"How is the macroeconomic situation affecting your business?" Learn more here. 👀
What is a Buyer Persona? Why is it Important and How to Create One? [+Templates]

What is a Buyer Persona? Why is it Important and How to Create One? [+Templates]

Anirban Banerjee
Anirban Banerjee
September 12, 2022
5 min read

Before you go to a job interview, you do a little research on the company and a fair amount of research about the role you’re applying for, right? You might even stalk the interviewer on LinkedIn so that you can say whatever it takes to knock their socks off. 

You’d probably do the same before meeting someone you connected with on a dating app. Go through your messages to remember whether they’re vegan (so that you perhaps avoid ordering that rare beefsteak, at least on your very first date), where they work and what their pets are called. It just makes it easier for the conversation to flow organically.

Similarly, you’d probably get information about your better half’s parents before you met them - just so you say the right things and avoid putting your foot in the mouth. 

You use buyer personas for the very same reason. It's the sales team’s way of getting useful, actionable information on the target audience. 

Buyer personas have the same goals as the information-gathering efforts in the three situations we described above: 

You want to say the right things so as to forge a bond and impress the opposite party, in this case, a potential customer. 

You want them to like you and choose you, just like the earlier three situations. 

And you want to avoid saying anything that might make them want to slam the door in your face. 

If you aren’t yet using buyer personas as part of your sales and marketing strategy, you might want to give them a try. 

But chances are, you already have a buyer persona sitting in your head that you turn to whenever you touch base with a new lead - you just haven’t created this persona consciously, and chances are, everyone on the team has at least moderately different ideas on what this buyer’s persona is. 

So what is a buyer persona? 

A buyer persona is a character sketch of sorts that is assigned to the potential customer (if you have just one type) or to various potential customers who represent different types of customers and customer bases.

This character sketch is prepared from market research and information that you get from talking to customers. You might also make a few educated guesses - that circle back to some facts at some point - to get a 360-degree picture of your customer. 

B2C customer personas will have details like age and job title, area of residence, marital status, family size and stage, income group, and maybe some details about the target customer’s lifestyle.

B2B buyer personas will have all the demographic information but will also include industry and role, business size and where they figure in the organization hierarchy, locations and budgets under their control, and so on.

A buyer persona might also be called a user persona or a customer persona. 

Why are buyer personas important? 

Do you really need one? 

A buyer persona helps sales teams and marketing teams connect with the audience they are addressing. It makes the audience more relatable. 

Look at it this way: The word customer entails someone who is going to be difficult to please and hard to convince and whom you must not upset under any circumstances.

How confident do you feel about selling with that character sketch in your mind? 

Instead, if I said that your target audience consists of people like George who is 40 to 60 years old, lives in the city, has kids who are anywhere between teenagers to 20-somethings, buys a new car every 5 years, subscribes to the New York Times, and vacations internationally once annually. 

Suddenly, it seems so much easier to approach George and have a conversation with him, right? That’s just the point. Buyer personas make the audience more relatable. You see George as a real person and therefore find him to be more approachable.

When you look at this approach through a B2B company’s lens, you are able to target ideal customers, the kind that has the decision-making authority, the budgets, and the buy-inducing pain points that can help you make a sale.

Buyer personas make it easier for you to be useful to your audience, so yes, you do need them. You can also check out our post on sales prospecting best practices to further up your game. 

Buyer personas not only help you with lead generation and selling but also give direction to product development and to marketing efforts. 

How to create a buyer persona 

Heads-up: When crafting a buyer persona, it is going to be very easy to get carried away. It's a fun exercise! 

But the point is not to come up with an amazingly holistic or well-worded, or super-exciting character sketch. Creativity is not the point either. Using an exemplary buyer persona template is also not the point.

The whole goal of this exercise is to zoom in on the goals and pain points that cause the different segments to purchase your product. Once you have a handle on what those pain points are, it becomes far easier to relate to the customer, and more importantly, you will know exactly what words to say to prompt a purchase. 

Yes, really!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating  detailed buyer personas

Survey or interview existing customers - you want to know what made them purchase your product. Ask them specifically what their challenges were and how the product helped them to overcome their pain points. 

Survey or interview non-customers - people who are not buying from you are also very important to your buyer personas. If they use a competing product, find out how it helps them resolve their pain more effectively. Ask them what your product would have to do to help them eliminate their pain points. 

Slide in, and put an end to their misery!

