Building Your Persona
How do you define and build out your persona? When people typically talk about personas, it tends to be in a B2C fashion. Which is usually a single document/persona. This will focus on the B2B, which tends to be completely different.
I’m going to talk about how we at Straight Talk build out our personas.
Which will help you understand exactly:
- Who you need to sell to.
- Who’s involved in that buying decision.
- Then, taking each of those peoples perspectives into account.
- Understand the companies characteristics
- What are the characteristics of the types of companies you want to sell to
- What industry and what industry size
It all varies, depending on your product. The key is to be very specific. Create a very specific set of criteria.
You might ask…
- Q) Where do I draw the line?
- A) Where does the pain and requirement of your product change?
That’s where you define one persona vs. another persona.
Once you understand the companies characteristics:
- List out people involved in the buying decision
- Know who they are
Example: Top of the chain-VP of Sales
Regional Sales Manager
- Then, go through the process of knowing whatever you can about the individual.
Example: Ask yourself “what are their pains?”
“What are they looking to achieve?”
“How much influence do they have over the buying decisions?”
“Are they interacting with other people?”
- You have to understand each individual’s life, specific to them.
- Give each person a scenario and understand it inside out. Understand their challenges. Understand where your product fits in.
It’s ok not to know all of that information to begin with. As you learn more through selling and generating more customers, you can add to it. You can turn your persona document into something more detailed/specific.
Example: At Straight Talk, we deal with a lot of companies that fall into one of two categories.
- Startups that are close or have product market fit and looking to begin scaling.
- Companies half way through the scaling process but maybe have a few issues around customer success and struggling with their structure.
These are two very different personas. We know their working lives inside out.
Example: Those in the product market fit stage, often have trouble with complete control of their website, struggling with creating landing pages on the fly, they don’t have appropriate tracking in place or they don’t have a scalable lead generation channel. So, we know their pains inside out.
Often we can predict the actions they’ve taken before they tell us. Same thing with the 2nd persona and so on. You have to know your persona in that level of detail. That just comes with experience, time and exposure.
Let’s do a quick recap…
When it comes to defining and building that persona:
- Start with company characteristics
- What does company look like
- What are identifiable characteristics/features of that company
- List out people that hold a role in decision making
- Look at key characteristics of each individual
- What are their pains
- What do they look to achieve
- What will your product do for them
- Finally, what scenario are they in so you can prove you know them inside out
- Have an example to share with your team
When you have all that, it pulls together a single document that ultimately gives you a comprehensive view of the companies you want to sell to and the people within it and the best way to sell to them.
By Dan Wheatley, Co-Founder
CEO/Co-Founder of Straight Talk Consulting, a business consultancy that gets our hands dirty. We work with organisations to achieve product market fit before transitioning into scalable and repeatable growth