In an article published a few years ago, Hasse Jansen listed 33 statistics explaining why your marketing organization had to employ buyer personalities to generate better demand. In 2016, as he wrote, 44% of business-to-business marketers had already implemented personas and 83% of them expected to use personas in the near future. Therefore, from now on, practically every one of us applies a personal thought in one form or another, so this is a good time to consider how to avoid some common mistakes and improve the approaches already in place.
Why do we have personas in the first place?
B2B marketing can be surprisingly complex. A glance at a company's CRM can be very painful. In the presence of such a wealth of diverse information, personas provide a framework that can help us better understand all the data and take more useful action on it. Persona's work contributes to efficiency because it focuses on really important groups based on their roles, responsibilities, and so on. Personalities contribute to efficiency, especially in one-to-many performances, as they inspire us to create more relevant messages and content for buyers in our markets.
Personas and ABM
Basically, ABM involves selecting a group of accounts based on a rigorous review of your company's potential earnings and then engaging yourself to do better much of this potential. For both marketers and sellers, this usually involves trying to better understand the companies on your list of ATMs and better meet their needs – certainly in terms of how you communicate and interact with them, as well as the solutions you offer. In ABM, you work hard to become as relevant as possible. Your efforts are more focused, more personalized, less based on models designed for efficiency. And that's precisely why, as you progress in ABM, you will want to go beyond the limits of custom approaches. Here are five areas in which it is possible to increase the performance of ATM programs by going beyond your basic personalities framework.
Five ways to increase the performance of your ATMs by going beyond your baseline of personalities
Apply market knowledge to an individual building
My company operates exclusively in the business technology sector. Given that these markets are particularly dynamic, market knowledge is all the more essential for more efficient marketing and sales, especially for an identified set of accounts.
If you are proposing a new case of using your technology, at a minimum. you will need to check whether your customization framework needs to be changed or not. If you have an impact on new processes, you could easily impact different roles from the ones you have traditionally targeted. You will need advanced messaging and changes in your sales movements. These changes may be minimal, but if you neglect them from the start, a lack of early dynamism could cause significant problems for the success of your idea. To mitigate these risks, your marketers need to pay close attention to how prospects plan to solve their problems in the categories you want to break into. To do this, study the conversations and information flows that occur around your target use cases. See what people read; what granular keyword strings they use; what links are they exploring between what they are already interested in and what you propose they are considering.
When you introduce an entirely new concept to the market, understanding grows – the subject is new, you will have to work much harder to find it. As brilliant as your breakthrough is, most people are familiar. The markets are not different. In fact, there is a good chance that your breakthrough is so new that no significant and identifiable "market" exists in a "targetable" way. Similarly, a customization framework based on historical examples can not take you very far on your way to a high performing GAB. To progress here, you will have to try to understand the facets of your potential market where momentum could be gained. Few people are looking for what you are doing because they do not understand it enough to understand the connection between them. But they will study the areas in which you make a difference – so start targeting and mobilizing them. Discover the new personalities that should interest you by understanding the upstream and downstream areas affected by the changes you make. Remember that personalities apply to people's roles and responsibilities. The same idea can be useful for describing and distinguishing different companies from your total addressable market. If you have already done the right job by defining your ideal customer profile, you have created a personal framework form – applied here to the companies you want to include for specialized ABM treatments. However, as we have seen with personalities and people, here too, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking too much about the background – to build a list of ATMs based on the successes of the past rather than what has been done better. Without change, this will reduce the success of your ATM.
Here is a simplified example: in the business technology sector, virtually all solution providers want to target the top 1,000 companies because "it is there that lies the # 39; money. "But if you're marketing something new, chances are you do not really know where pockets of momentum are likely to occur. Instead of limiting yourself to a list of ATMs that include the usual suspects, create a process to add value targets to the program as they become more understandable and understandable.
Pay attention to the overweighting of personality frameworks in typical titles and targeting
Experienced businessmen have developed useful instincts. Over the years, they have refined their approaches and optimized their terrain. While it is important to leverage institutional learning to create a personal framework, always be aware that learning embedded in this vision reflects both historical and functional (role-based) preferences and biases. ). To put it simply, personal targeting entries usually indicate who was essential at the end of the transaction process rather than when it started or actually uses the solution on a daily basis. We often encounter frameworks of personalities that are too donor-oriented in the form of targeting list specifications. If most transactions involve a commercial decision maker ("BDM director or senior administrator"), CFO, CTO, etc., why not take it on their own? I'm not saying here that you should not develop relevant content for these personas. I say that if you limit yourself to them, you jeopardize the success of your own efforts. Although you need to influence the elderly, targeting them directly is the most difficult way to access them.
At best, the usual suspects are table stakes. If you're marketing a new use of your technology or a whole new paradigm, it's important (especially early in the process) to make your point of view known to those more directly concerned with the benefits you bring. Instead of restricting your targeting based on expert inputs, you should expand your target personalities and expand the specifications of your list. The goal is to allow your marketing to look for interests that you do not yet fully understand.
Never forget that even though marketing and sales frameworks overlap, they are rarely the same. Marketing has the responsibility to positively influence as many people as possible, while sales must mobilize their resources to focus on those that appeal the most. In an ATM program, this fundamental difference between our two missions is often magnified. Marketing can and should engage in a wider range of roles if it can help open the door to new opportunities and strengthen existing links.
Understand this change of person. In fact, they might not even exist.
Here are two examples of classic personalities that may limit the ability of marketers to progress relative to the business objectives of their business:
New intersections creating an important new net personas – As in the field of medicine, as business technology evolves, skills acquire more and more skills. From a personal targeting point of view, at one point it seemed to make things a little easier for marketing: if you sold a security product, you were targeting only those in charge of security. However, now, just like in medicine, organizations have realized that solutions targeting one type of problem can have important implications in other areas. To adapt, companies focus on expanding skills within their technology teams. New titles are being created, reflecting cross-pollination between areas. Therefore, to be as effective as possible, the customization frameworks of a vendor must take into account this new reality. Exciting Big Ideas in Search of Fans – Companies start because their founders see real opportunities while others see only a few opportunities. Then they progress by finding some advocates of the same idea among the first users. Things get harder, however, when they start facing the mainstream. It would be nice if they could just project the personalities of their first users into the market, but it's rarely easy because it's still too early to clearly define the market or the corresponding roles. Take big ideas like the Internet of Things (IoT) or digital transformation, for example. It is still too early to set up a powerful cadre of personalities. Instead, a marketer should strive to educate markets more broadly and evaluate evidence of commitment to establish a path to repeatable and scalable success. Rather than trying to find personalities that do not exist yet on a useful scale, there is no point in investigating these pathways so that useful personalities appearing in the long run will eventually become apparent.
Managing Leads and Opportunities: Transitioning to Real People
[19459001)] ABM has shone the spotlight on the persistent challenges that most businesses face, starting with the targeting and flow of business management. leads throughout the process. It is becoming more and more obvious that companies are underinvesting in the potential of ATM accounts, and are under-capturing the demand they are looking for. . These observations intersect with personal thinking on at least three fronts:
The most obvious of these is similar to my list specification example: if all potential shopping centers of an account are not mapped in your CRM, you have a lot less chance. to influence and engage them. This is especially obvious if you want to extend your use cases to new domains in existing accounts. And once you have completed all the roles in CRM, you need to adjust your score, your MQL definitions as well as your follow up and follow up prospects. process so that upstream targeting changes are not compromised elsewhere in your process. In addition, as we have discussed, every time you move to new areas, the need for new knowledge and learning is even greater. This is exactly where an evolution of your approach to opportunity management – such as SiriusDecisions' Demand Unit cascade concept – can bring huge benefits.
When you are looking to promote new use cases or an entirely new concept, you really can not really claim to understand how opportunities will appear in your pipeline and evolve. If, as in most companies, you do not collect a lot of information (or if you can not extract it easily) about the people involved in the sales interactions as they unfold, you will not be able to: Analyze and learn as fast as you should about areas of progress and failure points. If you are working on this kind of challenge, now is the time to think seriously about the possibility of proactively informing your opportunities with potential personalities and, in the future, to update them with the real people you discover and interact with. The sooner you can introduce a form of this concept, the sooner you can capitalize on the new information as you build it. This will help you at least understand your progress and challenges. In the future, it will help increase account penetration, shorten product development lead times, and optimize investments in the customer's lifecycle management continuum.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the invited author and not necessarily those of Marketing Land. Associated authors are listed here.
About the Author
John Steinert is the Director of Marketing for TechTarget, where he contributes to the power of sales and sales focused on the intention of buying in technology companies. . After spending most of his career in B2B and technology, John has earned a remarkable reputation by helping to build businesses for global leaders such as Dell, IBM, Pitney Bowes, and SAP, as well as Emerging players with rapid growth. He is passionate about quality content, continuous process improvement and the production of meaningful results.