Over the past several decades, the lack of significant improvement in sales performance has left many wondering why traditional approaches have fallen short. Despite substantial investments in various tools and technologies, the fundamental understanding of buyers and their decision-making processes remains elusive. Contrary to popular belief, it is not titles, roles, or budget holders that make decisions in B2B settings; rather, it is the individuals themselves.
In our pursuit of sales success, we often fall into the trap of making assumptions that ultimately hinder our progress right from the outset. The notion that all individuals in a specific role possess identical needs, preferences, motivations, and behaviors is a prevalent misconception. Each person is unique, and understanding these nuances is crucial for tailoring effective sales and marketing approaches. Relying solely on our designated “contact” to advocate for our solution within the buying group is another flawed assumption. The reality is that individual perspectives, motivations, and dynamics within the group influence the final decision. By challenging these assumptions, we can unlock new opportunities and increase the chances of success.
Traditionally, engagement signals such as inquiries, responses, or meetings have been regarded as indicators of buyer intent. However, this assumption often proves misleading. Merely observing engagement does not provide a comprehensive understanding of the underlying motivations and considerations that drive a prospect’s decision-making process. To truly grasp buyer intent, we need to dive deeper and uncover the factors that influence their actions. More and more organizations are realizing that personality has more of an influence on the decisions buyers make than role. Thus, taking a personality-based approach can prove very powerful in breaking through the noise and helping guide buying groups to make a buying decision.
Adopting a Personality-Based Marketing Approach
Personality-based marketing (PBM) is an effective tool for understanding how to communicate with specific target audiences. It helps marketers write copy and create content that will resonate with their target audience on a deeper level, improving the overall performance of campaigns. With the help of Artificial Intelligence or AI-enabled personality profiling tools, it has become possible to understand specific audiences down to the individual level.
This allows marketers to create personally relevant content that drives engagement, which is more important than ever in today’s digital-first world, where attention spans are short and competition is fierce. Through data collection and analysis, marketers can determine which types of personalities are more likely to engage with or respond to certain efforts.
For instance, some people prefer “big picture” visuals such as animated videos that provide a quick overview of what’s being discussed. Others might need more details, such as long-form white papers about how to use or implement a product, in order for them to gain interest. Knowing these differences between personality types can help marketers understand exactly what type of content each type of person will respond positively to.
Buying Group Personality Types
Understanding the personality types of buyers is crucial for any business that wants to succeed in today’s market. We recently had the founder and CEO of Carbon Design as a guest on The RevEngine™ Podcast where he shared insight into how organizations can take a personality-based approach to selling.
The four distinct personality types that sales and marketing leaders should be aware of are: the influencer, champion, challenger, and steady. Each type has unique characteristics that can impact how they interact with your organization and their influence on the buying process.
The influencer is someone who has a lot of sway within the buying group. They may not be the final decision-maker, but they have significant input into the process. Influencers tend to be outgoing and persuasive, with strong communication skills. They value relationships and may prioritize personal connections over hard data when making decisions.
The champion is someone who is passionate about a particular product or service and advocates for it within the buying group. They are typically very knowledgeable about the product and its benefits, and they may be willing to go to bat for it in meetings or discussions. Champions tend to be enthusiastic and optimistic, with a can-do attitude.
The challenger is someone who questions assumptions and pushes back against conventional wisdom. They are often analytical thinkers who value data-driven decision-making over gut instincts or personal relationships. Challengers may be seen as contrarians by other members of the buying group, but their skepticism can help ensure that all options are thoroughly vetted before a decision is made.
The steady member of a buying group is someone who values stability and consistency above all else. They may be risk-averse and resistant to change, preferring tried-and-true solutions over new or innovative ones. Steadys tend to be reliable team players who prioritize collaboration and consensus-building.
When sellers (and marketers) know about these four personality types, they can tailor their approach to fit each person in the buying group. By understanding how important personal connections are to influencers or how important data-driven decisions are to challengers, salespeople can build stronger relationships with potential customers and improve their chances of closing deals.
In the ever-evolving world of B2B, understanding buyers and their decision-making processes is crucial for success. Challenging assumptions that all individuals in a role are the same and that engagement signals indicate intent is necessary. By adopting a personality-based sales and marketing approach and recognizing the different buyer personality types, businesses can tailor their strategies, create personalized content, and build stronger relationships, ultimately improving revenue performance and achieving success in a competitive market.
1. A buying group has four distinct personality types: influencer, champion, challenger, and steady.
2. Salespeople can personalize their approach to each member of the buying group based on their unique personalities and preferences.
3. AI-enabled personality profiling tools enable marketers to identify customer motivations that can be used in campaigns to engage target audiences more effectively.
4. Marketers should concentrate on developing campaigns that are specifically tailored to different personality types, ensuring that each audience segment receives the right message at the right time for maximum engagement and response rates.
Ready to take your marketing game to the next level? Tune in to Focus On Personality To Improve Sales And Marketing Effectiveness episode on The RevEngine Podcast to hear about the importance of creating a personal connection with your audience. Learn about the four distinct personality types in a buying group and how to effectively coach B2B salespeople to connect with modern buyers. Discover why understanding corporate culture, motivations, and dynamics between people in the deal is crucial for successful sales. And don’t forget about the softer sides of selling that tools just can’t capture!