How to Create Detailed SaaS Customer Personas That Drive Sales


mins read; 1 comments.

saas customer personas

December 21, 2020

Happy Thursday!

Driving sales for your SaaS Product starts with finding, attracting, and getting into the minds of your ideal customers. 

However, achieving this can seem like a daunting task.

It’s like trying to find the perfect mate; that special someone you want to wake up next to, every morning. 

Of course, to make your search more bearable, you probably would have a list of non-negotiable qualities you desire to see in that person. 

That way, you can tell your ideal mate apart from the crowd, and attract that special someone with the right message.

Else, you’d end up attracting all kinds of people, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want that. 

In the same way, building an effective SaaS content strategy requires deep knowledge of your ideal customers, especially key qualities such as their goals and pain points.  

When you know this, you can tell them apart from the crowd.

In turn, you’ll get more out of every dollar invested in your marketing efforts. 

Most importantly, it’ll empower you to craft content that engages and converts without necessarily depending on the typical SaaS sales funnel.

In other words, your SaaS content will generate Product Qualified Leads (PQLs) and paying customers and not email addresses disguised as MQLs.

But it all starts with knowing your Customer Personas like the back of your hand. 

What is A Customer Persona?

Hubspot defines customer personas (or buyer personas) as:

“a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers, based on data and research.”

A Customer Persona represents your ideal customers, providing an insight into their  1) identity, 2) goals, interests, and pain points, and 3) how they think/behave throughout their buying journey. 

Adele Revella, the founder of Buyer Persona Institute, puts it this way:

Actionable buyer personas reveal insights about your buyers’ decisions—the specific attitudes, concerns, and criteria that drive prospective customers to choose you, your competitor, or the status quo.

These insights guide you through the product development phase, ensuring the product meets the specific needs of these customers.

They also inform the kind of content that we create (our tone, language, and writing style) and the promotion channels we use.

Overall, they help you focus your time and energy on creating an effective product-led content strategy and engaging content for “qualified prospects”, instead of trying to save the world at a go.

The result?

You’ll attract, educate, and inspire engaged readers to become trial users, PQLs, and long-term paying customers.

Take Trello for instance.

Trello offers a unique collaboration and project management tool that helps freelancers and business owners monitor their progress at a glance. 

Defining their ideal customers from the get-go drove them to channel their efforts towards creating a sound, user-friendly solution that makes workflow seamless for their ideal customers. 

Their blog is not left out of the strategy. 

product-led saas content

They create high-quality, engaging productivity and workflow management tips, all directed towards serving their ideal customers better.

Of course, this has resulted in a consistent rise in sales and conversion rates. As of 2019, Trello had 50 million registered users and 1 million active Trello Teams

You want to find out who your ideal customers are (and what their needs are). You also want to keep in mind that your ideal customers won’t share the same needs. 

That is why you need to segment your target customers so that you can serve them better. Then, you will be on your way to creating the right content that speaks directly to your ideal buyer, not the whole universe.

Privy.com’s CMO, Dave Gerhardt, highlights the significance of doing just that:

For us, when crafting content pieces, we don’t write for everyone (and we don’t mind if non-buyers dislike our marketing).

Neither do we write for our ideal customer personas all at once. 

Rather, we select one of our customer avatars and write exclusively to meet his/her needs. 

Take this content piece for instance.

We wrote it with our customer avatar, Zuhailo, in mind:

SaaS customer personas

Zuhalio is a serial entrepreneur (who has developed multiple SaaS products)

We figured he’d need a guide on how to attract the right audience for his many SaaS products and increase conversions.

So, we are showing Zuhalio how it’s done by spicing up this guide with real, practical examples from our brand as well as others (like Trello).

How To Create Detailed SaaS Customer Personas

There are three key elements you must consider when creating customer personas. They are;

  1. Your product, 
  2. Your audience demographic, and 
  3. Your company’s goal.

Let’s review each step in detail

#1. Your Product 

Having an in-depth understanding of your SaaS product from your customer’s viewpoint can help you understand how they relate with and perceive your product. 

So, start by answering these questions:

  • What specific problem does your product solve?
  • Who finds (or will find) your product most valuable?
  • Who are your current customers?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What would customers gain from choosing you over our competitors?

While answering these questions, try to be as sincere as possible so that you can determine the right people who are gaining the most value from your product. 

#2. Your Audience Demographics

One of the most critical steps to creating detailed personas is by finding real people, who share similar characteristics with your target audience.

Sonia Simone, Lead Content Coach at Copyblogger, reinforces this with her quote,

“Demographics are collections of traits. They come in real handy if you’re buying a mailing list or deciding where to advertise. But demographics aren’t people [or your fan]. They’re just a collection of patterns.”

These demographics are characterized by three key features:

  • Roles 
  • Motivations
  • Pain Points

Let’s quickly review each of these features:

Roles

Roles go beyond titles.

The CMO for a startup, for instance, may play a different role from the CMO of a Fortune 500 company. 

To better understand your audience, avoid defining ideal customers by their titles alone. Rather, try digging into their current role within the organization. 

Get to know what their primary functions are, how they support the team, and the specific responsibilities they have. 

Motivations

Everyone is motivated by something at least, whether good or bad, in whatever area of life. 

To create detailed personas, you have to understand their motivations and how you can speak to those motivations. 

Identify their needs and desires.

