Buyer personas are the people who serve as the main buyer in an organization or a champion within an enterprise that drives the buying conversation and coordinates various teams to make a purchase.
Also see the three tiers on our pricing page.
While personas describe ideal targets, roles are the real people in job titles you will encounter while selling. Understanding the challenges faced by each role in IT, along with what they care most about, is helpful to deliver the right value proposition to the right person. It will help you know: a) if they are even someone who may have an interest in GitLab (don't waste time), b) what questions to ask to learn more and qualify the lead, c) what value prop they'll want to hear that could get them to a demo, discussion, or POC.
See the Enterprise IT Roles page for more details about who we sell to and how to approach them.
Large (enterprise): In a large enterprise, there are multiple development teams and development managers. In some situations, they may have autonomy to select tools for their team, however it is more common for teams to have tool purchases centrally managed, and the Dev Manager will play a key role in recommending a solution, but will not be the final buyer.
Real Quotes - Examples of things they commonly say about their goals and challenges. (Need to gather data)
Background: Dakota is a key IT leader who manages and leads several teams of developers supporting a specific set of business applications. She has both technical and business skills and as a manager she's focused on delivering business innovation.
Demographics: (need more data) Typically male, with ~9-15 years of experience. Income range depends on industry and location. They can be found in all most all major metropolitan areas where there are development teams.
Identifiers - Demeanor? Communication preferences?: Dakota is removed from day to day technical details and focuses her days on planning future work, team skill development, business relationships, and overall team performance. She is concerned about cost and feasibility, managing risk, and leading organizational change. When evaluating solutions, she is more likely to focus on value over specific features. She will rely on her team to dig into the technical details and demos, etc.
Company - Market segment/industry? Size? On-site, distributed? Full Remote? Dakota can work just about anywhere, in most major metropolitan areas around the world. She will typically be in mid-size to large organizations where they have a significant IT and Developer team. There are opportunities for remote work, and often she's managing a blended team of developers who are both her employees and developers from external firms.
Team Details: Size? Development Methodology? DevOps adoption path? She manages 3 to 5 managers, each who has from 8 to 12 team members. They are in the process of automating development processes for building and testing their application(DevOps). In pre-IPO, large, late start-up organizations, Dakota may have up to 15 direct reports ranging from technical resources like Software Development Leads or Archictects to DevOps managers or Software Development Leadership.
Influencers- where do they learn: Dakota reads CIO Magazine, Gartner, Forrester and other analyst reports. She attends both industry specific conferences and also strategic technology conferences such as Forrester, Gartner, and others. She is actively looking for ideas and insight into how to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of her teams.
Goals/motivations: Her top goal is Business Satisfaction, and regardless of the technology, she wants to deliver consistent and predictable business results. She has had a long relationship with her business unit and feels as if she is an extension their team. She is responsible for the IT strategy for her business unit and is looking at ways to improve the business value of her systems. Through her managers, she is responsible for growing and improving her team and how they improve their delivery effectiveness. She manages her team's budget, ensuring that they have the tools, training, and resources to be successfully develop and deliver the business value. Dakota is tasked with finding the right tools for the tasks in her in teams and often will spend more money to get the results of team effectiveness, accomplish results, or deliver the job on time.
Challenges: She balances her time between strategic planning with her business partners, and also resolving organizational issues and roadblocks her teams are facing. She develops organizational strategies and plans to secure budget and resources for her team. She is often balancing budget across the business and different levels, where she is creating jutification between spending on new tools or people from the same budget.
Large (enterprise): In a large enterprise, there are multiple development teams and development managers. In some situations, they may have autonomy to select tools for their teams, however it is more common for tools to be centrally managed, and the Dev Director will play a vital and central role in endorsing and recommending a solution, where they are the champion that drives the final selection and recommendation.
"Time is a big deal. It’s our most valuable asset." - Director of Engineering, 2000+ Employees in Technology Industry
"Tools that slow us down, but allow us to make better decisions, provide a lot of value." - Application Development Director, 500+ Employees in Education Industry
Background: Erin is senior IT and development executive, who leads a large team of developers who build and support a line of business. Her career has spanned a number of roles in different organizations, and is focused on strategy and ensuring the team has resources to succeed.
Demographics: (need more data) Typically male, with ~15-20 years of experience. Income range depends on industry and location. They can be found in all most all major metropolitan areas where there are development teams.
Identifiers - Demeanor? Communication preferences?: Erin is a strategic leader focused on business challenges and the big picture. Her time is valuable and wants people to be direct and to the point. She's not interested in all the technical details, but rather needs to understand the value, the risks, and how the decisions she is making today will help the business in the long term.
Company - Market segment/industry? Size? On-site, distributed? Full Remote? Erin is an application development executive, and is typically found in larger enterprises where they have large development teams (hundreds of developers). Therefore, Erin can find in most major metropolitan areas around the world where there are large enterprises. She frequently manages a blended team of leaders (managers and directors) and developers who are in multiple locations. .
