How to Develop A B2B Buyer Persona

Posted by David Terry on May 08, 2017

Before diving into your Inbound Marketing strategy, one of the most important steps is identifying your primary audience, or buyer persona. 

Your buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer and will help ensure that every member of your team knows who they are engaging with and, more importantly, how to engage with them successfully.

While you can market and sell to every person you can find, chances are you won’t be successful. Not everyone wants what you are selling and you don’t want to spend time and money try to attract the wrong person. By developing a buyer persona, you will be able to focus on your right type of customer and specifically target them. 

Most B2B organizations who do Inbound Marketing, have at least 3 to 5 primary buyer personas.

But, don’t stress. The number of personas varies by industry and company, so if you have more or less, it’s fine.

If you don’t currently have any personas, our advice is to start slow. Focus on one or two buyer personas first, and see how that goes. Once you’re happy with the outcome, move on to the next one.

Getting to Know Your Buyer Personas

The better you know your persona, the easier it is to attract, convert, close and delight them.

Whether you’re creating content, developing offers, nurturing leads or following up on a recent sale, how well you know your buyer persona can make or break the moment.

When creating a persona, you want to make them as memorable as possible. Everyone in your company should know their persona story and should be able to recall their specific characteristics, needs, challenges and pain points quickly.

If you can, try and use market research or interviews with actual customers (good and bad) to gain insight into your audience.

If you can’t do this easily, take a look at your own databases. You may be surprised to see what you can uncover. Maybe your ideal customers all have a specific job title or work in specific industries.

Next, talk to your sales team and account managers. They can probably make generalizations about the types of leads they interact with and which ones your company best serves. The more points of view that you can include in your buyer persona research the better – try and get input and feedback from at least one person in each customer facing department of your organization

Lastly, take a look at any analytics platforms you use. Google Analytics can be a great tool for segmenting your audience and finding out critical information about your buyer personas, such as what devices they most often use, where they are from and what their interests are.

What You Should Know About Your Persona

There is a ton of information you can gather about your B2B buyer persona, from their gender to their job title to their pass times.

To help you on your way, here are 45 questions that you can ask about your buyer persona. If you don’t know the answer to all of these questions right away, that is okay. The great thing about buyer personas is, like the people they represent, they are always developing and changing so, you should update your buyer persona documents frequently.


  1. Do they skew male or female?
  2. How old are they?
  3. How much money do they make?
  4. What is their family structure?
  5. What is their ethnicity?
  6. Where do they work/live? (Urban vs. suburban)


  1. What is their personality like?
  2. What common traits do they have?
  3. What are their favorite hobbies and pastimes?
  4. What are their attitudes and values towards areas critical to your business? (i.e. philanthropy, environmental sustainability, etc.)

Personal Background

  1. What has their career path looked like up until this point?
  2. What is their level of education?

Role & Responsibilities

  1. What is their job title?
  2. What are their personal responsibilities?
  3. Who do they report to? Who reports to them?
  4. How is their job measured?
  5. What does a typical workday look like?
  6. What types of skills are required to be successful in this role?
  7. What tools do they use most frequently?

Company Profile

  1. Which industry or industries do they work with?
  2. How many employees do they have?
  3. How much annual revenue do they generate?
  4. Where in the world are they located?


  1. What challenges are they facing in their job? (budget, time, resources, approval process, communication barriers, etc.)
  2. What challenges does their industry face? (social, economical, technological, legal, environmental, etc.)


  1. What are their career goals?
  2. What are the organization’s goals for this person?
  3. What are their department’s/team’s goals?
  4. How do they define success?

Marketing Triggers

  1. What types of events or situations cause this persona to realize the need for a product/service like yours?

Common Objections & Questions

  1. What are their most common questions about your product/service?
  2. What are the most common objections they have about your product/service?

Information Search

  1. How do they do research or learn about new information? (online, word of mouth, trade shows, industry publications, etc.)
  2. How do they prefer to receive information? (phone, email, face-to-face)
  3. Do they use social media, what type and how often?
  4. Do they belong to any associations or clubs?
  5. What types of content do they tend to consume?
  6. Are they tech savvy?
  7. What publications or blogs do they read?
  8. Which industry terms, keywords or buzzwords do they use?

Segmentation Question

  1. How would they describe themselves?
    The answer to this question will be used as a drop down for self-segmentation on landing pages - ex “I’m a small business owner. I want to learn about how to get started with inbound marketing”

How You Help?

  1. How does your company help them overcome their challenges?
  2. How does your company help them reach their goals?
  3. What makes your offering different and better than other alternatives?
  4. How do you address their most common questions and objections?

Once you have gathered your persona’s information, bring it all together to create a well-rounded and easy to remember buyer persona story in a document that can be shared right across your organization.

And, as we said before, be sure to always update and add to your buyer personas as you move along! The more information you have, and the more up-to-date they are, the more successful your Inbound Marketing strategy will be.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, B2B Sectors