In this article, we'll explain why persona mapping is critical for lead generation. You'll go through all the necessary steps to build your B2B buyer persona from scratch. Not only that, but you can download our free persona template as well.
Before we get too deep, we know some of you guys are just here for the free buyer persona template download, so here it is.
Now let's get rolling...
What is persona mapping?
Persona mapping is the creation of a fictional character created to represent your target audience. When building your buyer persona, it's important to add as much information as possible so that your team can make educated business decisions.
This info represents prospects' characteristics like their objectives, motivations, preferences, challenges, common objections, etc.
How to do persona mapping to create a user persona
The goal of persona mapping is to be able to clearly understand who your target audience is, what types of customers they are, and the problems you need to solve so they can become happy customers.
Once you have solutions for their problems, it becomes way easier to sell your product/service.
Creating a user persona means going beyond the surface and digging into details. After reading this article, you'll have a complete understanding of the entire process + we'll share a free persona map template you can download.
Here’s how to create buyer personas yourself
To understand how to create buyer personas and build one of your own, you have to pay attention to all the nuances that matter for your business.
Developing buyer personas is a process that can be mastered and it's of extreme importance if you want to do B2B lead generation. The tips that we're about to show you are those that were instrumental on our road to converting our first 8,000 customers.
First, what kind of information does your team likely need included in each persona?
A properly developed buyer persona is one that includes all the information that's relevant for your business. Plus, every company has more than one user persona in the mix.
Let's take a look at the standard here...
- Profile & background
- Goals & objectives
- Business challenges
- Path to purchase
- Common objectives
Profile & background
Understanding your prospect's profile is the starting point. We're talking about things like their job roles and career paths.
For instance, lemlist is a tool mostly used by salespeople, marketers, B2B entrepreneurs, and recruiters. We're not going to go for CFOs or people who want to send a newsletter.
Now, let's focus on salespeople for a minute. We have SDRs, VPs, Sales Ops folks, and external consultants. Each of them has a different position in a company, different role to do, and their career paths obviously vary.
By running a simple LinkedIn search for job titles, you can start seeing who these people are.
We know that these are the profiles that will be looking to use tools like lemlist and for whom lemlist was built.
Furthermore, the same groups of people spend time together in relevant communities, such as Digital Marketing Lions by Leon Sheed.
Definitely start spending time in these places.
Once you know your user persona profile, it's time to dip into the demographics. Typically you want to research details like their age, location, or gender.
A good platform that can give you these answers is Google Analytics. 80% of the time, people that are coming to your website is who your target audience is. For this to be true, your website content needs to match your business' intent.
If you're just starting out and have yet to drive traffic to your website, a decent alternative can be good old manual research (think online communities + Google), but also tools like SparkToro or sales databases (e.g. UpLead or LeadFuze).
I once read a story about a US lawyer who figured out that most of his customers enjoy golf. So he started a publication + newsletter about the game and played golf like crazy. That's where he met a lot of his clients and the publication became a huge word-of-mouth channel for him.
Precisely the reason why understanding your prospects' interests is important. Again, Google Analytics can be your starting point.
These things can help you further define your website and Social Media content. Furthermore, you can see if your audience prefers to consume your content on mobile or desktop, and then make decisions based on that.
By browsing through Social Media, you can learn what their interests outside of work are. On top of that, you might also discover their other professional traits. For example, a SaaS lover who enjoys exploring and testing new tools.
What websites are they visiting? What influencers are they following? Which Instagram pages they enjoy consuming in their leisure time?
All relevant data about your buyer persona. We mixed these things when we were creating ours, so it looked something like this.
Goals & objectives
Understanding the goals of your user persona will help you identify their pain points and position your product/service accordingly.
Remember, it's never your feature that facilitates a sale. It's how that feature can be used to achieve your prospect's goal.
It's also important to note the difference between goals and objectives:
- Goals are statements you make about the future for your business (e.g. help B2B business send cold emails that get more replies)
- Objectives are the exact steps that your persona needs to take to reach his/her goals (e.g. increase the number of customers by 200% quarterly)
How do you identify someone's goals and objectives? You become patient in your research and leverage platforms like LinkedIn, online communities, Indeed, the company's website, their blog, etc.
