Sell ​​smarter with B2B buyer personas

1 June 2022

Buyer personas are a great way to understand your prospects' goals and desires. Creating buyer personas is not an end in itself, it's a means to sell smarter, using arguments that are more effective for different target groups. In this blog we explain how to successfully approach this by focusing on the emotions that play a role in buyer’s decision making processes.

Sell ​​smarter with B2B buyer personas | iO

Focus on UBRs and not USPs

A good salesperson thinks from within the perspective of the customer's problems. You put the customer first, not the product you are trying to sell. Focus your strategy on the buying arguments (the unique buying reasons), instead of the selling arguments (the unique selling points). Focus on the gains for your target group and at the same time try to take away the pains, the reasons why someone wouldn't want to work with you.

Different buyers have different buying arguments. For example, a director looks at results, and the ROI that your product or service delivers, while a marketing or IT specialist is mainly interested in how this product or service improves their operations.

Different buyers have very different concerns. B2B buyer personas help you link the right content to the right buyer at the right time.

This is how you draft B2B buyer personas

A buyer persona is much more than a superficial profile of a buyer. The point is, that as a seller, you completely immerse yourself in your (potential) client’s position. What are the buyer’s professional priorities and what is their goal? What are their professional challenges and what do they desire?

Interview the target group

Using personas based on guesswork makes no sense. Drafting B2B buyer personas is all about thorough research. Take it seriously, get out there and find your target audience.

Don't be afraid to ask personal questions. In general, people really enjoy talking about themselves.

And interviewing? That's so much more than just going through a questionnaire. There are different methods that you can use to gather the right information, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. Which interview method will suit your needs and provide you with the right insights?

Ask questions based on emotion

When you are talking to your target group, it is important to ask the right questions. Buyers are people, driven by desires and emotions. So base your questions on these emotions.

Does your buyer want to earn money, or are they afraid of losing face or missing out? Does honour play a role in the field or company culture? What is really important to them and what are their fears? When you get answers to the emotional questions, you have the foundations for a powerful and realistic B2B buyer persona.

Consider the customer journey

The customer journey is often overlooked when drafting B2B buyer personas, while it is, in fact, an unmissable factor. It is essential to identify which stage of the customer journey the buyer is in right now.

Is the buyer unaware of a particular problem? Or are they aware of it, and is there potential interest in your product or service? Is the buyer already convinced, but are they still making comparisons with other providers? Or is the buyer already convinced that your solution is the best and are they ready to work with your company?

The different parts of the customer journey require very different tactics. Naturally, when a buyer is about to make the purchase, you don't have to tell them what problems your product or service solves.

kwalitatieve onderzoeksmethodes | iO
Time for your own B2B buyer personas?

Now that you have mastered the tips & tricks for creating B2B buyer personas, is it time to present them to the experts at iO?

Contact us

We would love to assist you, with a critical eye – and our extensive expertise, and advise you on what should be your next step.


Activating arguments that touch the emotions

When you have thoroughly researched the customer journey and conducted interviews with your target group, it’s time to translate the answers into activating arguments that stimulate emotions.

In the first instance, it's Inbound Marketing that attracts your target group. You want to make it easy for your clients to take the first step, whether that's encouraging them to call you, download a whitepaper or an e-book, visit your company, follow a webinar or sign up for a newsletter. Your research based, activating argument is the foundation for this.

Suppose your buyer persona is responsible for IT security within a large company. Your research has shown that they want to prevent an intrusion into their system at all costs. Activate the buyer with a statement like “Prevent all intrusions into your network with 30 recommendations from the world’s best IT security experts that you can apply today”. You can be certain that this approach will appeal to your target audience.

Eddy Boeve
About the author
Eddy Boeve
Senior Conversion Rate Optimisation Specialist - iO

Eddy’s entrepreneurial history has taught him a valuable lesson: always side with the user. Every day, he lives up to his creed by acting as the user’s advocate in terms of CRO, UX and – most of all – in reaching emotions through tech.

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