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Sales & Marketing

Training Your Sales Team in Buyer Personas

August 22, 2014 | Jary Carter



In your personal life, you wouldn’t talk to your grandmother using the same language you would with your 18-year-old cousin. We naturally fall into different types of conversations depending on the age, interests and other characteristics of the other person. But, that sort of natural rapport building can fall to the wayside when selling in favor of a scripted, one-size-fits-all approach. Training your sales team in buyer personas can increase customer satisfaction and sales.

What is a Buyer Persona?

Buyer personas are archetypes that represent different kinds of buyers. They are based on research on actual customers and take into account that persona’s goals, how they think, why they make buying decisions and how they come to those decisions. Understanding those motivations allows you to meet customers halfway and address them in the way that is most likely to make them feel understood.


How do you create buyer personas for your business?

Start by identifying the characteristics of your current buyers. The information captured in your CRM is a valuable starting point.  If you don’t have a CRM, similar data can come from looking at purchase histories, surveys, studies of companies like yours and simple one-on-one conversations. You can also begin seeing how people’s purchases align with characteristics like:

  • image-1Age
  • Gender
  • Profession
  • Income and wealth
  • Education
  • Purpose when buying
  • Shopping habits

A critical component is doing what you can to find out what the most important factors are for them when making a buying decision. Do they buy on price? Convenience? The promise of certain premium features?

Gradually, several pictures will emerge. These are the archetypes that will become your company’s buyer personas.


How These Can Help Your Sales Team

Once you have the persona information solidified, train your team in how to use it. Some of the benefits include:

Address specific problems. A buyer persona that, for instance, is struggling with organization can be wooed with information about how your product makes that easier.

Speak to specific values. If you know a buyer that fits a specific persona values time savings, your sales crew can lead with that benefit.

Showcase products in the right price range. Products priced too high will shut down the conversation. Those that are too low can lead to lower profits. Hitting the sweet spot makes it more likely that you will close a sale.  Previous purchase data is a key data point to look at when understanding a customer’s price range.


Using OroCRM

Many customers come to us with the idea they want to get more sophisticated in how they interact with their customers.  In OroCRM there are several ways to segment customers into specific personas.  Tags are a perfect example of how a sales person with a glance can understand a buyers persona.  Our Customer Segmentation tools also make it simple to have a more personalized approach to customer engagement. 

Ultimately, each customer that comes into your business is, of course, an individual. And, occasionally you will find they have specific needs that don’t fit in with the personas you have constructed. But, by learning about the most common buyer motivations and how to approach each general persona, you give your sales team the tools to better address buyer needs and make more consistent sales.

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