How to Build Buyer Personas Based on Intent and Action

Person builds buyer personas on top of game pieces

Your buyer persona helps you see a long list of leads and identify the few serious buyers. However, they are more than just a profile based on what a buyer looks like. If you only build buyer personas based on a list of demographics, you will lose out on some valuable leads that are ready to buy with the right encouragement.

Learn how to use real data to create a buyer persona built around intent and actions.

Key Takeaways:
  • Buyer personas are outlines of your buyers and the steps they take before purchasing
  • Monitoring actions and intent tells when your target audience is ready to buy instead of just telling you who might purchase
  • Track buyer intent through website analytics, customer surveys, and customer journey mapping

Download our free eBook to discover the power of marketing automation for multi-location business.

What Is a Buyer Persona (And Why You Should be Building Them)?

A buyer persona outlines what your ideal customer looks and acts like. Businesses will often create different buyer personas based on multiple motivating factors and data.

A buyer persona differs from a target audience profile because it is more detailed. While target audiences give general guidelines, a buyer persona provides specific facts about a fictional buyer based on real behaviors and pain points.

Having a buyer persona is essential for offering a personalized experience for each type of buyer and being able to address each person’s pain points. In addition, over half of your leads aren’t good fits for your business, so your buyer persona identifies your quality leads with the highest buyer intent.

A buyer persona example

Source: AWeber

What Data Is Most Important for Buyer Personas in Sales?

While demographic information has a place in a buyer persona, the most important data is buyer intent.

A buyer’s intent is the actions a lead takes or common behaviors of buyers before making a purchase. Tracking customer activities can help you predict which leads are serious buyers and how close they are to purchasing. It helps you know where to invest your time and resources when nurturing leads.

Behavior also helps you reach your target audience at the right time. For example, someone might check all the boxes of your demographic buyer persona but not want to buy at that time because they are saving for a large purchase. If you tried selling to them at that moment, you wouldn’t be successful.

However, if you wait for buyer intent cues, you can match the persona with behavior and reach out to the customer at the right time. For instance, the buyer might have received a pay raise and decided to look at the price page of your website to see if they can afford your products. By analyzing their behavior, you can identify this peaked interest, reach out to nurture that lead, and pass them to sales.

You can use buyer intent data to optimize your message, sales processes, and training to improve future sales.

 Top 3 sales enablement priorities

Source: FinancesOnline

What Your Buyer Persona Should Tell You

A complete buyer persona will answer several questions.

  • What is motivating the lead’s decision to purchase?
  • What potential roadblocks are keeping them from making a purchase decision?
  • What preconceived ideas do they have about your products or the experience?

Answering these questions will guide your sales and marketing teams as they interact with those that match each buyer’s personas. As a result, you can provide a personalized experience that addresses obstacles while feeding into their motivating factors. Understanding these behaviors also allows you to connect to your prospects earlier in the consideration stage. For example, nearly 60% of leads prefer communicating with sales during the consideration stage.

How to Build Your Persona Using Intent Data

Use these five strategies to gather relevant data for building a buyer persona based on customer data instead of guessing what your customers want and what behaviors they should exhibit.

1. Map Your Customer’s Journey

Following current customers on their journey from their first touchpoint till they purchase provides a large amount of data. This information helps you understand the why behind a lead’s behavior and is an essential part of your customer personas.

For instance, you might realize that most of your leads reach out to customer service before making a purchase. Therefore, you know that when someone contacts customer service, they are more likely to make a purchase afterward. Therefore, you can optimize your customer service to make that process easier.

2. Track Your Website’s Traffic

Watching how your website traffic interacts with your content gives you valuable insights into what behaviors come before a purchase. For example, you might be able to track what pages visitors explore before buying products. You can also identify the common keywords people search when they come to your website to make a purchase.

The average website visitor read about 28% of each page’s text. If you find a bounce rate below that, you know you have a website issue, whereas a higher interaction rate shows increased interest in your content and higher buyer intent.

These insights can contribute to your buyer persona by identifying searches, website behavior, and motivators behind your buyer’s online actions.

3. Outline Key Customer Demographics

While actions tell you how close a consumer is to purchasing, demographics can also tell you more about a buyer’s intent. For instance, if a primary decision-maker visits your website, they have a greater chance of purchasing than if someone lower down the executive ladder was looking at your products.

Other demographic or firmographic data that contribute to buyer intent include:

  • Location
  • Titles
  • Budget
  • Industry

4. Look for Recent Business or Personal Changes

Buyer intent data isn’t always what occurs during your business interactions. Other buyer intent indicators are changes within the buyer’s business or personal life before they come in contact with your company.

For example, a company that recently went on a hiring spree will need updated software to handle a more significant number of employees. This is intent data that you can add to one of your buyer personas.

5. Send Out Customer Surveys

If you are missing key information that tells you how your customers think leading up to purchasing or what might have kept them from purchasing, you can ask the customers directly for answers. For example, after a customer purchases a product, you can send them a survey asking how they found out about your business and how they liked their experience.

Some other ways to gather first-party data include:

  • Online surveys
  • Phone interviews
  • Feedback or exit surveys

For example, surveys showed that budget is the top obstacle that causes a deal to fall through.

Download our free eBook to discover the power of marketing automation for multi-location business.

Track Your Leads to Help Build Buyer Personas

MXR’s automation software tracks leads and sends reports on buyer behavior during each journey step. These valuable insights help you create more accurate buyer personas based on real data from your customers.

Schedule a demo to explore the data potential you can unlock through MXTR automation.


Recent Posts

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get more tips and tricks straight to your inbox.