Every single business vertical comes with a unique set of challenges, from lead generation techniques to the intricacies of the sales funnel. Few know this better than those immersed in the world of B2B tech marketing. Sure, all B2B companies are seeking customers interested in purchasing their products or services, but it’s deeper than that. B2B tech purchases often come with a heftier price tag, more active decisions makers, and as a result, a long and arduous sales cycle. A passionate, young sales representative could go grey waiting for a prospect to pull the trigger.
So, how can lead generation for technology companies be simplified? It all starts with developing a thorough understanding of the leads you want to capture and the behaviors that drive their purchasing decisions. Personas are not a novel concept, but their use has evolved over the years. What was once used to inform positioning and content marketing has become a strategic tool in converting qualified leads by addressing the needs and challenges of specific personas.
Come with Me If You Want (Your Marketing) To Live
It’s time to channel your inner Sarah Connor. We may not be from the future, but we have a pretty good idea of what it looks like for technology marketing pros. It is our job, after all. Generally, B2B companies should start with 3 main personas: the end-user, a decision-maker and a financial authority. Do the research and speak to clients and prospects to craft a well-researched and easily applied persona that answers these questions:
- Background: Position, experience, company type, education, interests and content consumption behaviors.
- Demographics: Gender, age, marital status, location
- Identifiers: Communication preferences, job challenges, pain points, quotations, dislikes, professional roadblocks, level of authority at work, and passive vs. proactive mindset
Of course, this information isn’t the be-all and end-all of persona development, but it’s a great start in learning how to best address the needs and preferences of your target customers. If you’re not sure where to start, Hubspot’s Make My Persona generator creates a great rudimentary template.
Have You Tried Unplugging and Plugging It Back In?
Maybe you have the bones of a decent persona, but you’re still struggling to speak to your target audience. That’s okay. Buyers are not what (or who) they used to be, and if your personas haven’t been updated in a while – they may be due for an upgrade. Personas help marketers form a theoretical person to speak to, but they don’t dive deep into the personalities of real people. This makes them difficult for some to conceptualize. If this is the case for your business, develop your personas even further to consider the real personality of your audience.
Gartner reports that 6.8 people are now involved in B2B buying decisions, which means marketers need to be adept at appealing to more personalities than they’ve developed personas for. When an opportunity arises, try to get a feel for the personalities of each engaged party to identify:
- Personal motivations
- Who is most skeptical or hard to convince?
- Communication style
- Team mobilizers
- Final decision-maker
Resetting your perspective to consider the teams or enterprises involved in each sales cycle can elevate your positioning enough to trigger a decision. Once you master the art of persona and personality targeting, you can use them in an even more sophisticated marketing strategy that utilizes dynamic tools, like Sitefinity's Insight Persona Templates and Action Plan.
Don’t Be Afraid To Extend Your Network
Technology buyers are intelligent and diligent in their research. By the time they’ve reached your company, chances are they’re already well-versed in your capabilities and how it can help them achieve their goals. Keep this in mind as you work on your personas and establish a strong messaging and positioning strategy. Maybe you’ve tried every marketing strategy for technology companies under the sun, but you just can’t make a sale on your next-generation SaaS offering. It’s not over.
Roger West has worked with tech startups, global tech conglomerates, and everything in between. We’ve developed personas, executed wildly successful digital campaigns, and expanded reach for clients across the United States, and we’re ready to help you do the same. Don’t be afraid to extend your network. Give us a call.