Digital Operating Solutions Logo

How to Define a B2B Buyer Persona

Table of Contents

If you’re interested in creating a B2B buyer persona, then this is the blog post for you. You’ll learn why a buyer persona is important for your business’ growth, how to define your B2B buyer persona, and what details should be included. Whether you are a marketing manager or looking for a way to improve your current business strategy, knowing who the target audience is will help maximize conversion rates and increase revenue.

What is a B2B buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a detailed description of a fictional individual or group of people who represent a typical customer of the service or product. B2B stands for business-to-business. It refers to a business or a transaction conducted between one business and another. An example of a B2B business is a transaction between a wholesaler and a retailer. A B2B buyer persona usually focuses on the key decision-maker of a product or service. The main reason for creating a B2B buyer persona is to create an understanding of who will be purchasing your product or service. This helps you know how best to target them, where their pain points lie and what information might sway them into making the decision with no hesitation at all!

Do I really need a B2B buyer persona?

Most likely, yes! Before creating several buyer personas ourselves, we were skeptical about the value these personas would bring to the table. We found out firsthand that these buyer personas helped us create effective messages because we felt like we understood our audience. We can tailor our messaging by knowing what kinds of challenges our target audience faces in the world of business. Now, we never start a project without creating a buyer persona first. target audience

Five Benefits of Creating a Buyer Persona for your B2B Service:

Customer Insight

Building an accurate buyer persona helps you know your target audience on a personal level. You’ll spend less time and money when you deduce what your prospects need based on their challenges.

Marketing Efficiency

When you know who the ideal client is, everything about your marketing changes for the better. You can tailor content to suit them much easier than “mass-marketing” a message that doesn’t resonate with anyone.

Sales Pipeline Growth 

Salespeople are always trying to figure out how to close more deals. There’s no better way to know who you should be targeting than by creating a buyer persona first! You will inevitably find ways that your ideal prospect differs from the average client and will then be able to build strategies and tactics around those differences.

Better Product Development

By building a buyer persona, you’re giving your potential business clients a voice in product development. This is an amazing way to find out what your prospects want and need based on their challenges.

Increased Revenue

Clarifying the types of people who benefit from your product helps you not only attract customers but retain them as well- ultimately benefitting your bottom line.

How are buyer personas used?

Buyer personas are created by researching, interviewing, and observing customers. The key features of each target market segment are captured in a central profile – what they want, what they need, and how best to reach these customers. Your company can use buyer personas to your benefit in several ways.

Product Development 

Persona profiles can be used as a focus grouping methodology for product development by creating more targeted adverts or testing new products with real people – allowing for fine-tuning before going live to large numbers of potential customers. They also provide an invaluable set of insights into who your competition is as well as information on likely strategies from competitors. Buyer personas also help companies with product development by providing feedback on new products before bringing them to your customer base.

Marketing

Buyer personas provide a wealth of information for marketers. They give an overview of the target market segment they belong to, including what they want and need, which helps focus marketing content and drive customers to make purchases. Buyer personas can help fine-tune your marketing strategy so you can create a “custom feel” when appealing to your potential clients.

Sales 

Buyer personas also help sales by helping to create a personalized strategy for each client they are targeting. It helps the sales team know what is important, how to tailor their approach, and how to show they care about the customer.

Customer Service

Buyer personas are often used in customer service to better parse what type of customer they are. Whether it’s how they prefer to interact, the features they need, or what strings are attached to their purchases, buyer personas can help tailor service based on the profile you’ve already created for them.

Things to consider when creating a B2B buyer persona

Now that we’ve established why it is important to build a B2B buyer persona, it’s time to learn how to build one. There’s no “right way” to build a buyer persona, however, there are certain sets of information that should always be included. We separate them into four categories: Buyer Persona Basics, Professional Goals, Motivators, and Challenges.

Buyer Persona Basics

Find out the age of your buyer persona. Are they married? Children? What is their education level? Consider where this potential client is located geographically and how that might affect their buying process.

Professional Goals

Company Position– Ask yourself, what is this buyer persona’s role in the company. How long have they been active in this role? How did they come to this role? How much money do they make and what kind of career trajectory are they on? Company Profile– Understand the size and age of the organization (i.e., number of employees, revenue). Who is this buyer persona’s boss? Communication– How does this buyer persona communicate? How do they get information? Do they use social media or belong to any associations?

