How AI-driven Buyer Personas Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

How AI-driven Buyer Personas Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

AI is a common topic of conversation today for just about anyone with even the slightest interest in marketing. While content-focused apps frequently dominate the AI conversation, the opportunities go far beyond generating content. It has the power to transform the way sales and marketing teams strategize and work together.

The Sibling Rivalry of Sales and Marketing 

While both sales and marketing want the company to succeed, the two teams frequently have different ideas about how to do it. For example, while sales often develops priorities based on boots-on-the-ground conversations, marketing generally looks at wider audiences based on specific data. 

Unsurprisingly, if marketing focuses on one set of products or services and sales prioritizes another, there’s going to be some significant misalignment as well as reduced efficacy and efficiency. Moreover, if the teams are siloed, without access to one another’s data, significant amounts of time may go by before people discover disconnects.  

Candidly, we see this all the time.  

As we implement different types of Demand Gen projects like lead scoring, lead nurture, and various types of campaigns, it’s not uncommon to talk with sales and marketing teams and discover they’re not on the same page, which is vital for a successful implementation.  

Simplifying the Number-Crunching to Align Sales and Marketing 

In my opinion, aligning two or more teams is one of the most significant opportunities for AI. Historically speaking, marketing ops are data crunchers, comparing historical data and purchase patterns to gain a deeper understanding of the customer journey. However, as we gather more and more data, despite having the ability to go more granular than ever, it becomes prohibitively labor-intensive to sort through it all, making it a double-edged sword. 

Yet, that’s where AI shines. It can consume, categorize and analyze massive datasets that might take human analysts years to go through. With comprehensive reports at their fingertips, sales and marketing can review insights together and participate in fruitful conversations that result in high-level alignment on strategic objectives. 

Alignment is only the tip of the iceberg. 

In addition to validating hypotheses about buyer behaviors, AI-driven insights and predictive analytics can help sales and marketing teams 

  • Develop detailed customer personas
  • Identify common buyer behaviors 
  • Build better segmentation for leads and customers 
  • Create highly personalized content at scale
  • Identify opportunities for cross-selling to help increase sales and lifetime customer value 

At a high level, when armed with detailed customer personas, companies can forecast what behaviors make leads most likely to convert, identify which consumer behaviors or purchases may precipitate future buying decisions and drip out content or offers designed to plant the right seed at the right time.  

Because it costs more to find new customers than to gain additional business from existing customers, many are turning to AI to help increase customer lifetime value.  But what does this look like when applied to real-world industries and situations? 

Developing AI Personas in Consumer Finance  

In times of uncertainty, consumer finance sales and marketing teams are under increasing pressure to close more deals. While it’s true in all industries, in consumer finance, this means ensuring that customers go to your institution for as many services as possible, potentially including mortgages, insurance, auto loans and even checking and savings accounts, among others.  

Here are a few ways consumer finance marketers can use persona data to identify lookalike audiences to determine buying patterns and make marketing decisions. 

Scenario A: Jack and Jill buy their first home.  

If they’re newlyweds, are having their first child or have younger kids going to school, they may also want to look at college savings plans, purchase life insurance or start other accounts in their children’s names. 

Two or three years later, they may want to explore an auto loan, start shopping for better homeowners insurance or get a home improvement loan. 

Scenario B: Jack and Jill are empty nesters. 

If it’s been 15-20 years since buying their home, they may be looking at downsizing, purchasing an RV or even retirement products. Alternatively, they might also be looking at investment properties. 

Using AI to For B2B Buyer Profiles  

Marketing to businesses can also see use AI to determine ideal buyer profiles. Similar to using AI to dive into the data to determine a customer persona, AI can be used to target the right person at the right sized company with the right message. In addition to generating profile details based on role or level of seniority, AI can help determine the typical concerns related to job functions or job titles and craft a message that resonates with that audience. 

AI-Driven Personas Reduce Uncertainty for Sales and Marketing 

While there’s a common misconception that AI replaces people, the truth couldn’t be further. By reducing busy work and delivering up-to-date analysis, AI allows sales and marketing teams to make the best possible decisions and work effectively together.  

For example, sales and marketing may have hypotheses about what these customers may want at different times without any concrete data to back them up. AI can validate these ideas and help companies pinpoint data on timing and behaviors that lead to likely conversions.  

And as we’ve demonstrated, AI is often beneficial for closing prospects. However, given frequently long sales cycles and the cost of customer acquisition, accelerated data analysis has even more power when it comes to Demand Expansion 

The result? Instead of throwing darts at a dartboard and hoping they at least hit the wall, AI can narrow your aim to make it more likely that you’ll land on the board. 

If you’re interested in learning more about using AI to align sales and marketing, generate detailed personas, and make more effective decisions, contact BDO Digital today.