Buyer enablement is key to closing deals in the modern era. These days, your B2B buyers are first conducting their own research (and lots of it!) before ever even meeting with a sales rep. In fact, Gartner reports that sales reps have just about 5% of a B2B buyer’s time during their buying journey. What does this suggest? Reps should focus more on guiding the buyer through the sales cycle rather than aggressively pitching a product or service.
Basically, sales reps must become the buyer’s trusted advisor. Sales reps need to prioritize buyer enablement strategies to empower buyers with the content they need when deciding to purchase. Only then, will you be able to gain the trust of the buyer to close the deal. In this article, we’re looking at buyer enablement on a granular level. Let’s begin!
What is buyer enablement?
Buyers are only spending 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers, when considering making a purchase. Therefore, it’s critical to provide them with the most relevant and updated content to help them make a decision. Buyer enablement is the idea that sales reps will succeed in closing a sale in a timely manner by providing buyers with the tools, materials, and knowledge they need to make an informed decision.
Gartner reports that customers who have access to buyer enablement support are 3x more likely to purchase a premium product or solution rather than wFhat they’d originally planned. Providing a prospect with a buyer enablement tool like an ROI calculator is an example of what we’re talking about. This tool enables buyers to visualize the value of your product or service tailored to their specific needs. It’s interactive, enabling your buyer to see the expected value your offering will bring in real-time. For more on ROI calculators, check out our deep dive here.
Best practices for buyer enablement
There are many phases in the B2B buying process. Below, we’re highlighting the four most influential. In each of these phases, there are a few ways to provide your buyers with the right content at the right time, boosting buyer enablement.
In this stage, the buyer is aware that they have a problem but they’re not quite sure how to solve it. The best way to attract buyers in the awareness stage is to produce content — whitepapers, articles, blogs, etc. — that addresses their pain points. For example, say a prospect knows they need health insurance and your company sells multiple plans for health insurance. A good buyer enablement tactic for this stage would be to share content with your prospects regarding what can happen if someone gets injured and they don’t have health insurance. Or, a whitepaper on how to find the health insurance plan that’s right for you.
Staying in lockstep with the marketing team will ensure you’re up-to-date on the most relevant information and content to share. Sales and marketing alignment for the win (wink wink)!
In the consideration stage, the prospect knows they have a problem and understands that your solution can help. By sharing content like case studies, inviting them to attend the next online webinar or event your company is hosting, and sharing use case overviews, you’re enabling the buyer with relevant and useful information. These tactics are critical in building trust with your buyer and ensuring you’re seen as a helpful resource providing information that teaches them exactly what they can expect to gain when they purchase from you.
In this stage, buyers are looking for validation about making the purchase. It’s best to share customer reviews and testimonials to support the claims you made in the consideration stage. This type of buyer enablement helps buyers realize the results others have experienced by using your product while envisioning the benefits they would also be bringing to their organization by following through on the purchase.
Finally! The buyer is ready to purchase. At this stage, great buyer enablement tools would be competitive analyses (to serve as one last effort to help them cross your competitors off their short list!) or onboarding materials. Onboarding materials will help your buyer envision how quickly they’ll see value and experience ROI upon purchasing. Keep in mind, the quality of the customer experience often determines whether a customer will return and make another purchase as well. It’s imperative that sales reps provide a seamless hand-off to the customer success team to ensure onboarding is smooth and continues to delight their first-time buyer.
Great sales reps are always searching for opportunities to upsell. So, be sure to regularly check in with customer success to monitor your customer’s progress post-purchase.
Buyer enablement vs. sales enablement
Basically, sales enablement is the process of enabling sales to win. Buyer enablement is the process of enabling buyers to win. Sales enablement is a program for providing the sales team with the content, training, and coaching they need to become successful. Buyer enablement is the idea that if you provide your buyers with helpful and educational content, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase. Ultimately, these two ideologies come together in the sense that a great sales enablement platform should motivate the sales team to enable their buyers.
For example, the right sales enablement technology will serve as a content management system. When sales reps have access to the most relevant and updated materials, they’re better equipped to share those with prospects at the right time in their buyer’s journey. Thus, with the help of sales enablement technology, sales reps are able to guide the buyer through their buying process.
Ultimately, it’s crucial that sales reps are providing the most accurate and relevant information for their buyers. Sales reps need to develop effective buyer enablement strategies to garner more leads, close more deals, and drive greater revenue. Essentially, by providing the buyer with the right materials throughout the sales cycle, the buyer is more likely to feel empowered and confident in making a purchase and becoming a long-term customer.
See how Prezentor can help boost your buyer engagement practices — schedule your personalized demo today.