How Can Sales & Marketing Teams Use Persona-Based Marketing?

Author:

Aurelien Mottier
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Episode

62

How Can Sales & Marketing Teams Use Persona-Based Marketing?

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Sri Sundaralingam

CMO Advisor & Consultant

Often, messaging is focused on a product and its features — but it shouldn’t be. Messaging should be focused on a persona, and how that product (or service) impacts them at their level of an organization. It’s all part of a strategy Sri Sundaralingam calls “persona-based marketing,” which Sri unpacked on a recent episode of the B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast.

Sri is a CMO Advisor & Consultant for cybersecurity startups, with previous head of marketing positions at Symantec, Shape Security, and others

What is persona-based marketing?

“Persona” refers to the central element of really understanding your buyers. Yes, it’s foundational — which is why it often goes overlooked.

Essentially, you must: 

  • Understand the different buyers, influencers, and evaluators for your product or service
  • Know their pain points
  • Speak their language
  • Understand their mission-critical priorities
  • Be aware of projects for which they are responsible

Different personas at different levels of an organization will have a variety of answers to these elements. A mid-level manager will clearly have different pain points than a frontline individual contributor. So, the messaging and positioning will change, even within the same potential account or B2B prospect, depending on which influencer or decision-maker you’re targeting.

When you understand the above elements and how they relate to different personas, you are able to build your marketing, messaging, and positioning. From there, you can enable your sales team with assets to speak to different types of buyers, empathize with them, and know which pain points they are going through at what time. 

left quote
right quote

Knowing the buyer means knowing their pain points, critical priorities, projects they’re driving, and how to speak their language.

Sri Sundaralingam – CMO Advisor & Consultant

Persona-based marketing enhances the effectiveness of ABM

There’s an inherent connection between persona-based marketing and ABM, but they have key differences. For one, you can use persona-based marketing without having to employ ABM.

Example of persona-based marketing without ABM:

Let’s assume your organization focuses on large enterprise organizations, but the industry doesn’t matter — you’re simply targeting companies with over 1,000 employees.

In that scenario, you really aren’t using ABM at all, but you should use persona-based marketing to create messaging targeted at evaluators, influencers, and key decision-makers across those organizations.

Example of persona-based marketing with ABM:

If, on the other hand, you slim down to a particular list of say 5,000 accounts who are fintech companies with 500+ employees based in EMEA, you are now likely using an ABM strategy. You can greatly enhance the effectiveness of this ABM strategy by also using persona-based marketing

Once you have your list (ABM), then, by level in the company, specific pain points, etc., marketers can enable the sales team to target certain individuals with those accounts using specifying messaging designed for individuals (persona-based marketing).

left quote
right quote

Persona infers you must really know your buyer. It’s such a foundational element for sales and marketing, but sometimes it’s forgotten.

Sri Sundaralingam – CMO Advisor & Consultant

The sales team has the answers on who your personas are

The alignment and involvement of the sales team and the marketing team within a persona-based marketing approach are crucial.

The sales team is already going after prospects. So, when a marketing team is initiating a persona-based marketing approach, they should consult with the sales manager (and sales team) to understand which personas are involved with a given purchasing decision.

Specifically, the sales team will help marketers understand:

  • Who is the evaluator?
  • Who has the budget?
  • Who has the final decision?

Pro tip: Besides the sales team, another good area of research marketers can use when determining what personas to target, are analyst reports, such as Forrester or IDC.

Driving persona-based marketing alignment with the sales team

The sales team will formulate their own strategy without marketing, if necessary, because the sales team already knows the same messaging doesn’t work at different levels. By experience, the sales team has discovered a profound truth.

Your messaging must relate to an individual’s day-to-day business.

So, sales likely already has different messaging developed for the different levels of buyers within an account — even if that messaging isn’t documented, is informal, or only exists within the brains of the sales team.

Here’s a few tips for organizations on driving alignment between the sales team and marketing team, specifically within persona-based marketing:

  1. Engage early on with the sales team, letting them know which assets and messaging you are producing, and why.
  2. Be willing to adjust as you go.

To find out more about persona-based marketing, connect with Sri Sundaralingam, CMO Advisor & Consultant for cybersecurity startups.

To hear this interview, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

powered by Sounder

About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

The JOLT Effect: Helping High Performers Overcome Customer Indecision

Matt Dixon

The Impact of the Economic Downturn on the Tech Industry

Didi Dayton

Leveraging buyer job movements to win more deals

Christian Kletzl

Ready to get started?

Learn more about how we can get work as an extension of your Sales & Marketing teams to drive more revenue.

Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Recorded Testimonial: RXVantage

Fill in the form below and receive the recorded testimonial of Jeremy Gilman. 

Recorded Testimonial: Qualys

Fill in the form below and receive our recorded testimonial from Joerg Vollmer, the General Manager at Qualys.

Recorded Testimonial: Incorta

Fill in the form below and receive the recorded testimonial of Emily Lewis. 

Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

Recorded Testimonial: Bitglass

Fill in the form below and receive our recorded testimonial from Aya Fawzy, the former director of Bitglass.