How to build your buyer persona: the checklist

Recently we wrote about how often tech companies define their market in meaningless terms that fail to connect sales and marketing efforts to the real buyer at the point of revenue. Wouldn’t it be nice, we thought, if someone put together a list of questions – to steer customer interviews that will give you a clear picture of your buyer, and what matters to them.

Well here you go. Below you’ll find a discussion guide that we think asks the important questions.

The problem with vague target audience definitions and flimsy buyer personas is that they don’t describe real people. Many of the tech companies we work with want to sell to the CIO. When you ask them to define their target they’ll say, “we’re targeting the CIO.” The problem is that the CIO label describes everyone from the guy who buys a server for, to Sergey Brin.

In fact, our experience suggests there are at least four different CIO buyer types (more on that in a white paper from Firebrick). But you can’t tell one from another unless you dig a little deeper than their job title.

The questions below will lead you to buyer profiles based on the stuff that guides buying decisions. The answers will help you understand how to engage your buyers in a way that gets their attention, addresses top-of-mind concerns and creates an urgent reason to do business with you.