If you want to close more deals, then consider focusing more energy on your buyer enablement strategy.
People don’t want to be “sold to.” Instead, we prefer being helped and advised through the purchasing decisions.
Think back. When was the last time you enjoyed being “sold?” Can you even remember one?
Now think about a time you enjoyed making a purchase? I am willing to bet the process was easy, straightforward, and your sales rep took care of you instead of pitching and pushing.
In business—making your buying experience effortless, streamlined, and HELPFUL is critical. This is particularly true in complex B2B sales—where multiple stakeholders must identify their problem, consolidate information, and make far-reaching decisions.
Don’t take just my word for it.
Gartner asked more than 250 B2B customers and found that 77% of them rated their purchase experience as extremely complex or difficult.
This presents an incredible opportunity to evolve your sales strategy. If you can demystify B2B buying by making it easy for stakeholders throughout the buying journey, then you unlock a significant competitive advantage.
So how can you make buying easy? Adopt a buyer enablement strategy.
What is Buyer Enablement?
Buyer enablement is the process of helping your prospects through the buyer’s journey with education, insights, resources, and guidance.
Buyer enablement is about creating an enjoyable, educational, and streamlined buyer experience. When sales teams focus on assisting prospects they become trusted advisors in the purchasing process. This, in turn, builds rapport with buyers and enables them to more easily make buying decisions.
What is the Buyer’s Journey?
The buyer’s journey is the process that buyers progress through when making purchasing decisions. It consists of three distinct stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
It’s worth noting—these stages can often be non-linear as prospect’s needs evolve and they encounter conflicting information, discover multiple solutions, and engage a variety of vendors.
In fact, Gartner reports that 15% of the customer purchase process is spent on deconflicting information.
Use this knowledge to help your prospects navigate the buyer’s journey with valuable and educational resources at each stage. In the end, you can simplify the buying process, shorten sales cycles, and be better prepared to help various stakeholder needs throughout the journey.
How Does Buyer Enablement Work?
Buyer enablement is straightforward in concept—though it has some complexity in execution.
A successful buyer enablement strategy aims to anticipate needs of prospects at each stage of the buyer’s journey. If you can proactively support stakeholders to reach consensus and improve their confidence in making a decision— you can dramatically increase the likelihood of a sale.
82% of buyers viewed at least 5 pieces of content from the winning vendor. — Forrester
Content For Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey.
Buyer enablement content consists of resources for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Content should speak to specific stakeholders and their current needs along that journey.
Buyer enablement content for “Awareness” consists of:
- Educational and advisory blogs and videos
- Diagnostic tools to identify problems
- Peer comparisons and benchmarks
Buyer enablement content for “Consideration” consists of:
- Spec/Info Sheets
- White Papers
Buyer enablement content for “Decision” consists of:
- Case Studies
- Business Justifications
We dive into this in greater detail in our blog on Nurture Leads Through The B2B Sales Funnel.
Empower Your Sales Team to Advise
A buyer enablement strategy helps your sales team members become trusted advisors who can provide insight, value, and educational resources to prospects proactively.
Making this achievable for your sales team requires marketing support and sales enablement tools that make accessing and tracking documentation simple. Unfortunately, many businesses are unable to accomplish this.
A report by IDC found that 80% of marketing-generated content goes unused by sales teams.
This schism between content generation is the result of two dynamics.
- Marketing teams typically create content in a vacuum or from a business-centric viewpoint. This often results in content that is valuable for lead generation and awareness—but doesn’t equip your sales team with any of the resources to support prospects further along in the buyer’s journey stages.
- On the other hand, sales collateral can be numerous and disorganized—stored in locations separate from their communication workflows. Managing (if we want to call it that) sales collateral in this way makes it difficult for salespeople to learn about, find, and share these resources at critical customer interactions.
To overcome these common pitfalls of buyer enablement, sales and marketing teams must work together to create buyer-centric content and empower their teams with its use.
Buying Experience Matters
Buyer enablement goes beyond content and education. It also includes making your sales process intuitive and easy.
In other words, if your prospects don’t know what comes next, are asked to jump through hoops, are forced to endure manual processes, or are subjected to disjointed information and experiences—you’re more likely to lose them.
Your buying experience matters.
To aid in the buying process—make sure your website is easy to navigate, information is readily available, and customer communications are easy to manage. Additionally, handoffs between marketing, sales, and service should be seamless and processes need to be created and organized with your prospects in mind.
When buyer enablement is leveraged to streamline sales, prospects are 2.8x more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease and 3x more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.
Why Should You Adopt A Buyer Enablement Strategy?
Make buying easy with buyer enablement.
When you streamline your sales process and empower decision-makers, you reap a host of competitive advantages. Buyer enablement benefits include:
- Shortened sales cycles
- More won deals
- Increased average deal size
Stop Selling. Start Helping. That’s Buyer Enablement.
By making it easy for your prospects to purchase and providing an enjoyable buying experience—organizations increase close rates AND sales revenue.
When buyers know what to do and trust your advice, you win deals. It’s that simple. This is the secret to modern-day selling. Stop pitching and start helping.
So stop pushing the sale and mindlessly pitching. Refine your sales efforts to start helping your prospects navigate their complex B2B purchase.
Competitive sales strategies are buyer-centric.
They key to successful buyer enablement is to provide insights, streamline your sales process, build consensus among stakeholders, and increase their confidence. If you can do this—you will beat out the competition.
When you’re ready to learn more about how you can empower your buyers and build a modern sales process—check out these related articles.
- What Is The Buyer’s Journey?
- Is Your B2B Sales Strategy Effective For Modern Buyers?
- Tips For Developing A Prospect-Centric B2B Sales Framework.
- Nurture Leads Through The B2B Sales Funnel.
- Sales Enablement Tools for Each Stage Of The Modern B2B Buying Experience.
- How To Build A B2B Sales Process for Modern Buyers.
Optimize Your Sales & Revenue Ops By Mapping Your Ideal Buyer’s Journey
We’ve designed this resource to help you build the foundations of a streamlined and enjoyable buying process. Shorten sales cycles, empower your sales reps, and wow buyers with a buying experience that makes your competitors jealous!