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Personas for Marketing and Sales Alignment

Posted in: Sales and Marketing Management

In a customer-first world, alignment on buyer personas has never been more vital. They are key in gaining our target buyers’ attention and staying focused on their needs. Being strategic with creating buyer personas gives us a better chance of nurturing the prospect from buyer to customer, and I believe the key to this is through aligning content to the buyer’s journey.

Most companies know the importance of buyer personas and have embedded them into their go-to-market strategies, but the problem is that they don’t know how to use them. Even more troublesome, they don’t have the correct content to present to each of their buyer personas and there’s no way to serve content to the persona at the right stage of their journey.

The Key to Buyer Personas

Instead of wasting dollars on marketing, strategically fashioning a few key buyer personas is essential to not only aligning sales and marketing, but to any modern business model. We all know the way that marketing teams think is different from how the sales teams operate, but coming together and fashioning buyer personas to meet market needs is just the beginning of the battle.

Being on the account development team, I have my ear to the market every single day. From the marketing and sales execs I speak to, I hear numerous complaints about misalignment on buyer personas. The most common? That marketing isn’t creating enough of the right content that the sales team needs to reach out to a particular persona. Or marketing doesn’t know what type of content to create as they aren’t able to track what the sales team is using or what’s best resonating with customers and prospects. According to an Aberdeen report, “marketers and sellers who align content with key stages of the buyer’s journey are more likely to win business. 68% of best-in-class companies have a process to align content with key stages of a buyer’s journey, vs. 53% of others” (Aberdeen Best-in-Class Sales Enablement a Must-Have, 2015).

On the other hand, I experience the benefits of this alignment every day by leveraging sales enablement technology. Through Highspot, any piece of content that I need is easily searchable, or I can browse and filter down through lists based on persona. With our robust analytics features, our marketing team is able to see what content I’m pitching out to my prospects and customers. If a datasheet that I’ve been pitching has been highly engaging with a particular buyer persona, our marketing team is able to see these analytics and create similar content, making for a closed loop process. This also allows us to increase our chances of resonating with this prospect, as well as refining our marketing and sales alignment of buyer personas. With our engagement analytics, marketing will spend less wasted dollars by targeting specific buyers in advertising.

Aligning Around Content

To maximize the value of your content, it’s essential for marketing and sales to align on buyer personas. By keeping buyer personas front of mind, it allows me to do my job better and more efficiently. By using content that the marketing team specifically created for a particular buyer persona, I have a higher chance of better engaging prospects and ultimately winning more deals. By knowing our buyer personas, I’m also able to better prepare for potential objections and handle them appropriately as I’ve studied past behaviour and know the current market landscape.

If you’re struggling to align sales and marketing based on buyer personas or map content to your buyer’s journey, you’re not alone. Creating a specific action plan on what content is being used by sales and fine-tuning your content is the first step. You’ll find more information in our eBook, Content: Your Ticket to High-Performing ABM, on how to map content to your buyer’s journey, and you’ll find mapping your buyer personas to content leads to increased revenue and higher customer satisfaction. Using buyer personas is the surest path to receiving the best ROI from your content.