The original version of this article, authored by Shiela Rahimian, was published by TOPO, now Gartner.
Sales and sales development representative (SDR) teams spend their time communicating with prospects to understand their specific tactical challenges, qualify them as potential customers and schedule a more detailed meeting.
For reps to achieve their objectives, they must be able to effectively engage with prospects. The more they know about the specific buyer personas they are communicating with, the more relevant their messaging becomes and the more successful they will be at achieving their objectives.
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The key to achieving valuable engagement is to leverage extreme value messaging — a practice that focuses the efforts of sales and SDR teams on which prospects they should be targeting, their critical priorities and how they can achieve key initiatives with a solution. This approach enables sales to deliver the personalized, relevant and empathetic engagement that demanding prospects expect.
Buyer-responsive personas are key to storytelling
The foundation for a buyer persona is a thorough and actionable understanding of the prospect and their role. Buyer personas serve as guides to maximize the relevance of prospecting to those individuals. They define who the prospects are, what they care about, how they behave and why they buy.
Top-performing reps consistently tie their engagements to something that the prospect cares about. The buyer personas need to enable them to create an actionable, extreme value experience.
A well-crafted buyer persona — especially one with actionable, tactical challenges and corresponding impact statements — serves as a building block for persona storytelling. These statements can be inserted into all touchpoints of the prospecting process.
It is critical that SDRs learn and understand buyer personas and are able to translate them into valuable conversations.
Personas are the first step to develop buyer-responsive messaging
Successful sales and SDR teams do not treat every situation as a one-off; they develop and follow tried-and-true activities that connect them to more prospects and schedule more meetings.
Creating actionable buyer personas is part of the larger messaging methodology. TOPO’s methodology is based on the practices of world-class organizations that build standard processes to understand the prospect, develop insights and execute messaging at scale.
Buyer personas created by a cross-functional team can help align and educate the entire go-to-market team around the right prospects. The more sales and SDR teams know about the prospects identified by the stakeholder map, the more buyer-responsive every communication touchpoint will be. And the more actionable the personas are, the more likely they will get adopted and integrated into the daily prospecting workflow.
By focusing on aligned tactical challenge and impact statements that guide buyer storytelling and messaging, reps will create stronger engagement with prospects and be successful in scheduling more meetings.