Persona mapping and LinkedIn work like tomato and basil.
Reading through customer reviews is a goldmine.
Communities, once again, no brainer.
The prospects' job posts always outline their goals and in which direction the company is planning to go.
Here's how it all looks for our persona.
Challenges are usually connected with goals and objectives. In my experience, by knowing someone's challenges, you have more practical knowledge of how to do a demo or position your copy on the website.
Plus, there are primary and secondary challenges. Let's imagine I'm getting ready to do a demo with Sarah Peterson. Sarah is a Head of Sales looking for ways to boost reply rates on her team's outbound campaigns.
By digging deeper, I discover that Sarah's team grew from 2 to 7 in the past two months and that they've started experiencing problems with email deliverability. They are not sure what to do about it or whether or not to buy a second domain just for outreach.
On the flip side, 5 of her team members are juniors who lack experience in the field.
I can search for these things through manual research, previous experience, or on the spot by talking to Sarah. But what do these challenges mean for my demo?
My first goal is to position lemlist and lemwarm (our email warm-up feature) through an actionable use case for Sarah's situation. Plus, I can prepare top educational resources and how-to guides for her team. Addressing all challenges, not just the primary one.
More importantly, I'm on my level and focusing on what matters to Sarah and her team. Sarah can see I care because I've done my homework and went the extra mile.
Path to purchase
How did the prospects hear about us? This is where multiple teams and assets of your business come into play. For example:
- Website tracking and path to the conversion
- Outbound funnel through outreach campaigns
- Word of mouth and recommendations
- Read your content and converted afterward (inbound)
- Personal branding and your engagement in relevant communities
- User interviews and surveys
These are invaluable sources of information for your company.
The main priority is to sync your team and ensure the exchange of this knowledge. It's only through cooperation that you'll realize how to optimize flows, where to double down, and how to eliminate friction.
Knowing what could hold back your target is key because you can come prepared with the right answers.
For example, if someone tells us that lemlist is too expensive, we could say that it's not as much about the price as it is about the ROI or the value that our tool will deliver to their business.
You could also prepare some analogy that your target could easily rely on.
Price is never an issue.
Perceived value is.
You could also use analogies like telling the following story:
You: let's say that there's a million dollars in a suitcase with your name on it at the very top of a tree. What would you do?
Your prospect: I would probably climb it.
You: Now, what you didn't know is that there are plenty of dangerous deadly spiders on this tree that will attack you if climb on those branches. However, you have a big ladder that you could use to go straight to the top! Would you use it?
Your prospect: Definitely!
You: In the end, the million-dollar suitcase is what your business could become. The deadly spiders are your competitors. And our software is the ladder.
To come up with this kind of story, you really need to understand your target audience.
To find common objections, you need to leverage multiple data sources.
- Yours and your competitor's reviews
- By recording demos you do and analyzing objections
- Looking at comments in relevant communities
- Knoxing the reasons why people churn from your business
Free buyer persona template download
Trying to find a free buyer persona template to download? May we suggest you use ours. It's best for a B2B buyer persona, but we'll let you do you.
When you download our audience persona template, we suggest using Figma to edit it. No design skills needed as Figma will feel like a breeze.
Other great places to get customer persona templates
If you're looking to build your customer persona template and add a little bit of visual beauty a.k.a. give life to it, there are a few places you can leverage.
1. Pexels (best persona generator)
For visuals, you can find some good ones on Pexels - a copyright free photos library!
Alternative places where you can find customer avatar examples for free:
2. Webris (user persona template in Google Sheets)
Webris is an SEO agency with whom we collaborated in the past. They have this cool article that contains a buyer persona worksheet you can use on your Google Drive.
3. Notion (easy persona building process)
It's no secret that we're massive fans of Notion. It's an integral part of lemlist as we all use it. If you come from the same cloth, Notion gives you a simple persona template you can set up in seconds.
Thanks to persona mapping, you'll see that it will become much easier for you and your team to create appropriate content and conduct better sales demos. Your message will also resonate much more with your targeted audience.
Ultimately, this is how you increase your conversion rate.