This Week in Publish or Perish: Persona Hacking – An Inbound Approach to Prospecting

Personas are only useful for content marketers, right?

Fathom’s Jeff Leo Herrmann proves this myth wrong in episode 23 of the Publish or Perish podcast. Personas can help to scale sales relationships, refine communications, and align sales & marketing teams. Most importantly, though, personas will attract your ideal clients and repel the ones that will waste your time.

To discuss the power of persona use in sales applications, Jeff interviews Haley Hite, a content marketing expert at Fathom.

Learn how to achieve sales productivity, warm up cold prospects, and have the right conversation with the right person, by listening to the podcast now or checking out the interview below.

JH: How does content drives sales productivity?

HH: Unlike salespeople, content is always available to those who want it—and it’s on your audience’s terms.  If you put forward really compelling content that speaks to the right person and repels the wrong people, it becomes a self-selection process that focuses in on your ideal client. Plus, if your content is answering your audience’s questions then you don’t have to.

JH: The term persona is kind of vague, can you explain what it really means?

HH: A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your target audience. It is designed to give a visual depiction and understanding of the pain points and buyers’ journey of your ideal prospects so you can build relationships with them. I say ‘semi-fictional’ because personas should be based on data, but it’s also understood that a persona is not a specific person. Instead, it is a collection of themes that are associated with a group of people.

JH: How do you collect persona research?

HH: There are two elements to this: quantitative analytics and qualitative analytics. Quantitative analytics include demographic and geographic information. Qualitative analytics include the results of usability tests, customer surveys, and market surveys. A lot of people miss the qualitative piece, but it’s important to research because you need to know what’s going on in your audience’s head and what questions they’re asking.

JH: Is there a way sales teams can adopt this persona based self-selection model in the future?

HH: Sales can use this to their advantage in the way they build relationships and the speed with which they do so. By knowing who you’re talking to and what they need from you—as opposed to what you think they need from you—salespeople will build relationships faster. Sales can use personas in everything from emails to social selling to effective communication with their marketing teams.

Top takeaways:

  1. Gather insights from your previous work with customers and prospects
  2. Dig deeper into the qualitative details
  3. If you’re targeting everyone you’re targeting no one

If you’re ready to get away from firmographics and start having authentic conversations with your ideal prospects, check out episode 23 of Publish or Perish.

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