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Understanding your customer’s pain points has been a staple of sales and marketing for quite some time. Gaining a solid grasps on their motivations, drivers, personalities, people they interact with, and the likes has led to many programs offering clues on how to reach, sell, and close business with buyers. Anyone who has been through a significant amount of sales training can attest to how each program stresses the need for understanding buyer’s needs and wants as well as the promise of adapting your selling style to that of an analytical or other personality types. The difficulty lies in putting the picture together and making sense of what you have learned. The next rule is one of the cornerstone rules first established by Alan Cooper; many consider being the founding father of personas:
Rule 4: Buyer Personas are a Translation of Goals
This may sound relatively simple and easy but it is not when you consider that goals, in this framework, are a result of translating all of the findings gathered in qualitative research such as pain points, motivations, drivers, interactions, and personalities. Alan Cooper created user personas for the purpose of informing Goal Directed Design Strategy. My colleague, Angela Quail, and I took this same principle we learned from Cooper to help clients create a Goal Centric Customer Strategy that are informed by buyer personas.
Getting at the goals of buyers can be tough for this reason: buyers may not always be able to articulate their own goals clearly or are yet precise about goals of the organization. Thus it takes some solid qualitative research to arrive at discovering buyer goals that are truly a translation of insight that senior executives can rely on to make sound decisions on customer, sales, and marketing strategies.
I believe that this is one of the most important rules in buyer persona development. Keeping the focus on goals will help you and your organization to have meaningful buyer personas that lead to winning strategies.
Next Up: Rule 5