Buyer personas and buyers’ journeys are typically understood as content marketing territory. Indeed, they influence everything from marketing strategies to brand guidelines to content creation. But, the value of creating buyers’ personas extends beyond the marketing side of a B2B company. When mapped throughout the entire buying process, buyers’ journey mapping can positively impact sales and close the gap between sales and marketing.
Ultimately, understanding who your buyers are and how they buy on a deeper level will make the hand off between sales & marketing smoother for both internal purposes as well as for the buyer. When mapping the buyers’ journey, there are several points to consider to ensure that these journeys are helpful & accurate throughout the sales and marketing process.
First, make sure your sales & marketing teams work together on mapping the buyers’ journey. The initial leads that marketing seeks and the closed deals that sales seeks may manifest themselves differently at various stages in the buying journey. By laying out any overlaps or discrepancies off the bat, you can see where the most valuable commonalities live. Then, you’ll know how to speak to the most desirable prospective customers in a way that draws them in initially and solidifies the deal at the end.
Second, use this buyers’ journey to create aligned marketing content and sales assets throughout the sales funnel. When creating personas and buyers’ journeys, put yourselves in the shoes of the buyer. Imagine if you were in the buying process and the messaging of a company’s website, brochure, or blog was different from the messaging of its salespeople and sales assets. Not only would this disrupt what should be a smooth, friction-free process, it could also come off as dishonest.
Third, be sure to measure the success of the initiatives influenced by your buyers’ journey. A simple and effective way to do this is to ask prospective customers and new customers which pieces of content resonated most with them. That way, you have clear evidence from interested buyers of the effect of content tailored to the buyers’ journey. For a more data driven approach, use metrics to measure which pieces of content used in the sales process—such as content in the later stages of a nurture campaign—performed most effectively.
It is well known that getting buy-in for content marketing efforts can be difficult—especially from a sales team that doesn’t see eye to eye with its marketing team. Showing the benefits of content marketing tactics such as buyers’ personas and buyers’ journeys will help your sales teams find the value in content marketing from a sales perspective. Soon enough, they’ll recognize that applying content marketing to the sales process is more than just helpful—it’s necessary.
Learn more on this subject at Fathom’s Lunch ‘n Learn session, Helping Your B2B Sales Team Thrive in the Age of Content Marketing, at Content Marketing World.