Ask the right questions to both current customers and non-customers. Gathering customer data first-hand is a very important initiative that you must try not to skip because it will give you a better understanding of the target audience than guesswork.

Your questions should cover the following 11 areas: 

  1. Basic details such as age, gender, where they live, where they studied (and to what degree) and so on 
  2. Work/ job-related details such as role, job title, sector and so on 
  3. Psychographics like whether they are introverts or extroverts
  4. Pain points, challenges, and goals
  5. Methods for product research
  6. Role and influence over the purchasing decision 
  7. What they hope your product will solve/ achieve
  8. Criteria for buying a product
  9. Deal-makers and deal-breakers linked to buying a product 
  10. Examples of messages that cause them to feel more positive about purchasing a product
  11. Relationship with your brand (are they hearing about it for the first time? Do they use your product - or only your cheat sheets?)
  12. Communication preferences - social media, email, calls and so on

Buyer persona examples and templates

Here are three ready buyer persona templates that sales reps can populate to create useful persona profiles that will actually help you and the rest of the salesforce sell better. Just copy them and begin filling them out. Thank us later. 

Buyer persona template # 1

Background and demographics:

  • Name 
  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Job
  • Career path
  • Lifestyle 
  • Quotable quotes 

Goals:

  • Primary vs. secondary goals
  • Personal vs job goals
  • Role vs company goals

Challenges:

  • Your understanding of their goals and challenges
  • What is this buyer struggling with in terms of meeting goals? 
  • What is the roadblock to their success? 

Identifiers:

  • Communication preferences
  • Social media 

What can we do

  • To help this buyer achieve their goals 
  • And overcome their challenges

Marketing message

Describe how your solution has the biggest impact on this buyer (how does it help them to meet their goals or overcome their challenges?). 

Buyer persona template # 2

Background:

  • Name
  • Job
  • Career path
  • Lifestyle 

Demographics:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Gender identity

Goals:

  • Primary vs. secondary goals
  • Personal vs job goals
  • Role vs company goals 

Challenges: 

  • What challenges does this buyer face in meeting their goals? 
  • What is the roadblock to their success?

Identifiers:

  • Communication preferences
  • Social media 

What can we do

  • To help this buyer achieve their goals 
  • And overcome their challenges

Marketing message

Describe how your solution has the biggest impact on this buyer (how does it help them to meet their goals or overcome their challenges? 

Common objections

Why wouldn’t they buy your product? 

Elevator pitch

Sell your solution to this buyer in a quick, structured way, and using only few words 

Buyer persona template # 3

Background: 

  • Name
  • Job
  • Career path
  • Lifestyle 

Demographics:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Income
  • Gender identity

Goals:

  • Primary vs. secondary goals
  • Personal vs. job goals
  • Role vs. company goals 

Challenges: 

  • What are the challenges and obstacles they are facing in achieving their goals?

Go above and beyond to identify these points about your potential buyer:

  • Technology/ Social media
  • Device preferences?
  • Social media platforms?
  • Tech savvy?

Personality traits:

  • Interested in trying new things?
  • Are there any brands they’ve been loyal to?

What can we do

  • To help this buyer achieve their goals 
  • And overcome their challenges

Marketing message

  • Describe how your solution has the biggest impact on this buyer (how does it help them to meet their goals or overcome their challenges? 

Common objections

Why wouldn’t they buy your product? 

Elevator pitch

Sell your solution to this buyer in a quick, structured way and using only a few words

If only you had a Wingman to help with all the spadework and persona profiling 

Creating user personas is much easier with Wingman where you can go through efficiently organized call recordings from the whole team to answer key questions related to developing persona profiles. This can be an incredible benefit to businesses of all sizes, especially so for small businesses that might not have the budgets to go about their own market research.

In addition to helping you create detailed buyer personas from the treasure trove that is your own conversations with customers, your Wingman has your back in several other ways. Insight-driven call recordings also allow the sales team to analyze and mimic exemplary or especially successful sales conversations. 

Sales reps can also go back to prior conversations with a specific for a quick revision before a follow-up call. 

Wingman’s AI-powered sales metrics let your sales team hone the soft skill of being better listeners and getting critical information from potential customers to pitch more strategically. These actionable metrics and insights also help you reward top performers and help sales reps whose skills need polishing.

Get your Wingman now to improve your score rate. Experience Wingman’s benefits first-hand with a free demo.

In this article

Liked this article?

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles