“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Alan Alda
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Buyer personas are vital for any B2B business because it helps in knowing the customers better and building long-lasting relationships.
In fact, companies who meet their lead and sales targets are four times more likely to use buyer personas for demand production than those that fall short of their targets.
But, there is a catch!
Creating a B2B buyer persona based on merely assumptions or a few characteristics of your ideal buyers can do you no good, at least in the long run.
You need to re-evaluate and validate your B2B buyer persona to keep accelerated growth and prevent your business from obscure repercussions of outdated B2B buyer personas.
What is a B2B buyer persona?
A B2B buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal client decision-maker. In other words, B2B buyer personas are a blueprint of characters with personalities and core attributes that make you understand who you’re referring to, creating a product for, and doing business with precisely.
When creating your buyer personas, consider all of the problems and factors that can influence how, when, and why they’ll consider purchasing from you rather than from somewhere else.
These considerations include demographic statistics, behavioral habits, psychographic information, motivation, and priorities.
Buyer personas are marketing ciphers that perfectly represent how you know your target audience. When you truly understand your audience, you can create personalized content that gets results.
Why are B2B buyer personas important?
Indeed, it is. Chalking out your B2B buyer personas is an essential step for outlining your overall marketing strategy. Having structured B2B buyer personas will enable you to reach them with personalized communications which get conversions tremendously well.
Almost 77% of customers recommended, paid more or preferred a brand that provided personalized service or experience.
Persona-driven personalization entails segmenting content production and distribution based on each persona’s attributes and data indicators such as who your customers are, what challenges they have, and what motivates them to buy.
Moreover, you can fine-tune each persona accordingly to maximize your content personalization efforts.
Why You Should Validate Your Buyer Personas?
Buyer personas must be right once you start using them to inform your marketing and sales initiatives.
You should set up processes to regularly examine whether the customers or leads you bring in match the traits outlined in buyer personas.
If you hypothetically derive characteristics you assume your customers will have. Then there are more and more chances that your assumed characteristics might be deviating from what your actual customers will have.
Therefore, it will lead to problems with your buyer personas, with your brand positioning, with your content marketing funnel, and even increase the pile of outdated B2B buyer personas.
Furthermore, the personas under which your prospects and leads fall will likely change as they become your customers and begin interacting with you. As this occurs, your customer marketing communications and product/service distribution must adapt and respond to their evolving needs.
On that account, it is crucial to validate your buyer personas. Validating them will help your marketers and sales reps target the validated leads and not the leads reflecting outdated B2B buyer personas.
Moreover, it will help you have a higher probability of conversions enabling your business’s growth.
It would be best if you utilized your service staff teams in your buyer personas validation process.
Considering, you can understand more about how your product or service is currently used, allowing you to ensure your content is hitting the right challenges and needs for the right customers.
How to Validate Your Buyer Personas Quantitatively?
When you develop buyer personas, to begin with, it is evident that you always look at the trends and metrics in their database and consider all the valuable inputs received from marketing and sales departments.
Quantitatively, to validate all of your buyer personas, you need to re-examine all these initially collected datasets.
Knowing the data is extremely important to achieve sound validation results. Look at the demographic and firmographic information in addition to their digital body language.
It is important to understand the data in order to obtain reliable validation results. Examine the demographic and firmographic information of your buyer personas, as well as digital body language.
1 . Did they take the conversion paths you predicted?
2. Are your customers coming from the places or sectors that you expected?
3. Were their touchpoints tracing the same path through the channels you felt were more important for contacting them?
Lastly, examine how shifts in your communication strategy and changes in databases compare to your company’s development objectives.
Even if you have a healthy database that aligns perfectly with your buyer personas, but if it isn’t growing at the rate that your business desires, you’ll have trouble achieving your targets and sound growth in the future.
How to Validate Your Buyer Personas Qualitatively?
Qualitative validation of your buyer personas requires your focus on two things.
1 . Segmenting your customers by persona type from inbound sources
2. Looking at their lead behavior patterns and success and examining it through customer’s perspective
Moreover, solidify your qualitative validation of buyer personas by asking these questions,
1 . What’s the rate of all your Sales KPIs for each persona?
2. Are you retaining and upselling them once they’ve closed?
3. Are they getting you referrals to a new business?
Your qualitative validation process should include the service team, customer-facing operations team, service delivery team, and product team. Doing this will help your business see how customers are utilizing and benefiting from your product on a regular basis, in addition to being familiar with the weaknesses of your product or service.
Furthermore, besides getting feedback and inputs from your service team and customer success team, you should also aim to interview your customers about their experience using your products or services. Interviews are widely regarded as the most reliable source of qualitative data.
It is affordable and valuable for initial understanding, but be cautious; it has a significant drawback in that it does not reflect the whole customer gradation.
In your interviews, ask about what value is your product or service adding to their life, how they’re using it in terms of solving their challenges, what their buyer’s journey was like, how they first heard about your brand.
Validate Frequently and Systematically
B2B buyer persona validation needs to be built into your company’s workflow to shield you from the adverse implications of outdated B2B buyer personas.
Validation of your outdated B2B buyer personas can be reviewed, improved, and evolved. But, if you do not integrate this as a regular activity into your process, you can lose ground in targeting buyers and probably only be put off indefinitely.