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How to create buyer personas from CRM data

How to create buyer personas from CRM data

If you are a marketer or if you've ever read about marketing, the word "persona" would have popped up one too many times. Buyer personas are the closest representation of what your ideal customers look like. It gives you answers to the all-important question, "Who are we making this for?"

What is a CRM persona?

A CRM buyer persona is a representation of someone who is a potential buyer, based on data gathered from the organization's Customer relationship management (CRM) system.

The user persona is usually presented in a document that describes attributes such as behavior patterns, skills, goals, attitudes, background information, motivations, buying triggers, purchasing history, etc.

Buyer persona example

Let's look at one buyer persona for a B2B email marketing platform.

Name: George Clint

Age: 38

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Position: Marketing Head at a mid-sized e-commerce company

Background: George is married with two school-going kids. Originally from San Francisco, he moved to Chicago to work at his current company. He regularly plays squash and is a baseball buff. George loves traveling the globe and aims to visit at least one country every six months. He has worked hard to reach his current position after 8 years in several organizations.

Goals: As the marketing head of his organization, he has not been successful with the email campaigns. He is looking to work with an email marketing automation platform that comes with additional support, preferably an account manager who is in charge of customer success and not just post-sales support.

Challenges: Even though finding a good email marketing platform is vital, he doesn't get enough time to look through tools that match his requirements.

Here's how his frustrations can be solved: The business understands the importance of an email marketing automation platform for an e-commerce store. From nurturing new prospects to sending an abandoned cart email at the right opportune market, all the features that the prospects want are available to you. Offer the opportunity for a free demo along with a quick consulting call to explain the benefits.

CRM attributes that help with buyer persona creation

In your CRM analytics dashboard, you must use all the right attributes for the buyer persona creation process. Let's look at the ones that should feature predominantly.

CRM attributes that help with buyer persona creation

Demographic information:

This type of data helps businesses understand the background of customers. Demographic data include age, gender, income, job role, educational qualifications, designation, etc. It gives you an idea of who your customers are and what their interests might be.

Geographical location:

Location data plays an important role in how people think, their affinity towards certain products, and what considerations they have while buying a product. Based on where people live their lives, you will be able to come up with marketing campaigns that are addressed to the specific needs of the people in the area.

Previous purchasing history:

The data gathered from previous purchases of your customers tells you what their preferences are. Coupling the previous purchasing history with their customer journey will give you an idea about their pain points, needs, and what they were looking for when they previously purchased from you. It includes details about the products purchased, the amount spent, purchase dates, etc.


Gathering feedback from customers directly is worth its weight in gold. It will tell you why they are looking for a particular product. You can even send follow-up surveys to ask more questions.

Previous interactions:

CRM data also includes information about the previous interaction of your customers with your brand. It could be a query on a chatbot, complaint email, sales question, live chat conversations, etc.

Marketing data:

You will also find information about how your customers reacted to marketing campaigns, including open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc.

With each piece of data that you collect and add to your CRM, you will be able to add more clarity and depth to the eventual buyer personas that you build from it.

Use cases of CRM persona

Gone are the days when you could hard sell to customers. You must build relationships with your prospective customers.

No one wants to be sold to. Customers want to feel understood and appreciated. Empathy from brands should be a given these days. Thankfully, we have buyer personas that help businesses become empathetic.

Use cases of CRM persona

1. Strategic decision-making:

When you have a clearer idea of what motivates your ideal customers, you will be better prepared to make decisions. You will know where to spend money to get the highest ROI.

Buyer personas help tailor your lead generation strategies, too, thereby improving your lead quality and performance. Thinking from a human perspective, you can create sales and marketing communication that performs best for your core customers.

2. Improve email marketing:

If you are an organization that does email marketing regularly, but doesn't use the services of a CRM tool, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Data from your CRM will tell you where precisely they are in the sales cycle. You don't want to send a comparison blog to someone who is in the awareness stage of the buyer's cycle. The right email marketing campaign will engage with prospects based on where they are in the customer journey.

3. Refine customer service:

Your CRM tool has every single data that you want about your customers (assuming that you sourced the data from several credible channels). It tells your purchasing decisions, emails or conversations they've had with your support agent, queries you asked on the chatbot, ongoing issues, complaints resolved, and so on.

When you have such levels of granular information, you can be well prepared to offer them the best experience they can expect. CRM data analysis will give you insights into what will work best for customers.

4. Build CRM customer journey map:

Building a customer journey map comes with a windfall of benefits. Even though there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, you will be able to come up with customer journey maps based on how ideal they are to them.

This is only possible because you know their customer personas. You can plot the stages and paths of the persona lifecycle where you document each persona's needs, concerns, pain points, etc., at each individual stage.

5. Stand out from the competition:

With hundreds of businesses vying for the attention of every customer, it is imperative that you stand out from the competition. One of the easiest ways to do that is by building buyer personas.


When you know your personas, you can quickly conclude what they would want from your brand. You will also have an idea of the kind of content the persona prefers.

All you need to do is create content specific to that persona. When customers keep consuming content that is hyper-specific to what they are looking for, they will be easily drawn to your brand.

