Implementing Personas in Enterprise B2B

If Persona content is going to help sales people have high quality, consultative sales conversations it needs to provide:

  1. Insights into the big industry themes for the customer segment concerned
  2. Insights into the role and responsibilities, and typical workflows for the persona concerned
  3. The typical top of mind challenges / opportunities faced by each persona
  4. The product and service capabilities that specifically address each challenge and how customers get value

Persona Profile Template

We’ve produced a template in PowerPoint for people to use to develop and present this type of Persona content for sales people in enterprise B2B. Please click here to download a copy.

Personas Profiles and ‘Consultative Selling’

Whether you call it ‘The Challenger Sale’, ‘consultative selling’ or ‘solution selling’ the approach for the sales person is pretty much the same:

1

They start an exploratory sales meeting by first engaging the customer in a conversation around some of the big trends in the industry the customer operates in.

2

They then move on to explore the strategies the customer is pursuing in response to these trends. In ‘challenger selling’ the sales person may go on to challenge what the customer is doing, to attempt to disrupt status quo thinking.

3

If the conversation is going well, at this point the sales person will have ‘earned the right’ to start talking about specific business issues the customer may face.

4

As each issue is uncovered, the sales person will probe to understand the level of pain or opportunity associated with each so he or she can zero in on the top of mind challenges for this individual.

5

The final objective for the sales person is then to position his/her company as having relevant solutions that have solved similar problems for other customers, and then ask for support in continuing the discussions with other people within the customer’s organization.

To execute this approach effectively a salesperson needs knowledge:

  • They need to know about the trends in the markets the customer operates in.
  • Further, they need to understand how these trends are driving change and creating challenges and opportunities for companies.
  • Next they have to have precise knowledge of how particular capabilities of their company’s products and services solve challenges or facilitate opportunities for the customer to do things better.
  • And finally they need to be armed with proof points to build credibility.

The trick is to make the knowledge available to sales people in a way that’s fast and easy to consume. This is where Persona Profiles come in.