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Are Your Current Personas and Segmentations Holding Back Your Sales Teams?

In the realm of sales and marketing, comprehending your target customers is the bedrock of success. Product managers and marketing leaders dedicate considerable effort to craft intricate customer personas, meticulously outlining characteristics like age, education level, industry, and company size. However, almost all segementation and personas miss a key element: the prospect's urgency of need.

Imagine a hypothetical scenario involving a company specializing in offering reservation application solutions tailored for small and mid-sized parking facilities. As these businesses meticulously construct user personas based on criteria such as facility size, age, and annual revenue, a significant variable remains unexplored: the urgency associated with parking space occupancy. Picture a parking facilities grappling with persistent challenges in filling their spaces, leading to substantial revenue loss each month. This palpable urgency signifies an immediate demand for a solution.

Enter the concept of "urgency of need." This concept entails segmenting potential customers into four distinct categories:

  1. Urgent: Customers within this segment acknowledge an immediate and pressing need. For instance, a parking manager struggling to maximize revenue.

  2. Non-urgent: Customers here recognize a need but consider it less time-sensitive. They plan to address this requirement in the future, perhaps when their organic traffic can benefit from automation.

  3. Currently met: These customers are content with their present solution, despite being aware of its long-term limitations.

  4. None: Customers in this category currently have no need for the offered solution and do not anticipate requiring it in the foreseeable future.

Although the urgency-based approach may appear instinctive, its potential impact often remains underestimated. Countless B2B companies spanning diverse industries overlook the urgency factor in their segmentation and sales strategies, leading sales teams to spend the first two or three calls trying to uncover a sense of urgency. This inefficiency neither empowers nor enables your sales teams. Addressing this oversight necessitates a structured process, blending aspects of user persona creation with the urgency factor:

Creating Accurate User Personas:

Beyond the existing customer base, prospective leads can be identified through sources like job listings reflecting specific needs. Other valuable resources might include industry data on mergers and acquisitions, conversations on social media platforms about quality challenges, and more.

Gathering Real User Insights:

Unveiling the true urgency of customers' needs transcends demographic profiling and demands actual engagement with your future customers. Engaging with customers and prospects through in-depth interviews and surveys uncovers parameters shaping their sense of urgency. This entails probing into their frustrations, goals, obstacles, external influences, and technological considerations.

Assessing the Ability to Serve Different Segments:

After segmenting customers based on urgency, you must address key questions for each segment:

  • Urgent needs: How quickly can the requirement be met? What's the optimal approach for serving these customers? Is the market potential substantial enough to focus solely on these prospects? How can product pricing achieve a balance between margins and relationships, factoring in urgency?

  • Non-urgent needs: Can customers be persuaded that their need is more time-sensitive than they believe? How can the company maintain consistent engagement to stay top-of-mind until their need becomes urgent?

  • Currently met needs: Is it prudent to disengage, or can efforts be directed towards persuading them to reconsider their current situation? If so, what's the optimal approach to encourage them to recognize their genuine need and its urgency?

  • No need: Should these contacts be excluded from the potential prospects list, or might there be potential in addressing an alternate requirement they might have? Should periodic contact be maintained to assess changes in their circumstances?

The crux lies in aligning sales strategies with the urgency of customers' needs. This involves testing new target parameters, refining sales messaging, and training the sales team to adapt according to customers' urgency levels.

Incorporating the urgency of need into user personas offers a myriad of advantages. It facilitates effective differentiation of offerings, unearths untapped growth opportunities, accelerates the sales of new products, and empowers sales teams to metamorphose into high-performing entities.

A segmentation centered solely around personas falls short in providing actionable direction for your sales teams. Infusing a sense of urgency into your personas enhances sales strategies and exposes untapped potential, equipping sales teams with a focused and effective approach to converting prospects into satisfied customers. This customer-centric approach not only bolsters business improvement strategies but also paves the path for sustainable business growth.


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