Motivators

It’s important to understand the behaviors of this buyer persona and what motivates them to buy. How often are they buying, what do they prioritize when making a purchase, etc. Pain Points– What sets of problems are you solving with your product/service that will get them excited about your product/service? Goals– What are this buyer persona’s goals- both within the company setting and as professionals outside the realm of their company. Try to understand what is important to them both in business and personally.

Challenges

Identify the challenging characteristics this buyer persona presents. Are they limited in their decision-making capabilities? Are they worth your time as a target audience? How can you break through some of those challenges to help solve their problem? Identifying the information that is relevant to your company and industry will help you build a buyer persona. Each piece of data can provide insight as to how prospects are finding out about companies, what they consider important when making decisions, etc. For this effort to be worth it in the long run, make sure to update your buyer personas as your products and services evolve.
buyer-persona

Examples of a Buyer Persona

Buyer Persona: Shipping Manager

Age: Mid-40s Gender: Male or Female Children: 3 Marital Status: Married Education: College Level Income: 60k-120k

Professional Goals:

The shipping managers want to make their way up the corporate ladder. They value getting the fancy VP title and overseeing more responsibility within their department. They are probably ready for retirement, yet have advanced well in their careers due to their willingness to adapt as times and industries changed.

Motivators:

The shipping manager wants to see business growth and make an impact, with clear and concise opportunities to make a difference within the department or organization- while also not taking too much of a risk. They are open to potential opportunities to explore increasing top-line revenue and reduce excessive overhead costs to drive the bottom line.

Challenges:

Because they tend to be a little bit older, they could be stuck in their decades-old processes and hesitant to change or take on too much risk. The Shipping Manager thinks they’re covered, but they’re not. They tend to think that because disaster has not struck during their time as a shipping manager, they are completely covered.

How many buyer personas should a company have?

A company should have different buyer personas for different target audiences. A best practice is to create and share a persona for each audience. Personas can be created by compiling the following data: customer demographics, psychographics (unique world-views and motivations), behavior patterns, financial situation, purchasing cycle timeline. The end result is a picture of what that customer will look like and how they behave throughout their purchasing process. After these personas are defined, talk to your sales reps about how they work with these people in the market. Then train them on how to tailor their pitches or product presentations based on these profiles! This helps engage prospects appropriately without straying from your company’s voice.

How to define a B2B buyer persona

The goal of this blog was to provide some guidance on how you can define a B2B buyer persona. We hope that the information we’ve shared with you has been helpful and informative for your business, too. If it hasn’t or if there’s something else you want us to address in future posts, leave us a comment below! For help with creating a buyer persona to reach your ideal customer, contact us at DOS for a quote today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a buyer persona?

Buyer personas are realistic representations of your target customers and their needs. A strong buyer persona helps your entire team understand the one thing they have in common: their customer.

When am I ready to define buyer personas? 

Every business should develop buyer personas before launching a new product, service, or campaign.

What are the benefits of having more than one buyer personas?

Having various buyer personas can make it easy to segment your audience based on their needs. You will also save costs because identifying multiple buyer personas can cut down on information duplication across departments or campaign messaging.

What are common types of B2B buyers who use your product/service?

B2B buyers come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be decision-makers, influencers, contributors, and stakeholders. Learn more by reading this blog post on the basics of buyer personas.

About the Author

Noelle is a Content Specialist for DOS. She writes and edits all business content, including blogs, press releases, social media posts, and technical writing pieces. With over ten years of experience writing, Noelle has been published on many reputable sites during her career, including TheScriptLab.com and HelloGiggles.com. Before coming to DOS, she worked as a News Director at KWHI in Brenham, Texas. Noelle oversaw the newsroom writing stories, producing content, and being an on-air personality. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Noelle holds a Master in Arts degree in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Greenwich in London, England. Noelle’s other passion in life is her family. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, daughter, Frankie, and English Bulldog, Alvin. She also loves to travel, with her favorite destinations so far being Ireland and the Czech Republic.

Join Our Newsletter

To keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest DOS updates.