Prepare Your Heavy Duty Truck Dealership For Success with Buyer Personas
For companies that sell to other businesses – a heavy duty truck dealership, for instance – understanding how customers make buying decisions can be complex. That’s further complicated by the fact that the digital searching and shopping environment most prospects use these days is continually evolving. Successful marketing strategies require a systematic approach to understanding prospect and customer behavior.
Buyer personas give you that insight.
It’s easy to assume you know everything you need to know about your customers and, therefore, potential customers. But even if your assumptions are based on years of experience, the truth is they’re still assumptions. You could be missing key information that would significantly increase the number and quality of leads you generate, improve the content you present to prospects, etc.
That’s a big risk.
That’s why developing buyer personas is one of the first steps you should take to ensure your marketing strategies and sales efforts meet with maximum success. Investing the time to create fact-based personas that are as “fleshed out” as possible will give your heavy duty truck dealership a tremendous boost, supporting every aspect of the marketing process.
We call that process the PEER strategy. It’s a step-by-step approach that enables you to:
- Prepare your marketing plan to align with business and sales goals.
- Evolve your marketing tactics to match specific persona needs.
- Engage with prospects and customers as individually as possible.
- Retain customers by building loyalty.
Use both qualitative and quantitative details to create your buyer personas. You want to know who they are and how they go about making buying decisions, so you can determine what type of information they prefer at various buying stages, how to communicate with them most effectively, and when. You need to know why your equipment and services are important to them.
How do you learn all this?
1. Track customer buying behavior to find patterns. But don’t stop there, invite some customers for a personal interview to learn more. Use your social networks to ask customers relevant questions. Involve a broad spectrum of your dealership’s staff, too. Sales, service and support people all have different types of interactions with customers and prospects, so they bring valuable perspective to the persona development process.
2. Use what you learn to shape each persona – who they are, their primary business and buying goals – to map out how they make purchasing decisions. Their goals are crucial, because when people are shopping they’re actually looking to fulfill both conscious and unconscious needs. What are each persona’s major pain points? What triggers their decision to engage further with you, or to finally buy?
3. Create content – topics and offers – based on what you now know about each persona. How do your heavy duty trucks or after-market services help them reach their goals or build their business? Putting yourself in your persona’s shoes will help you be very specific about targeting content to the right prospects.
4. Measure your results, so you can continue to refine your efforts. Metrics should allow you to track:
- Content reach as well as how it was used and shared.
- Engagement and lead optimization.
- Sales and revenue generated.
B2B marketing surveys shows that in the past five years, sales cycles have increased by 22% because there are more decision-makers participating in the buying process. Studies also reveal that prospects have completed as much as 70% of their decision-making before they’re ready to engage with you personally. Of course every industry is different, but these stats underscore the need to perfect your targeting and your messaging.
Creating buyer personas will help you refine your marketing and make better use of your sales team’s time. With higher quality leads, you’ll be able to nurture them more effectively, and that could shorten sales cycles as well as increase sales.