Buyer Enablement: The Key to Closing More Deals Faster Than Ever
B2B sales is a complicated endeavor.
To close deals, you have to connect with quality prospects, schedule meetings, pitch your products and/or services in an enticing way, follow up in a timely and diversified manner, manage ever-growing purchasing teams, provide ongoing customer support…
Put simply, there's a lot on your plate. That's why buyer enablement is such an important concept in 2023—and will continue to be an essential practice in the future.
Keep reading to learn what buyer enablement is, how it fits into the traditional B2B buying process, and how your sales team can create its own buyer enablement strategy.
What is Buyer Enablement?
Buyer enablement is a sales approach where sales reps make it easy for their prospects to buy from them.
This can be done in various ways, throughout the entire sales cycle. Examples of buyer enablement might include:
- Helping prospects identify the specific challenges they face
- Presenting solutions that help prospects overcome these challenges
- Providing content to educate prospects about the solutions presented
- Comparing their products/services to the competition accurately and honestly
- Convincing decision-makers that the products/services presented are worth the cost
It's important to realize that buyer enablement and sales enablement are not the same things.
Buyer enablement refers to the simplification of the buying process. Sales enablement, on the other hand, refers to simplifying the sales process. It's what happens when sales teams are given the resources they need to close deals consistently.
While they are related, each is incredibly valuable in its own right.
How Buyer Enablement Compliments the B2B Buying Process
The B2B buyer's journey includes six "buying jobs," which must be completed to result in a purchase.
In this section, we'll explore each job in depth, and I'll explain how salespeople can use buyer enablement concepts to funnel prospects from one job to the next.
- Identify the Problem: This is where prospects realize they have a problem that needs to be resolved. They start researching their problem online to learn more about it. Buyer enablement often includes written and/or video content, and discovery calls with sales reps.
- Explore the Solution: This is where B2B buyers start looking for solutions to their problems. Buyer enablement often includes in-depth articles, product-related white papers, and user reviews. Discovery calls with sales reps are also possible at this stage of the buying journey.
- Requirements Building: This is where buying teams ask themselves, "Will this specific solution work for us?" Buyer enablement often takes the form of product-oriented webinars, detailed product demos, and phone calls with sales reps about the solutions they sell.
- Choosing a Supplier: Now that buying groups have the relevant information they need, this is where they begin to hone in on specific solutions. Buyer enablement often includes customer testimonials, case studies, and conversations with sales reps.
- Validation: At this stage, potential buyers look to reinforce their decision-making process and ensure they've chosen the right solution. Buyer enablement often takes the form of user reviews, testimonials, case studies, talks with sales reps, and shareable benchmarks reports.
- Reaching a Consensus: This is where primary buyers attempt to get buy-in from the other company stakeholders. Buyer enablement at this stage often takes the form of….well, everything we've already talked about, from online content to user reviews to sales rep conversations.
It should be noted that the purchase isn't the end. This is especially true if you work for a SaaS brand or other recurring revenue business. Your company's onboarding processes and customer support teams are vital for customer retention. Don't neglect them!
4 Tips to Create a Buyer Enablement Strategy
Now that you know what buyer enablement is and how it compliments the traditional B2B buying process, you're ready to use this technique yourself. These four tips will help you make the most out of this incredibly effective strategy.
Understand Your Buyers
You can't simplify the purchase process for your prospects if you don't know who they are.
So, take time to study your target market. Who are they? What do they want to achieve? Which daily challenges keep them from reaching their goals? Make sure you’re not assuming things about your customers that lead you down the wrong path.
Use the answers to the above questions to create detailed personas for your sales department. Your personas should include both firmographic and psychographic information.
- Firmographic information: Identify the industry your ideal customer is in, as well as its company size, physical location, and performance record. For example: "We sell to US based, enterprise-level companies with at least 1% of market share."
- Psychographic information: Identify the goals, attitudes, and pain points your ideal customer has. For example, "We sell to growth-oriented startup companies that need to boost productivity to become leaders in their respective industries."
Just keep in mind, B2B buying decisions are typically made by six or more people. Your personas need to account for this fact to drive sales at a consistent clip.
Make Buyer Needs a Priority
If you want to succeed with your buyer enablement methodology, you need to ask yourself a simple question: "What does this specific buyer need from me?"
Most sales reps are trained to chase the close. Because of this, everything about their process is geared toward making sales. This seems like a logical approach. They are sales reps, after all. But pushing for a close at the expense of the prospect is a mistake.
(Remember, its called buyer enablement, not “make your sales job easier.”)
What if you prioritized the buyer's needs above your own? What if you broke away from the norm and, rather than pitching a prospect after X number of contacts, sent them educational resources that would actually help them do their job better? Or delivered a custom product demo to alleviate their worries?
These things might make you feel a little uncomfortable. I get it; changing your approach to sales is always daunting. But you'll almost certainly achieve better results when you do.
Remember, your prospects don't care about your sales process. They care about buying the right product, at the right time, and for the right price. The company that helps them do this will win their business—both now and in the future.
So prioritize buyer needs and deliver a stellar buying experience. You'll make more sales.
Find an In-House Champion
B2B sales is way easier when you can partner with an in-house champion.
Not familiar with the term? An in-house champion is someone who works for the company you're trying to sell to. More than that, this person LOVES your products and/or services. They love them so much, in fact, they're willing to help you close a deal with their employer.
