- A simple definition of buyer enablement
- The buyer’s journey vs the sales process
- Tips for putting Buyer Enablement into practice
- Buyer enablement matters — but enabling buyers should not be a separate process
To be successful in business, it is essential to understand your buyer. Buyer enablement is part of the solution.
You need to ask the following questions about your prospective and existing customers.
What are their needs? What are their pain points? And how can you help them?
This article will discuss the concept of buyer enablement and how you can implement it into your business strategy now.
We’ll provide tips and guidance on what works best so that you can start seeing results!
First, what is buyer enablement?
A simple definition of buyer enablement
Buyer enablement supports the customer/prospect in their buying process to solve their business challenges. It recognizes unique needs within the buying group, across the various decision-makers, and seeks to meet those unique needs in a unified way versus looking at each individual as a separate lead, each on their unique journeys.
Buyer Enablement is another variation of enablement, this one taking an inverted approach to sales enablement, focused on the buyer instead of the seller. It is also considered a component of Revenue Enablement, which also takes a buyer/customer-centric view. Still, it does so across the buyer journey and the customer journey.
The buyer’s journey vs the sales process
We all know that B2B buyers have never thought to themselves; I wonder what I should do next as I’m sitting at the discovery stage of company X’s sales funnel.
The modern buyer is used to buying what they want on their timetable when they have enough information to make a purchase decision. They could care less about the sales organization and its internal needs.
While many sales teams are still working to find a way to take back ownership of the sales, the best salespeople are leaning into the loss of control to create better outcomes for all involved.
Tips for putting Buyer Enablement into practice
Take time to understand your buyer.
This should come as no surprise, but too few organizations take the time to understand their buyers truly.
How do you get started?
Interview existing customers
Talk to them about their experience buying from you.
What was their internal buying process?
What did they like buying from you? What needed improvement?
Perform win-loss analysis with prospects
Like the last point, use the win-loss analysis process with your prospects when they reach the closed stage of your process; whether you win or lose.
Note: Learn more about the win-loss analysis process.
Analyze your buyer and customer journey
Document every touchpoint a prospect or customer has with your business.
These touchpoints should include in-person or digital touches — every experience they have with your brand. These touchpoints should consist of website views, emails, conversations with sellers, all of these, and more.
As you document these points of engagement in the buying process:
- Document the processes and people involved behind the scenes, not just those directly in front of the customer.
- Capture your thoughts on each point in the buying journey and then dig in with buyers to get their viewpoint during the interviews mentioned above.
Note: Learn more about mapping the customer journey.
Create buyer personas
Another critical tool in buyer enablement is the buyer persona.
Most organizations create a buying team, with representatives across the organization, to fully understand the problem they are solving, the implications of solving the issue internally, and explore solution offerings on the market.
Since the typical buying group consists of multiple stakeholders, your sales enablement team (or marketing) should create personas for all buyers, not just the champion with whom you work most closely.
Buyer Enablement Content
Your sales reps need different content for each persona they work with, and at each stage of the buying process, the needs will be different for each.
Your buyer enablement program should create buyer enablement content that a sales rep can use to educate buyers, empower buyers, and help them move the deal forward.
Your content strategy should recognize and support the fact that individuals will do their research as they go through the buying journey.
Why does this matter?
Your buying enablement content should consist of:
- Tools like ROI calculators
- Detailed information about solving problems like theirs with your tools
- Your typical buying group involves members with various needs, make sure IT/Security teams have easy access to key policies and infrastructure maps, procurement teams have time to negotiate terms that meet their needs and potentially add you to approved vendor lists, and so forth.
- Your sales team should have access to content tools so they can quickly find additional content.
- Customer references will be essential for consensus creation across all the buyers in the group.
And keep the content you put forth engaging and educational.
Two brief examples for you to consider, include:
Learn more about interactive content (like ROI Calculators) in this video from Outgrow.
Or creating interactive content with solutions like Genially.
You must demonstrate a deep understanding of their industry’s challenge (s) and provide confidence to the leading group you are working with and all other stakeholders you may not meet directly.
Sometimes, these additional stakeholders are more important in the supplier selection process than you realize, don’t lose sight of their potential needs.
Buyer enablement matters — but enabling buyers should not be a separate process
Buyer enablement is a great buzzword and helps us focus on the purchasing process is not the same as the sales cycle.
Sales organizations have often focused more on their internal processes than their buyers’ purchase process.
Buyers and salespeople succeed when they work primarily on the purchase journey and ensure a fantastic purchase experience.
The needs of the sales team matter, but buyers’ needs must always be the number one priority.