B2B Buyer Personas: The 6 Types of B2B Buyers on the Internet (Part 4)

This is the final part of a four-part Blog series discussing the six “types” or buyer personas of B2B buyers that occupy the digital space.  We also offer some practical tips on how to adapt your sales and marketing strategies to make it easier for your buyer.

The third part of this series discussed the buyer personas of the Mystery Man and The Eager Beaver. This blog dives into the Worrywart and the Know-it-all.

worrywart-buyer-personaDifferent Types of Buyer Personas

The Worrywart

So far, we have talked about the newfound power the B2B has to control the sales process.  While this new sense of power gives buyers more confidence they are making the most informed decision they can, there are still those that worry constantly about doing the right thing.  And despite the internet’s infinite facts and figures, a web page will never look into your eyes and assure you that you are making the best choice possible. That is what you need to do to sell to the worrywart.

To sell to the worrywart, you need to showcase your humanity.  Have pictures and brief bios of your executive staff on your website.  Post videos that feature your CEO or top salesmen displaying their industry expertise. The worrywart hates pushy salesmen, so when talking to him, try to show and much transparency and authenticity as possible. Give him the facts and numbers without the sales-y language, and you will give him confidence you aren’t trying to ‘pull a fast one’ on him. Anything you can do to build a personal and honest relationship with the worrywart will help alleviate his fears and give him a reason to trust you.

GS know it allThe Know-It-All

Our last buyer persona is the know-it-all. The know-it-all is a lot like the device queen, only smarter. When she’s looking to make a purchase, she pours over industry reports, white papers and expert reviews. Like the eager beaver, she wants to go through the buying process on her own and only interact with you when it is absolutely imperative. She wants to feel that she reaches any decision she makes on her own—without the persuasion of smooth-talking salesmen.

The trick with selling to the know-it-all is to get out of her way until she comes to you. Let her go through all of your content on her own, but make sure she knows she can call you with any questions.  Despite her excellent research skills, there may be something about your service options or value proposition that she is unclear on. This is your salesmen’s chance to demonstrate intelligence and expertise, two things the know-it-all values greatly.

To prepare to sell to her, have your salesmen come up with a list of the most common questions or objections you hear, draft answers and practice them so you can deliver them quickly and confidently.  If she asks one of your junior salesmen a question, and he can’t come up with an answer right away, you will never hear from her again. On the other hand, if you are able to convince your know-it-all you are as sharp as she is, she will be convinced she can trust you and will likely give you her business.

So there they are, the six types of B2B buyers or buyer personas you encounter today. While we presented them here as distinct personality types, it is important to remember that your B2B buyer is likely a combination of two or more of these types, so you need to try to sell to all of them simultaneously.

By changing your sales strategy to meet the new demands of post-internet buyers, you can make your prospects feel like you understand them on a personal level. Despite the many changes the internet brought, the bedrock of selling will always be personal relationships, so anything you do to help personalize your sales process is going to help you win.

If you would like more educational content on how integrating insights about your buyers with marketing automation can affect your sales, click here. To learn more about the sales and marketing outsourcing services we offer (including marketing automation implementation, content development and lead nurturing), you can check out our services page.  If you are interested in a free review of your sales cycle, you can request one here.

B2B Buyer Personas: The 6 Types of B2B Buyers on the Internet (Part 3)

This is part three of a four-part Blog series discussing the six “types” or buyer personas of B2B buyers that occupy the digital space.  We also offer some practical tips on how to adapt your sales and marketing strategies to make it easier for your buyer.

The second part of this blog series discussed the buyer personas of the Window Shopper and The Device Queen. This blog dives into the Mystery Man and the Eager Beaver.

GS mystery manDifferent Types of Buyer Persona

The Mystery Man

Our next buyer is the mystery man.  To me, he’s like the popular guy in high school. You never know what we wants, what he’s doing, or if he’s ever going to call you again. He seems like he’s interested, but you never know how many of your competitors he’s talking to at the same time.  The mystery man may call you three times in a week or spend a night reading every blog you’ve ever written, only to disappear into digital oblivion for the next six months, or forever.

To be honest, if you don’t have a marketing automation platform, you don’t really have any hope of selling to the mystery man buyer persona. Because his aloof, “I-do-what-I-want-when-I-want” attitude is baffling to a sales team who expects a linear progression from discovery to close, marketing has to step in to explain what’s happening behind the scenes.

