It's often suggested that what you want to do is identify all the personas of all your potential buyers and create messaging that addresses their individual needs. But the reality is that your greatest success will come not from concentrating on the demographics and psychographics of your prospects, but rather, by locking on to their shared concerns, problems and pain points.
Specifically, you want to identify and target someone who can become your decision advocate. This individual has both the authority and motivation to address the problems you solve.
To successfully message to this advocate, you want clarity around their role and responsibilities, their key objectives and performance metrics, and the dynamics of their team decision. Most importantly, you want clarity on this person's likely hot buttons and pain points -- factors that will motivate them to move.
We use the term "decision advocate" because this is the person who will champion your program, product or solution -- someone with something meaningful to gain from your solution and something significant to lose in its absence. Your objective should be to turn this person into a hero.
That requires you to arm them with a powerful and compelling message – a shareable story that vividly shows contrast between the current state they are experiencing and future state they can obtain.
Just remember this individual is part of a buying decision team. No one makes a decision on a complex, high impact solution unilaterally. But you won't win by trying to the message and market to each member of the decision team individually. As Corporate Executive Board's Patrick Spenner argues in Forbes:
All of the vendors and gurus out there telling you to personalize your content to the individual pain points and objectives of individual stakeholder personas. That means, at best, your content and messaging is doing nothing to help a group of disparate individuals actually find common ground. Moreover, at worst, it likely cements the individual’s own mental model around his own pain points and objectives. It entrenches those individuals, in a way, making it harder for them to find common ground in the messy stew of group dynamics they inevitably have to navigate if the group is to reach any kind of consensus on the nature of the problem and solution.
You don't win by personalizing your marketing. You win by supporting your decision advocate in their efforts to influence, persuade and build the confidence of other decision team members.
In this case, you are the decision advisor. You want to facilitate and support the decision. You want to provide reliable guidance and ask facilitative questions. You want to help direct the decision process. The decision team needs clarity over all to make a successful decision and achieve successful results.
So how will you accomplish this goal? You'll need messaging and assets that address the core concerns of the decision team. As many of our clients have discovered, you can arm your advocate with a decision enablement kit -- tools that help your champion sell your ideas in your absence.
You can't be part of all the conversations and discussions that will happen. But you can influence the decision by providing messages, tools and assets that bring conversations to life and make ideas go viral within the buyer's decision environment.
By arming and enabling your decision advocate, you take a critical step toward making your solutions attractive and actionable. You build sales momentum, resulting in faster decisions and higher revenue performance.