Improve B2B Lead Generation With Enterprise Personas

August 23, 2018
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Develop enterprise personas to drive higher-quality and quantity leads.

The number of people involved in B2B purchase decisions rose from an average of 5.4 in 2015 to 6.8 in 2017, according to research in The Challenger Customer by Gartner.

Yet many B2B marketers still use individual buyer personas to guide their marketing activities, failing to capture the critical organizational-level considerations that drive most B2B buying decisions.

To position an offering as a “must have” rather than a “nice to have,” B2B marketers must define and target enterprise personas. They need to detail the profile and characteristics of the ideal target organization for their products and services.

“To position an offering as a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have,’ B2B marketers must define and target enterprise personas.”

“With buying decisions increasingly committee-based, marketers must leverage enterprise personas to deliver marketing messages that drive higher-quality (and quantity) leads,” says Noah Elkin, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner for Marketers.

An enterprise persona reflects market segmentation choices and places them in a context that makes it easier for both marketing and sales to apply in a consistent manner. Enterprise personas focus marketing and sales on the impact their value proposition has on the client’s larger strategic objectives, rather than a single stakeholder’s goals.

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Six categories for enterprise personas

Use six categories to define an enterprise persona:

  1. Firmographic: The most basic level of information that incorporates size, location, industry or structure of an organization.
  2. Technographic: The mix of relevant technologies used by an organization.
  3. Psychographic: How organizations think and feel about purchases. This category aims to better understand the values, motivations and goals behind buying decisions and the way these decisions are made.
  4. Business situation: The wide range of situational elements that apply to a purchasing decision. These can include years in business, profitability, growth rate, new initiatives or acquisitions, regulatory changes or industry events that drive change.
  5. Business and operating model: How an organization operates — may include transaction volume, pricing model, ecosystem model and more.
  6. Resources: The resource considerations within the organization, including size and location of staff and talent.

A sample enterprise persona

A sample enterprise persona for a company selling floor-cleaning products tailored to healthcare facilities may be a large, private U.S.-based hospital system with more than 1,000 employees that makes significant investments in facilities management and environment, health and safety software. The organization uses a disciplined approach to incorporating new products and services and prioritizes decisions based on patient care and safety. The company is established and grows slowly but consistently. The company is highly regulated and prioritizes sustainability and relies on a large in-house facilities team.

“Building an enterprise persona focuses the conversation around your customers and their needs rather than your product or service,” says Elkin. “This will go a long way toward building credibility and trust with your customers and prospects — two essential ingredients for generating sales-ready leads.”

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