When it comes to producing buyer personas and taking part in a workshop, it can be easy to think you only need your MDs and senior management team - but that isn’t a mix for success.
First, what are buyer personas?
Buyer personas help you to understand your customers (and, importantly, your prospective customers) better, making it easier for you to tailor content to specific needs, behaviours and concerns of different groups.
The strongest buyer personas are based on market research, as well as insights that you gather from your actual customer base and internal resources.
(Source: Thrive - What Are Buyer Personas?)
But who can help you produce your buyer personas? Even if you’ve decided to hire an external agency to support your buyer persona creation, such as undergoing our buyer personas workshop from Thrive - you still need to consider other people who are going to help build up that ‘ideal customer’ profile.
Below is a range of people and teams that might be able to support you with your persona creation…
Company owners and MDs can have a lot of positive input into the buyer personas development process. They can provide context to the company’s history and the business’ development to date, including information about why they decided to target the customer base they have been thus far.
They are also, ultimately, the key decision-makers in the business so it’s important to have their involvement about how they see the target audience developing over time.
Senior managers can have great input on behalf of the teams underneath them, particularly senior sales and marketing managers, as well as HR and operations teams. They can share the feedback, frustrations and fall-downs of your company’s website and marketing activity to date, highlight what would improve the funnel for marketing and sales prospects.
Customer Service Representatives
These people directly speak with your customers and potential customers - their sole purpose is to hear customer feedback find ways to resolve issues and delight customers. So why wouldn’t you want to hear the answer straight from the people that hear it first - “What do our customers want?”
Receptionists and Secretaries
It’s this group that tends to field questions and hear the reasons why a customer is interested in you, how they found your business, perhaps even, what is preventing them from purchasing from you. Make the most of this insightful knowledge by asking a receptionist to come along to your session.
Suppliers can often look at your business relatively impartially and offer insights as a trusted confidante, whilst being honest about who they consider as a potential ideal customer. Think about a supplier that has been a key part of your organisation's growth and development and ask them to join you, or ask them to take part in a separate questionnaire that they can fill in their own time - use our questions to inspire your buyer persona creation for inspiration.
In a similar way to your suppliers, your most loyal, long-standing customers can add real value to shaping your organisation in a couple of ways:
01. Pull together a client list and consider your longest, biggest value clients - what makes them so engaged and loyal to you? What do you love about them and what do they seem to love about you? Equally, look at the lower end of your client list - which relationships didn't work out? Are there any obvious shared factors in their decision to no longer purchase with you, or not build a long term relationship with your organisation?
02. Ask them directly - or indirectly! You could invite customers to your internal session but it’s probably best to keep the boundaries separate, so send them a questionnaire. Use our questions to inspire your buyer persona creation for inspiration.