6. Plan product offerings:

By using personas, you can add features that are more suited to the needs of your customer. The goals, desires, and objectives of your core customers, taken from your buyer personas, can be used to make design, features, and functionality changes.

7. Content creation:

Personas help you understand which kind of content is required to resonate with core customers.

What are the benefits of using CRM data to create personas?

By building effective buyer personas, your customers will be able to resonate with your brand and help themselves as well.

Let's look at a few benefits of using buyer personas.

  • By using buyer personas, you will have enough insights to understand which type of messaging or communication would work for a particular segment of customers.
  • It offers insights into how customers will behave in different channels.
  • When you are clear about what your customers want, you will be able to bring more focused outcomes.
  • With user personas, every stakeholder will be on the same page since everyone knows what to expect and who we are catering to.
  • It will help you position your product in a way that will attract the different personas for your brand.
  • It helps businesses understand perceived obstacles or problems in your product range or offering.

How to build a CRM buyer persona?

To create an accurate buyer persona, you must have credible data from multiple sources. Let's look at a step-by-step process to build a buyer persona:

How to build a CRM buyer persona

1. Review your CRM data

You should take a look at the customer data stored in your CRM tool. Identify common traits and characteristics that can help with grouping customers. Your CRM has the database of all the information that is needed for crafting buyer personas.

2. Include non-CRM data sources

While you have a variety of information gathered from CRM data for creating buyer personas, you should include data from other sources too.

Let's look at a few of the non-CRM data sources that you must include in creating accurate buyer personas.

  • Interview support agents and sales teams as they are more likely to have had several interactions with customers. They will be able to add valuable customer insights.
  • Research your current customers. Send them online surveys during every customer interaction touchpoint. If you could get customers on the phone, gather as much info as possible into their buying process.
  • Add discovery questions to web forms and exit surveys throughout your website.
  • Social media has a goldmine of customer data, and the best part is that they are created entirely by themselves. Look out for questions, opinions, complaints, retweets, etc., on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, etc.
  • Use monitoring tools like Google Alerts, Mention, Zoho Social, etc., to track branded keywords or those that are related to you. The data will give you insights on the lingo that they use to describe your product, their interests outside of your brand, competitors and industry influencers they follow, etc.
  • The demographic and interest reports from Google Analytics offer a wealth of information about your website visitors, including age, gender, region, likes, dislikes, and technologies.
  • Use web forms like signup forms, account creation forms, and contact forms to capture information from customers.
  • Interviews and focus groups are great ways to collect detailed information from customers.
  • There are online survey tools that make the survey creation process easy for the business. Respondents can also respond at their own convenience. Real-time responses will be available in the dashboard of the survey tool's reporting engine.
  • Determine your primary competitors and gather information about their customer base. You can leverage competitor monitoring tools like BuiltWith, WooRank, SpyFu, etc., to understand how they operate. Metrics like volume, engagement, visitor interests, geographic distribution, etc., offer deep insights.

Make sure you include all the above data in building your buyer personas.

3. Identify your ideal customer

With data gathered from your CRM and other sources, create a profile of your ideal customer. Make sure you include all the necessary factors while making this decision. Do remember that the way to failure when it comes to buyer personas is to go ahead with it based on assumptions or hunches. Start filling in the data you have gathered from the various sources.

4. Use the right tools

When you have the right tools at your disposal, creating new and updated buyer personas that are accurate becomes a cakewalk. You can use Delve AI's suite of persona generator tools to generate data-driven personas. Leveraging tools such as Delve AI and Hubspot Persona, helps you get all the benefits associated with creating buyer personas.

How to handle sensitive data from your CRM?

The CRM insights you gather from the tool are extremely valuable in the persona creation process. But handling the CRM data is a critical task since it contains sensitive data of your customers. Here are a few best practices for handling sensitive CRM data.

  • Limit unauthorized access: Make sure that you grant access only to those who are authorized to access the data in your CRM. Implement role-based access controls and two-factor authentication.
  • Implement encryption techniques: Secure sensitive data in transit and at rest by using encryption techniques. By doing so, even if somehow the data gets intercepted, no one can read the data without the encryption key.
  • Train employees: Educate your employees on how to handle sensitive data in your CRM. Provide them with a training manual on handling sensitive data.
  • Data masking: Use data masking techniques to hide sensitive data from employees while accessing usual data.
  • Regular auditing: Audit your CRM tool regularly by checking for security vulnerabilities and access controls. Keep the system updated with the latest security patches.


The world of business keeps evolving at a pace that is almost impossible to catch up unless you have the right tools and technologies at your disposal.

Creating buyer personas is one of the foremost steps towards building a profitable business. Without proper segmentation of customers based on shared characteristics, you will be aiming at audiences who might not even be remotely interested in your offering.

When you have clearly identified buyer personas, every arrow from your quiver will reach the right target. Even though defining accurate personas requires a lot of hard work, by using the right tools, you can decrease the time and effort required for it. By sending the right messages to each persona based on their needs and preferences, you will easily increase your ROI.

If you are looking to generate customer personas based on CRM data, you should check out Customer Persona by Delve AI.

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