Your mystery man could actually be a team of mystery men from the same company, each member having stake in the buying decision and educating themselves separately over the course of a few months. Or, your mystery man may be doing early stage research for a purchase he plans to make a year from now. Or, he could be workaholic from your own industry trying to get an edge on the competition.

In any of these situations, a marketing automation platform will help you identify who you are interacting with and track digital engagement over time—giving you and your sales team more visibility into who to sell to and when to sell.  Once a prospect shows up in your marketing automation platform, they will stay there as long as you want.  That way, you will know the second a cold lead from six months ago has revisited your content, and you can pick up where you left off.

GS eager beaverThe Eager Beaver

The next type of buyer grew up with graphing calculators and spellcheck—meaning his need for instant gratification in regards to information was hardwired from childhood.  This need for instant gratification has only increased in recent years with faster internet speeds and more powerful search engines, and if you aren’t able to deliver on this demand, you’ll be left in the dust.

The motto of the eager beaver is, “Just let me do it myself. Now!” He is independent and impatient and does not want to have to wait for you to respond to his email.  In other words, he wants to learn everything there is to know about your company without personally interacting with you.  And if you want to sell to him, you need to give him what he wants.

To sell to the eager beaver, every aspect of your sales script needs to be replicated into a digital format and posted where it can be easily found.  This means you need general “About Us” and “Services” pages to help people get to know you in addition to more specific product or service info that will help those further along in the buying cycle. You basically need to create a do-it-yourself, digital version of the process your top salesman goes through with each prospect. For example, if your salesman takes your prospects through a product or software demo before closing, then record the demo and publish on a landing page, so it can be accessible anytime.

You can still have requirements to download or access your high-value content in order to track buyer intent, just remember that “too many download requirements” is the number one annoyance of B2B buyers today.

For the last part of this blog series profiling the final two buyer personas, click here.

One of the top advantages of Marketing Automation is the ability to help your sales rep understand how to best sell to this buyer. If you would like more educational content on how integrating insights about your buyers with marketing automation can affect your sales, click here.

To learn more about the sales and marketing outsourcing services we offer (including marketing automation implementation, content development and lead nurturing), you can check out our services page.  If you are interested in a free review of your sales cycle, you can request one here.

B2B Buyer Personas: The 6 Types of B2B Buyers on the Internet (Part 1)

buyer-persona

If you’ve been reading blogs about B2B sales and marketing, you’ve likely heard that “the buyer now controls the sales process.” The statement is repeated often because it’s true, and a failure to incorporate this truth into your sales strategy will cause you to lose customers to your competitors.

The buyer’s new power is a result of the internet and internet-based technologies. Whereas going through a list of vendors from an industry magazine or browsing booths at a trade show used to be how your B2B buyer found you, the buyer now has many more resources available to help them make purchasing decisions, which often contributes to their buyer persona profile.

Buyers now get their information in the form of digital articles, blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, Instagram pictures, webcasts, etc. This increasing interaction with digital information on a mass level has not only affected the economic structure of business, but the sociological one as well.

As the buying process changed with the introduction of web-based technologies, buyers changed too.  Buyers adapted new traits and behaviors conducive to the new digital space they occupy. By understanding these new traits or characteristics and incorporating these insights into your sales strategies, you can make better connections, earn more trust and ultimately, close more deals.

We have a strong belief that more and more B2B products are “Bought” then “Sold”.  The habits of buyers are now proving that the buyer wants to feel like they are in control of their education and early stage buying process. Once they have short listed and “bought,”  they are much more open to being “sold” by your closer.  Because let’s face it, it’s much more fun to buy something than to be sold.

In this four part blog series (this is part 1),  we outline six “types” or buyer personas of B2B buyers that occupy the digital space and offer some practical tips on how to adapt your sales and marketing strategies to make it easier for your buyer.

As a quick summary of the types of buyer persona:

The first buyer persona is the Window Shopper, whose flighty tendencies disturb the normal B2B buying timeline. Next, we have the Device Queen who spends half of her time on her iPad. Then, we have the Mystery Man—this guy is as intriguing as he is annoying. Then there is the Eager Beaver who wants everything done, like yesterday. Next is the Worrywart, who needs a bit of hand-holding to be assured he is making the right choice. Last, we have the Know-it-All who forces you to be at the top of your game if you want to impress.

For the next part of this blog series profiling the first two buyer personas, click here.

If you would like more educational content on how integrating insights about your buyers with marketing automation can affect your sales, click here. To learn more about the sales and marketing outsourcing services we offer (including marketing automation implementation, content development and lead nurturing), you can check out our services page.  If you are interested in a free review of your sales cycle, you can request one here.