B2B Marketing Leaders, Can You Brief Your Consultants on Your Buyers?
You hire specialists.
But no matter how good they are at their jobs, you still have to brief them on your project.
In my roles over the past several years, whether consulting solo or working alongside other talented agencies, one challenge has been a constant: our clients struggle to brief us on their customers.
We come to the table with best practices for demand generation, funnel optimization, and content development, but moving forward without buyer persona insights is a constant uphill battle.
While we can consistently impact acquisition with best tactics and best practices, a knowledge gap in buyer insights will always rear its ugly head at the bottom of the funnel where it truly matters – impact to revenue.
In the absence of buyer insights, many of the marketing decisions that were handed down to our teams often came down to guesswork.
The question I’d like to suggest you consider as a marketing leader is the one we ask all of our clients – ‘Can you effectively brief us, your consultants, on your buyers?’. This isn’t a new question, it’s one posed adamantly by Adelle Revella in her book on buyer insights, Buyer Personas.
Answering the questions below is a step in way to uncovering if you actually know your customers as well as you think you do, and how to empower your consultants to create the impact you’ve partnered with them to achieve.
- Do you have sufficient buyer insights?
Resist the common temptation to confuse buyer insights with market insights.
Buyer insights are sourced from 1:1 conversations with actual buyers and supplemented with, not driven by secondary research. Sufficient, or “actionable” buyer insights are also up-to-date, meaning they are refreshed on at least quarterly or bi-annual basis.
Do you buying insights address:
- The buyer’s journey?
- Drivers, pain points, and value props in the words of your buyer?
- Objections in the words of your buyers?
No one wants to admit that they don’t know their buyers, but if your org is lacking the above data it’s time to.
- Are you a buyer insights gatekeeper?
Many companies do go the extra mile to invest heavily in buyer persona research.
But for many of these orgs, this initiative ends with research and buyer persona insights are never acted upon. Often that data remains locked away at the c suite level to be dripped out to people considered to be high-level stakeholders — or worse, to no one at all.
The purpose of buying insights is to democratize them to everyone in the org, especially roles like sales, marketing, and customer success who are responsible for day-to-day touchpoints with customers.
If your company does actually have buyer data, are you sharing it throughout the organization, or are you a gatekeeper and it is trapped in a powerpoint or pd f somewhere?
- Have you operationalized your buyer insights?
I can’t tell you how many teams we’ve engaged with that tell us, “yes, we have personas but we’re not really using them.” There seems to be a sense of security in having that data even if it’s dated or unused!
Companies who struggle with how to implement org-wide buyer insights aren’t alone. It’s a challenge that is only beginning to be addressed effectively with technology. I recommend a platform like the one our partner, Cintell, offers that takes the pain out of operationalizing buyer personas by integrating them into your marketing tech stack, from CRM syncing to data enrichment to advanced segmentation for strategies like ABM. Fully operationalized personas allow customer-centric orgs to:
- Build products that solve real problems
- Communicate value in language their buyers understand
- Empower sales to and marketing to use the same language as their buyers, and as each other
- Shorten sales cycles by understanding and impacting the buyer’s journey
- Drive more revenue
- Increase retention and reduce churn
When you invest in buyer persona research, share it throughout the org, and operationalize it and operationalize via your tech stack, briefing your consultants becomes a simple task.
The people you hire are smart. Equipped with insights into your buyers in the form of personas, they’ll be much more likely to drive the kind of results you need for growth.