Don’t focus only on the motivations that directly correlate with your product. 

Rather, focus more on understanding the ideal customer. Get to know them better, reviewing them from a holistic standpoint. 

That way, you can create content that directly addresses their needs and questions, providing valuable tips to build a better life. 

Pain Points

Pain points (frustrations or worries) is one of the key reasons customers will be attracted to your products.

Why you might wonder. 

It’s because everyone, just like you and I, loves to hang out with people who bring ease to our lives. 

Likewise, your ideal customers naturally go where they can find answers to their questions that bring about ease and comfort. 

Your content can only speak directly to your audience if we understand their pain points and address them directly via our content. 

Keep in mind that it is important to relate your personas to real people. People want to know that you care about them. 

Since you are writing for real people, not robots, try to think about what they value and what they need. 

Think about a real person who has that problem and align your persona to their demographics and needs.

Let’s See How These Features Come Together

Remember Zuhalio, our customer Avatar?

ideal SaaS customer persona

Looking at his role, motivations, and pain points, we can tell the kind of content he will find helpful. 

He is a SaaS Founder who craves to be a serial entrepreneur. He hasn’t made it yet so he is meticulous in his spending. 

One of his biggest frustrations is finding the right marketers and sales agents to acquire customers for his products. 

To help him acquire customers for his products, we decided to use this article to show him the ropes so that he can do it himself instead of hiring, saving money in the process. 

Alternatively, he can decide to hire us as marketers to acquire customers, and because we understand him, we will be willing to offer a sweet deal that is mutually beneficial. 

So, you can see how defining his role, motivations, and pain points made it easy for us to enter his world, learn how to communicate in his language, and offer him the right service. 

#3. Your Company’s Goal

Understanding the specific solution your product (or service) offers your customers can also help you define and segment your audience appropriately.

Take our brand for instance.

We are a Content Marketing Agency that creates actionable content to help early- and growth-stage SaaS companies standout and acquire new customers directly from their SaaS Content.

As we create content, we ensure that the content is truly valuable to our (and our clients’) audience. 

We don’t create primarily for search engines, neither do we prioritize clicks, page views, and shares. Rather, we strive to be a credible source of high-quality content that our readers can rely on. 

That’s why we developed the Product-Led Storytelling Formula.

It empowers us to craft SaaS content that acquires new customers directly (without waiting weeks, hoping on the traditional SaaS sales funnel process):

Staying true to our goal has helped win the hearts of our customers.

Not only do they glean valuable insights from our blog. 

They hire us to replicate our authority-building strategies and product-led storytelling techniques for their SaaS product, leaving behind heart-warming reviews:

victor eduoh

If we can, you can too. 

You can use these insights to create a simple customer persona like Zuhalio, who reflects your ideal customers. 

How to Find Interviewees When Researching Your Customer Personas

One of the most critical steps to creating realistic customer personas is to find people who are your ideal customers. 

An ideal customer is someone who needs your product to solve a problem they have, or to help them achieve a goal. 

To find your ideal customers, you have to conduct surveys and interviews so that you can get first-hand information about what drives your customers. 

You can achieve this by using one of the following channels:

#1. Use existing customers, both happy and grieved customers. 

Your customer base is the perfect place to start digging for insights. Since they have firsthand experience using your product and engaging your content, they can reveal insights outsiders aren’t privy to.  Don’t speak only to your happy customers. Interview those who were dissatisfied so you can learn more about your audience, and identify areas of improvement. 

#2. Use prospects. 

Interview your PQLs, trial users, those who haven’t signed up for your products, and even those who have little or nothing about your brand. You can achieve this by conducting a survey and offering an incentive. You can also use the data you already have about them to determine who might fit into your persona. 

#3. Use referrals

You can use your network (co-workers, existing customers, social media contacts, etc.) to reach more people. A good place to start would be using the LinkedIn role search to find people who might fit into your target audience. You can also use forums like Quora and Reddit to glean more insights. 

While interviewing, you can ask background questions that reveal their age, marital status, hobbies, educational qualifications, career interests, current role, goals, challenges, and even the industry their company works. 

Conclusion: Define Your SaaS Customer Personas. Write for One At a Time.

Rather than attract every Tom, Dick, and Harry by trying to appeal to everyone, create customer personas so that you can better understand and serve your target customer. 

And be sure to segment your customer personas so you don’t create generic messages that can confuse your target customer, and eventually drive them to choose a competitor instead.

Get everyone on your team on board with this so that they can know how best to target, attract, onboard, support, and retain your customers for the long haul. 

This will, in turn, increase your reach, boost your conversion rates, and inspire loyalty. 

Once you define your customer segments and create customer personas for each one of them, you can start putting out compelling product-led stories (to show your customers how they can overcome their challenges using your product).

Our complete Product-Led Storytelling Guide (over 7,700 words of pure value) explains this in detail.

It takes you through the entire process of crafting content that attracts ideal customers. 

You can download a copy here, and get started

Or…

Better still, we can help turn your content into compelling, actionable product-led stories that convert. If you would like us to help you, contact us

About the author 

Content Strategist, Product-led Storyteller. I love connecting with people, learning new things, and chatting about love, life, & faith.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Learn to Craft Product-Led Stories

    Subscribe to VEC's bi-weekly Newsletter, get vetted insights for crafting demand-generating Product-Led Stories.

    >