Team Details: Size? Development Methodology? DevOps adoption path? She directly manages a team of 4-5 directors who each manages teams of developers led by their respective managers. Depending on the mixture of legacy applications and systems, they have a wide variety of methodologies in play, but in general, their goal is to streamline delivery to be more efficient and predictable and are in the process of automating development processes for building and testing their application(DevOps).
Influencers- where do they learn: Erin reads Forbes, CIO magazine, Bloomberg, and other specific business publications. She stays current on specific trends in her industry, as she is a Business Leader who happens to be responsible for technology. She rarely reads technical blogs or reviews. She attends business focused technology conferences in order to learn and also uses analyst firms like Forrester and Gartner to understand key technology trends and their business implications.
Goals/motivations: Her top goal is predictable Business Results. As a business leader, she partners with other executives to set strategy and goals for the business and then leads her team to help deliver the required technology. She's focused on leading, growing, and improving her team to be able to deliver results. Her results are measured on her team's ability to deliver results according to the strategic plans (budget, schedule, and risk) are KPIs for her.
Challenges: She is removed from the day to day work her teams do, and visibility is a major challenge. She relies on status reports, dashboards, and other updates to get insight into how things are going, and too often learns of problems too late. She spends most of her time working on strategic alignment and planning with other executives, dealing with problems and exceptions when they are escalated to her level. She develops organizational strategies and plans to secure budget and resources for her team.
Large (enterprise): In a large enterprise, the App Dev executive will have significant authority and influence over the budget. While they will NOT make the technical decision, they WILL make the business decision. They will depend on their Directors, managers, and key staff members in evaluating and selecting tools and solutions from the market.
Background: Skyler is a seasoned Information Security & Risk Management expert with strong leadership and business skills - required to communicate complex security jargon outside of the IT and Security departments and to ensure the department has adequate funding and resources to secure the company. She leads a small team of security experts - and works closely with the IT, Network and Desktop teams to ensure security in those respective areas.
Demographics: Typically male, with ~15-20 years of experience. Income range depends on industry and location. Typically found in metropolitan areas and have a bachelors or masters degree in Information Security or Information Management (source)
Identifiers - Demeanor? Communication preferences?: Skyler is a business leader focused on preventing security issues from occurring, but understanding that it is not possible to prevent all of it. He/She understands technical and business jargons fluently and is able to articulate the value and cost of security/compliance to both business & technology audience with ease. She is proficient working with matrixed organizations, can maintain a calm demeanor during crisis and has expertise in working with cross functional teams and building/maintaining relationships
Company - Market segment/industry? Size? On-site, distributed? Full Remote? In small and mid sized organizations, Skyler’s role of CISO is normally covered by the CIO. When the organization grows and has increased security requirements which the CIO cannot manage anymore, Skyler’s role of CISO becomes a separate role. She has a small team of her own with cross team dependencies
Team Details: Size? Development Methodology? DevOps adoption path? Skyler manages a small team of security experts and builds security champions within other teams like Dev, IT, Network & Desktop who handle the day to day security issues. Typically, Skyler will have her own set of tools for application security which is frequently disconnected from the DevOps path. As a result, Skyler and her team are always playing catch-up leading to slower product release timelines or have tools that are fairly thorough but take much longer to provide security results, thereby delaying product releases. In some organizations, Skyler reports into the CIO and in some others reports into the CFO.
Influencers- where do they learn: Skyler reads Forbes, CIO magazine, Bloomberg, and other specific business publications and CISO Mag, Info Security Magazine for security related insights. He/She stays current on specific trends in her industry, as she is a Business Leader who happens to be responsible for technology. She attends business & technology conferences like RSA, SHMOOCON, OWASP, Info Sec World, Gartner Security Summits etc in order to learn trends in information security and also uses analyst firms like Forrester and Gartner to understand key technology trends and their business implications.
Goals/motivations: Skyler’s top goal is to manage security risk and compliance. Her team has a goal to be able to integrate better into the DevOps process, automate security processes, catch security issues faster & earlier in the cycle to be able to release faster. Her team also aims to build security champions in cross functional teams and limit involvement of security experts for critical path only. She and her team’s results are measured through security related KPIs and the cost of compliance
Challenges: Typically shortstaffed as security experts are hard to come by and expensive. More often than not, there are multiple different tools used for security and achieving a consolidated view of security is a pipedream for most CISOs. Distributed data also implies limited ability to show progress on KPIs and hence challenges in retaining or securing additional budgets.
This role could also be defined as Infrastructure Operations in some organizations. However, in most organizations, Infrastructure Operations deals with managing the health and performance of the deployed application, incident management and triage.
Real Quotes - Examples of things they commonly say about their goals and challenges. (Need to gather data)
Note: for continuity we've historically used these buyer persona descriptions. Consider them deprecated, as the above Buyer Personas are more complete.