In today’s fast-paced B2B landscape, buyer enablement has become the cornerstone of a successful sales strategy, focusing on empowering buyers with the necessary tools and information to streamline their purchasing journey.
Dive into our guide to understand the essentials of buyer enablement, its significance, and strategies for implementing it effectively in your sales process.
What is buyer enablement?
Buyer enablement is providing helpful information and tools that facilitate the purchase process for B2B customers. The goal is to make it easy to buy your product, both during the first purchase and later renewals.
B2B selling has traditionally been about sales enablement, which is different from buyer enablement.
- Sales enablement strategies focus on streamlining the sales process for sellers.
- Buyer enablement focuses on the buying journey. It's all about providing buyers with information that is easy to process and assessment tools that are shareable with other stakeholders, so they can make informed purchase decisions about products and services.
Being too seller-focused means ignoring the only person who can close the deal — the buyer.
What is the buyer’s journey?
The B2B buying journey is the process buyers go through to make a purchase. The journey is complex and often involves multiple people from different departments. According to DemandGen, 59% of B2B buying groups have more than three internal stakeholders. These buying teams have internal tasks to complete and need to reach a consensus before making a purchase decision.
An ever-expanding list of options further complicates this process as new technologies, products, and suppliers enter the market. B2B buyers get stuck in a loop, performing all internal tasks simultaneously and revisiting them multiple times during the journey.
Buyer enablement helps these teams complete their internal tasks, overcome roadblocks, and present a strong case for your product or service to their company executives.
B2B buyer enablement: why is it important?
Research by Gartner shows that B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time engaging with sales representatives. Since that number includes all vendors under consideration, an individual supplier might only get 5% to 6% of their total time. Instead, B2B buyers spend most of their time on research and information gathering, both online and offline.
The data shows buyers no longer rely exclusively on sales representatives for information. However, sales reps can still add value by presenting relevant buyer enablement tools and content throughout the journey. These materials can also be effective in nudging the buyer towards your solution over a competitor’s.
Buyer enablement also means facilitating your champion, allowing them to pitch your product or service to other decision-makers in your absence. This relationship can be symbiotic — with the champion providing insight into what content is most likely to persuade the buying group and the sales rep organizing and curating all relevant material for them.
The two types of buyer enablement
Buyer enablement can be divided into two categories:
Salespersons should offer buyers research-based content recommendations and helpful information on best practices. These recommendations can be case studies, whitepapers, or webinars.
Practical support includes all buyer enablement tools that help buyers complete tasks in the buying process. These resources include return on investment (ROI) calculators, checklists, or even leave-behind sandboxes that let all the stakeholders in the buying process demo the product.
Watch our webinar with Skaled to learn more about adapting to the modern buyer journey.
4 best practices for an effective buyer enablement strategy
The B2B buyer enablement methodology is based on sales teams assisting buying groups through all stages of their non-linear journey. Here are 4 best practices to keep in mind:
Create buyer enablement content
On average, B2B buyers engage with 3-5 content pieces before engaging a salesperson, according to DemandGen. Unfortunately, most B2B sales content focuses on lead generation and prospect nurturing instead of buyer enablement.
Buyer enablement content can come in different forms, including data analysis tools and product demos that highlight relevant features of your solution. Identify which content will be most beneficial for your buyer and enable them to make an informed decision.
Understand the B2B buyer's pain points
A crucial step in this sales process is to help the buying group identify and understand the problem they are trying to solve. After an in-depth discovery phase and looking at the business context, provide buyers with a framework for challenge assessment and high-quality resources that give them a holistic view of the problem.
Make buying tasks easier
Instead of a product-focused sales pitch, help the buyers complete internal tasks by providing educational material that is easily shareable with other stakeholders. Remember to back up your information with research data and facts as well. These resources help to boost the buyer’s confidence and your chances of closing the deal.
To build better customer relationships, keep multiple communication channels open with buyers and offer days and times you’re available for meetings.
Improve collaboration between sales and marketing teams
Sales teams need to align with their counterparts in marketing to help them understand the buyer’s journey. A sales representative can identify friction points, communicate them to marketing, and collaborate on creating content such as case studies, product comparisons, and industry benchmarks.
Demostack: Leverage demos to better enable your B2B buyers
The modern B2B buyer comes well-informed with high expectations as they enter the sales process. Research by McKinsey found that a personalized B2B buying experience leads to a 15%-30% increase in revenue and retention improvement.
Use Demostack's demo experience platform to create tailored demo sandboxes that buyers can share internally and gain an advantage over your competitors. Simply clone your product into a controlled demo environment and enable buyers to experience it for themselves through interactive self-guided tours.
What are the three stages of the B2B buyer's journey?
The three stages in a buyer’s journey are:
- Awareness: Buyers realize they have a problem that needs to be solved.
- Consideration: After the problem has been identified, buyers begin to explore solutions.
- Purchase: It's the final step in the buying process. Buyers may also opt for free trials during this stage.
How does buyer enablement help sales teams?
Buyer enablement shares the burden of providing value to the customer with other departments within the organization. Marketing, for example, takes the responsibility of creating buyer enablement content. Sales teams should ideally be only the delivery system for consistent quality-assured content and information to the buyer.