A sales team is a valuable resource for creating a marketing plan. Information collected from sales data can help a B2B company build a solid buyer persona that can be used to add value to relevant services.
If you lead a B2B company, you might not realize that your past sales are actually the best resources for putting together a future marketing plan. In fact, your sales team might be the most underutilized research resource you have at your disposal. Who else spends more time interacting directly with customers and prospects than your sales reps? This means that each member of your sales team is like a walking, talking information-gathering machine. Taking time to pick the brains of your sales team members could help you to gain key insights that will inspire better decisions and a crisper marketing plan.
Collaboration Between Sales And Marketing Is The Key!
Every B2B startup leader needs to understand that collaboration between sales and marketing is pivotal for creating a total picture of who clients are and what they need. You're only actually reaching a small percentage of your full potential for pleasing clients and pulling in new leads if you've been keeping your sales team and marketing team in separate compartments. Start taking advantage of your Sales Team and involve them as much as possible to create a better Buyer Persona.
There are two main ways you can start utilizing your sales team more effectively. Your company should be doing the following:
- Begin having regular meetings with your sales staff regarding client feedback and customer behaviors
- Create a reporting platform where members of your sales team can share critical data regarding client feedback and customer behaviors
What are you supposed to do with the information that you gather from your sales team? All of the data can be compiled and processed to create very targeted profiles of the people you do business with. Each profile that's created can be put into your buyer persona. What exactly is a buyer persona? A buyer persona is a generalized template that represents your customers. Here's how you should work your personas into your overall plan for success:
Creating A Buyer Persona
- About 80 percent of your marketing initiatives should go into developing products and services based around what your brand's primary persona needs
- Develop a secondary persona that you can focus the remainder of your marketing efforts on
The Input You NeedThere's nothing better than getting information right from the front lines. What pieces of information do you need to create a comprehensive buyer persona? There's a list of key facts that you can use to make questionnaires that members of your sales team can fill out. Be sure to have your sales team answer with as much detail as possible. Some key questions to include on any questionnaire are:
- Who are you selling to?
- What are the characteristics of buyers?
- What is the preferred mode of communication among buyers?
- What are the pain points of buyers?
- What led buyers to your brand in the first place?
- What types of companies do buyers work for?
Making A Plan To Use PersonasYour sales team obviously has some great insights into what your clients need and want. Here's how to get the information you need from the people within your team who have it:
- Make at least one internal resource accountable for owning and updating personas
- Allocate a specific budget to persona research and maintenance
- Make your buyer personas fully accessible across all lines of business
- Make your buyer personas part of long-term planning goals, campaign development and new launches
- Make persona training part of orientation for new hires
Answering The Call Using DataData is a beautiful tool when it comes to pinpointing who your customers are and what they want. You can use the data you've accumulated to create buyer personas to identify the goals, desires and challenges your clients have. Being able to identify the goals of clients will put you in a position to develop and offer tools to help them achieve those goals. Knowing about the challenges your clients face is equally as essential. Being able to fix issues or provide solutions to problems can help to raise the profile of your brand and create long-lasting relationships.
Keep Updating Data
A buyer persona is something that needs to be constantly improved and updated. It's important to have your marketing people collaborate with your sales people even after personas have been created. You would ideally like to see marketers participating in direct observations with your sales reps. This means they will visit client sites to gain a better understanding about how your company is meeting the needs of clients.
Companies Know The Importance Of A Buyer Persona
Many iconic companies have been able to grow and remain relevant because they act according to the buyer personas they've identified. Here are some notable examples:
- Seventeen is written and designed to appeal to a single reader prototype that has been revamped many times since 1950
- MySpace came back from obscurity by operating based on the needs of musicians and musical acts
- Zipcar built a brand based solely around the millennial urban dweller
- JetBlue earned substantial market share by only courting low-budget travelers
The bottom line is that data is truly the best way to get to the heart of your customers. What marketers of today are realizing is that your own sales team is the best source for getting your hands on meaningful data. Have you been leaving your sales team underutilized as a valuable source of marketing power? Yes? Start making a plan to craft a buyer persona using in-house data at the head of your agenda and feel the difference.