Digital Marketing Digest

Why Personas Are So Important

Sep 23, 2019 / by Agile Digital Marketing posted in Inbound Marketing, Sales, Marketing, Persona

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Personas - Importance to Marketing

 

At Agile, we've been collaborating with clients on creating personas for several years.

What is a Persona? 

It's a fictional representation of an actual customer.  Some definitions say "ideal customer" such as this one from Sam Kusinitz. @sdkusin . "A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers."

Typically, a business will have several personas vs. a single persona. For example, an accounting firm that serves venture-backed businesses will have both male and female CEO's as personas and variations that eventually look like, "Ivan Inventor" - Male, age 25 to 35, single, etc." 

If you're running a startup or a young company, you may not have enough real data collected in which case we favor personas that represent the prospect that are closest to existing and desired customers.

With one of our earlier clients, a parts distribution company we jointly created several personas that helped this business and its sales team. The persona's represented the actual customers served. In this way, existing and new sales representatives had clear details on the ideal customer. Details include job title, interests, places people go on the Internet to do their research, hobbies, marital status, industry experience and more. 

This gets at the heart of this important, we would say critical exercise. We were heartened when we became a HubSpot Partner agency because personas are at the core of the inbound methodology and the HubSpot CRM incorporates personas. Additionally, personas can be used every time you add a contact to the HubSpot CRM.

We recommend that you research CRMs carefully - ensure that the CRM you use or are considering contains a personas module. 

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My Sales Pipeline Needs More, More, Better !?!?!

Mar 8, 2019 / by Agile Digital Marketing posted in Sales, Pipeline

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This article is for CMO's, Marketing Directors and Sales VPs and Directors and HubSpot agencies. It reflects a course recently taken by Agile's President, Alan Koenigsberg and his recommendations to businesses and agencies based on the recently completed 8-week course, Pipeline Generation Bootcamp 2019 (with becoming-a-Lion theme). Your thoughts and feedback are welcome! Use the form at the bottom.

MORE #1: Challenge - Our business is facing a shortage of leads.

Take-away #1: You're not alone.

Take-away #2: OK, I'll just say it -- working with an agency partner that is growth-focused is key. When your business becomes growth-focused you're looking at the big picture that involves both marketing and sales. And you're using a solution with logins for everyone on your team. Plus you want a solution that is easy to use and incorporates tools that make it possible to generate, track and report on progress. Both functions or departments play a role in qualifying leads as they go through your businesses buyer journey, and then converting leads to sales qualified leads (SQLs).

Take-away #3: A big resistance point is getting on the phone! What I recently learned is 1) stand up and smile when making phone calls, 2) your preparation for the call is highly correlated to success -- go on LinkedIn and use tools like Crystal to determine behavioral style and how to communicate in a style that fits; 3) your objective during the first and subsequent calls is to be helpful and inquisitive. Use phrases like "Tell Me More" and verbal queues like "Ugh" when their is resistance on the other end of the line. 4) If you get a "No" it doesn't necessarily mean no, it may mean maybe or a later time. And if you've provided a compliment and perhaps a tip or two as well, you have done your job.

Take-away #4:  A great coach and trainer (like Dan Tyre, Director at HubSpot) is highly recommended for our business and yours as well. Perhaps like me, motivation and skill building is all you need -- with a good coach, you'll get these and more. And remember, skill building takes time and practice (more for a stubborn learner like me).

 

MORE #2: Challenge - Our business is facing a shortage of qualified leads.

Awesome, you're generating leads but they're of little value when you're not able to communicate what the prospect needs, when they need it, who will be involved in the purchase decision and the budget they are comfortable spending based on the value you will be delivering.

Take-away #1: Know your businesses qualifying criteria for a good and ideal customer. For your property management business, it might be homeowners who are able to rent at levels above $5K per month and have been receiving very poor service from their existing property manager and are seeking a licensed property manager with a 4 to 5 star Yelp review status.

Take-away #2: Investigate HubSpot or if using the top-rated CRM for your industry, track the status and progress of each prospect and receive reminders when it's time to make that next call. Also, automate your email generation using sequences. This is easy and fast to do with HubSpot, a CRM and marketing and sales tool - all-in-one. 

 

BETTER #3: Challenge - Our pipeline is not being tracked or monitored at-all or adequately. We leave it to our sales representatives to generate leads and use tools like LinkedIn, cold-calling from lists, trade shows, etc.

Take-away #1: Contact us first. We'll send you an email you can use to start using HubSpot's free CRM tool. There's no limit on the number of contacts and this will get everyone in the habit of tracking and monitoring prospects and customers in one place.

Take-away #2: Start using content to answer your prospect's questions in the form of Blog articles and posts. This will boost your website's SEO as a win-win bonus. Also, give away content via your website and social media business pages -- be generous with advice and tips so prospects keep coming back to your website. When they opt-in or respond by downloading a Checklist or White Paper you can then follow-up in order to determine if your businesses solution is a good fit. 

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