Buyer Persona and Sales Call Plan: Surprise!

Buyer Persona and Sales Call PlanBuyer Persona and Sales Call Plan: there's a surprising connection.

We'll round out our look at Buyer Personas with a recent realization expert Tony Zambito had on the topic. He was helping the top sales boss for an Inc. 500 firm. They were discussing Tony's article on the difference between Buyer Personas and Buyer Profiles, which we previously reviewed here. The VP Sales exclaimed: "[The Buyer Persona] looked exactly like our sales call plan!"

Buyer Persona and Sales Call Plan - The Connection

If your goal is to become your client's trusted advisor, you really do have to get inside their head. Their preferences, beliefs, emotional values, hidden agends and more are all things you need to unearth and bring to the light. Zambito shares how qualitative research can be extremely valuable in improving sales results, because it brings the additional dimension of those concepts which are hard to measure with traditional data gathering.

Now here's where Tony turns the VP Sales' idea about buyer persona and sales call plan around in his article. He first lists many of the tools salespeople are using today to become trusted advisors or partners in their customers' eyes:

  • Customer success criteria
  • Pain points
  • Buying process
  • Decision/Buying criteria
  • Needs assessment
  • Probing/Intelligent questioning.

Zambito's Warning About Your Buyer Persona and Sales Call Plan

Zambito then declares these aren't enough. If you know Dan Ariely of Predictibly Irrational fame, you'll recall Dan explaining we don't know our preferences that well--but that's another article. And so the things buyers don't say:

  • goals
  • emotional values
  • contextual situations
  • scenarios
  • attitudes
  • perceptions
  • beliefs
  • story lines

--things Tony says can be uncovered by third party qualitative research--are the things that will take salespeople and their results beyond the tools listed above. Tools which are fast becoming commoditized thanks to easier access.

And so Zambito's final warning to us is NOT to let our buyer persona look like our sales call plan. It's fine the other way around. But if we concentrate on traditional sales intelligence gathering only for both our buyer persona and sales call plan, we'll miss all those qualitative factors. Those factors are what make up the buyer persona...and could very well be our special advantage on sales' cutting edge.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Was this review helpful to you? Please Like, Share or Comment to let others know--and sign up to receive new posts with the big red Follow button or the form in the sidebar. Thanks! <<


Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona: What’s the Difference?

Buyer Profile VS Buyer PersonaBuyer Profile VS Buyer Persona: What's the Difference? Today we're continuing our look at Buyer Personas. They are a valuable tool that helps us understand and predict buying behavior. Buyer Personas aren't just for the big players anymore; now, you can gather the same info and in some cases even more easily than a larger company.

Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona: They Aren't the Same Thing

As we discovered yesterday, terminology is important. Using terms interchangeably, or believing that what a term means to me is the same as what it means to you, is a road to trouble. Tony Zambito wrote a good article not long ago on the differences between Buyer Profile and Buyer Persona. In it, he shares an excellent table on the differences between the two terms:

Buyer Profiles Buyer Personas
Factors Insights
Target and Account Segmentation 1 to 1 Marketing
Process focused Behavior focused
Common strategic initiatives Goal-based achievements
Common buying process Scenario development
Common buying criteria Mental modeling
Win/loss interviewing & sales data collection Qualitative buyer insights research & B2B buyer ethnography
Buying stage mapping Buyer story mapping
Demographics/Physiographics Descriptive narratives

(c) 2014 Tony Zambito

Two Points to Consider When Thinking About Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona

Let's focus on just one takeaway for each when considering Buyer Profile VS Buyer Persona right now. First, it's very common to see a consultant saying, "Build your ideal customer profile." And that will lead you in the direction of having a Buyer Profile. But what is the result of doing this as your main marketing research activity? You'll find out, perhaps, what, where and when your customers are buying. But you won't learn why. Or why they aren't buying.

As Zambito points out, it's very difficult to differentiate yourself based only on business factors that buyers are seeing as a commodity. And if you haven't done your Buyer Persona research, you won't know how to tell your own story so that it meshes with their thinking.

Second what we discover is that the buyer has their own storyline. And if your storyline doesn't match up with theirs, they probably won't buy. So what is that story? This is what your Buyer Persona research is going to help you find out.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. Did you find this info useful? Please Like, Share or Comment to let others know! <<