-depth definition of a buyer persona, I recommend reading Adele Revella’ Buyer Persona Manifesto.
What is a Buyer Persona Framework?
A buyer persona framework is a model for breaking down a company’s buyers into profiled groupings (“buyer personas”) in an attempt to make better sense of the way the buying process works and identify the unique needs and roles of different buyers in this process, so a company can incorporate these insights into a structured and scalable go to market strategy.
What Purpose Does a Buyer Persona Framework Serve in a B2B Environment?
A buyer persona framework humanizes the individuals who play a role in a buying process. This makes it easier for members of the go to market team to understand the perspective(s) of the buyers and better relate and communicate with them, so they can more effectively market and sell to these individuals. Additionally, developing a buyer persona framework also institutionalizes the buyer knowledge and creates a common paradigm for the sales, marketing, customer service, and product teams to share in discussing these buyers. Most importantly, constructing a framework to think about the go to market strategy will make the model more scalable as the go to market team grows, because it creates structure, clear communication, and laser-sharp focus. This is especially important in complex B2B sales processes where there are multiple individuals involved in the purchase process, because it ensures that companies can easily identify success stories to replicate and failures to learn from, which makes building a scalable model manageable in this environment.
Next week, I will discuss how to think about B2B buyers and walk you through a model for identifying B2B buyer personas.