Just when we thought we had conquered sales enablement, we’re now hearing about buyer enablement. So, what is buyer enablement, you ask? Let’s take a closer look.
According to Gartner, buying enablement is the provisioning of information that supports the completion of critical activities necessary to make a purchase. Just as sales enablement helps sellers sell, buyer enablement helps buyers by providing them with advice and practical support to make the buying process easier to navigate and complete.
Buyer enablement accelerates B2B sales by focusing on what the buyer requires to make a fast, confident purchase decision instead of focusing on what you’re doing as a sales professional. As you can imagine, there are several components to buyer enablement.
Getting Internal Support
Part of buyer enablement means equipping the internal champion, the person who will be representing you to the internal team, to do the selling for you. Before this can happen, the sales professional must still establish trust and credibility with the prospective client. It’s always essential for the seller to create an advisory role for themselves with the internal champion and the stakeholders.
Conquering this new way of thinking takes careful thought. If executed correctly, it will make the sales professional’s job more comfortable and collaborative with your prospective client. In typical B2B sales, sales professionals believe they’re the ones doing the selling. With buyer enablement, sales professionals successfully connect with the person inside the organization who does the selling for them. This internal champion may not be the person responsible for signing the deal, but they’re the change agent inside your target organization who is promoting your solution internally.
How to Succeed at Buyer Enablement
To enable buyers, you need to:
- Exert leadership in the B2B buying process by guiding the buyer through the process
- Provide the champion with tools to do the selling for you effectively
- Leverage technology to discover and engage the different stakeholders in the buying group
- Assist the internal champion by answering their questions, resolving their concerns, and driving alignment across the various stakeholders in the buying group
To improve buyer enablement, you need to see yourself as more of a consultant or trusted advisor rather than a seller. Sales professionals are accustomed to the buying process, your prospect is not.
The B2B buying journey is often hard and complicated. With the abundance of high-quality data and information available to buyers, the purchase decision has become increasingly complex. The typical deal usually involves seven (7) stakeholders today, with each of them gathering their own sources of information. To close a deal, this group must be able to deconstruct their concerns on internal processes and agree that your solution is of value to each stakeholder.
The buyer’s journey begins with identifying the problem. The prospect realizes they have a need and starts researching possible solutions. Prospects determine what they need their purchase to do for them and then begin shopping for potential suppliers.
Buyer Enablement Needs to Meet the Needs of Your Client
At a minimum, buyer enablement must be:
- Relevant to the specific challenges buyers face
- Easy for the customer to use quickly and effectively
- Useful for customers in accomplishing the intended buying job
- Credible and backed up by data and facts
The best buyer enablement will also be shareable, aligned to customers’ emotional needs, provide confidence, and lead back to the supplier’s unique differentiators.
Buyer Enablement Improves Sellers Performance
Buyer enablement lifts the frontline sales force’s burden of figuring out how to drive customer value and places that effort inside the organization, where assured quality and consistency have a more significant impact.
Sellers are still a critical force in delivering this information, but the bar is far lower to deliver buyer enablement than creating it at the moment. Fine-tuned sellers provide the tools to the champion and are continually present as support and are on hand to bring the stakeholders together to find common ground if required. Assuming the goal of the sales leader is to increase the reps’ ability to drive high-value customer interactions, then equipping them with the right information is the recipe for success.
Need a refresher on sales enablement? Here's what it means and how to implement it in the workplace.