They can do this by connecting you to the right decision-makers. Or by explaining the benefits of your product/service to their superiors when you aren't around. Or by educating you on their organization's unique purchase process. This last one is really important.
The more you know about your prospect's purchase process, the better. This will allow you to customize your sales process to their needs, as we discussed above. When this happens, buyers will have better experiences and be much more likely to buy from you.
The question is, how do you find an in-house champion? First, look for people who genuinely love what you sell. Then focus on individuals who have some level of authority within their organizations. Lastly, work with folks who are motivated to work on your behalf.
Most champions' motivations spring from personal interest. They want their company to buy from you because it will make them more effective and/or productive in their roles.
Finally, I just want to say that you can never have too many champions. When you identify a potential champion, try to nurture the relationship. It will only benefit you down the road.
Create Buyer Enablement Content
You can't build an effective buyer enablement strategy without content. Why? Because written and recorded resources, as well free tools, help buyers decide which products to buy and when to buy them. With that in mind, here are a few content types you should create.
(Note: sales teams aren't typically known for creating top-level content. Don't worry! Marketing teams are. Partner with your marketing department to create buyer enablement pieces.)
Written content is extremely popular, which makes sense because they are easy to share and consume. Here are three different resources you (or your marketing team) can write to aid your buyer enablement efforts:
- Blog articles: SEO-optimized blog posts help potential customers identify and learn about their problems. Great content can also introduce them to specific solutions, compare tools, and highlight glowing customer testimonials.
- White papers: Downloadable resources like white papers give potential customers an in-depth look at certain topics. You can use them to explain complex pain points to your prospects, how your company's products/services really work, and more.
- Case studies: You must earn your prospect's trust to make sales. Case studies make this easier by introducing prospects to current customers who have achieved amazing things using the products and/or services you provide.
While a bit trickier to create than written content, video content is often more engaging. As such, it can help sales reps earn customer trust faster and shorten sales cycles.
Here are two kinds of video content you (or your marketing team) should shoot ASAP:
- Product demos: Your prospects won't buy your products until they see them in action. Especially if said products have less than affordable pricing. Shoot a quick video highlighting top features and specific use cases. (Check out the Close demo for inspiration.)
- Educational webinars: Webinars can accomplish a wide range of goals. Want to explain a prospect's problem to them? Ready to compare your solution to the competition? Hoping to showcase your product to your target audience. You can do all these things with an educational webinar, boosting buyer enablement.
What if your company created and gave away specific tools to simplify the buying process? Templates, checklists, and calculators are great pieces of buyer enablement content:
- Templates: Create a template that, once filled out, helps potential customers choose the perfect solution for them. Or use your product in a highly efficient way.
- Checklists: Create a customizable checklist that potential customers can follow. Doing so will help them discover when they should invest in the kind of product you sell. Or choose between your product and the competition.
- Calculators: Create an online calculator that potential customers can use to crunch data. How much time, money, or both will your solution save the average company? Allow your prospects to find out for themselves with this kind of free tool.
3 Top Buyer Enablement Tools
I've got one more tip for you: invest in buyer enablement technology. Here’s why: buyer enablement is all about creating a seamless experience for your prospects. Sales tools and software help you stay on top of prospects' needs and stay connected.
The right tools will help you store prospect information, distribute buyer enablement content, host sales conversations, and product demos, and easily accept e-signatures.
The Close CRM empowers sellers at small to midsize businesses by supercharging their outreach efforts, organizing prospect data, scoring leads, and managing their sales pipelines. Users can also access an in-depth sales analytics dashboard to assess sales performance.
One of the best things about Close is how affordable it is. Get started with a 14-day free trial. If you like the tool, sign up for a paid plan starting at just $25 a month.
ClickMeeting is a popular webinar, live event, and team meeting platform. How popular is it? Tens of thousands of professionals in 125+ countries use it regularly.
Once you add ClickMeeting to your company's tech stack, you can converse with your prospects face-to-face—even if said prospects live thousands of miles away. You'll also be able to deliver top-level product demos, then record them for on-demand viewing.
Like Close, ClickMeeting is an affordable tool. You can try it for free for 30 days. After that, you'll need to sign up for a paid plan, which will cost between $25 and $45+ a month.
You can't close a deal without a signed contract.
PandaDoc makes this aspect of the buying process easy with numerous features, such as custom contract creation, e-signature capabilities, and payment collection functionality.
Get started with PandaDoc for free. If you want access to advanced features like templates, document analytics, and custom branding, prepare to pay between $19 and $59 a month.
Simplify the Buying Process With Buyer Enablement
It's not rocket science. You'll close more deals if you create a simple buying experience for your target audience. If you don't, you won't. Pretty easy stuff, right?
Of course, wanting to simplify purchasing decisions and actually doing it are two different things. Fortunately, the tips I shared with you in this article will help.
If you really learn to understand your buyers, prioritize their needs, find an in-house champion who can promote your products and services to the other decision-makers, and invest in buyer enablement tools, you should do just fine.
Speaking of buyer enablement tools, give Close a try. Our CRM is specifically designed to help salespeople boost sales. That means it’s equipped with all of the contact storage, pipeline management, communication, and automation tools you need to succeed.
Start your free 14-day trial today to experience the power of Close!