The internet and the rise of digital technology in recent years has drastically changed consumer behavior regarding purchase decisions.
With access to information becoming more widespread, customers are playing a more active role in their buying journeys, with as much as 77% of B2B buyers conducting a minimum of three hours of research before even engaging with a sales representative.
And why is this important?
Because now there’s a new barrier between the salesperson and the customer. It doesn’t matter how good of a seller you are - your buyer’s journey starts before you can even make your first pitch.
The solution to bridge that gap is buyer enablement.
Together we'll explore:
- why buyer enablement is so crucial
- how your team should approach it
- and some content examples to equip you with all the necessary information to tackle the demands of today’s market.
Why should you focus on buyer enablement?
Research suggests that 95% of B2B buyers actually prefer companies that provide content throughout each stage of the buying process.
So, resources and information is not a minor nice-to-have for your customers anymore - it’s a big deciding factor in their purchase decisions that they’re actively seeking out.
Buyer enablement is a must if you’re looking to survive in today’s competitive market.
And what exactly is buyer enablement?
It’s essentially empowering your customers to make informed decisions.
With so many options available out there, they are anxious to make the best choice. By being fully transparent and offering them lots of information and resources, not just about your business but also about the industry, you become a source of value before they even purchase your product.
Providing all this information for them also establishes your authority and credibility in your industry, elevating your profile, and the transparency boosts trust.
Ultimately, your goal should be to help your buyers overcome the obstacles in their purchasing journey, which adds to your competitive advantage.
How to approach buyer enablement as a team
Buyer enablement can be roughly divided into 5 steps.
1. Identifying key challenges buyers face
Since buyer enablement is all about helping your buyers, your first step is to understand their challenges, pains, needs, and preferences very well. This will form the backbone of your buyer enablement strategy.
A good place to start is to identify:
- What kind of questions do your customers ask most frequently?
- What type of materials or documents do they always ask from your team when making a decision?
- What are the challenges and grievances they express almost unanimously?
- What kind of information do they choose to consume, and on which platforms do they spend their most time in?
In one industry, customers might value security more and demand to see privacy policies or certifications, in another, the conversations can always come back to the pricing sheet.
Some customers might spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, others may be avid readers of email newsletters.
Knowing where your customers’ minds are at, what their preferences are, and most importantly, what they struggle the most with when making a purchase decision will help you provide them with more relevant information.
💡 Tip: It is a great idea to hold brainstorming sessions across teams to get a more holistic perspective on your customers’ entire buying journey.
2. Help buyers understand their problems
After you understand your customers’ problems very well, you need to make sure they understand them too.
Remember, buyer enablement is all about empowering your prospects with information, so you need to meet them where they are.
Sometimes they may be at the very beginning of their buyer journey, the awareness stage, where they know they cannot exactly pinpoint what their struggle is. Supporting them especially in this stage puts you in their radar early on.
💡 Tip: Making good use of recent research, statistics, and data could help you a lot here, and establish you as a credible and valuable resource.
3. Provide buyers with relevant content
After you’ve fully understood what challenges your customers the most during their buying journey, it’s all about providing them with relevant information and content in critical stages.
Before starting to create content, it’s important to take a step back and take into account what format would work best to highlight each material, and what medium of delivery works best with your specific audience.
For example, a comparison of your solution with your competitor would be presented best as a one-pager with lots of visuals, while a tour of your platform and how it works would be more digestible and easy-to-follow in a short video.
4. Ensure content is accessible and digestible
There’s no point in investing in helpful materials if they are not accessible for your buyers throughout their buying journey. Ensure that the resources you worked so hard on are within your customers’ reach, and that they’re easily digestible.
Flowla can be a useful asset in achieving this. You can embed any kind of material into a flow, whether they're:
- demo videos
- Blog articles
- Google Slides
- or your website’s resources page.
Your customers can consume the content easily, step-by-step, and you can hide certain stages or steps to make them visible later on when they’re more relevant.
You can discover Flowla for free here.
5. Continuously improve & adapt
Sales is an ever-changing landscape, so your customers’ needs, preferences, and challenges will eventually shift and evolve over time. It’s crucial that you’re always keeping an eye out for what’s going on in your industry, and adjusting your buyer enablement strategy accordingly.
It will also help to regularly check in with your whole team from all departments, and foster a culture of collaboration where you’re always sharing ideas on what to do to better your buyer enablement process.
Seeking your customers’ feedback on how you can improve, and asking them what kind of content or information they would like to see will be just as important in guiding you.
Sales enablement vs buyer enablement?
You might be wondering how buyer enablement differs from sales enablement. We can look at them from 3 perspectives.
Audience: The target of sales enablement is the salespeople and the sales process in your organization, while the audience of buyer enablement is buyers themselves, therefore having a more customer-centric approach.
Focus: The main objective of sales enablement is improving internal sales processes, and helping salespeople become better sellers by arming them with the necessary training, materials, and tools that they need.
The goal of buyer enablement on the other hand, is to provide potential customers with helpful content and materials that enables informed decision-making. This in turn helps you build better relationships with buyers and establish trust, which attracts customers to your business.
Timeframe: While sales enablement is only concerned with the actual sales process itself, buyer enablement has a wider timeframe, covering your customers’ entire buying journey, from awareness to post-sale.
While sales enablement can be considered as the more traditional approach, buyer enablement has been becoming more and more significant for businesses’ success in recent years due to customers’ shift in behavior we’ve mentioned earlier.
Buyer enablement content examples
Now that you’re ready to start building an archive of materials, here are a few content examples and how they can help your efforts.
- Quizzes and interactive assessments will be handy for buyers in the awareness stage, helping them understand their problems and needs.
- Whitepapers and in-depth guides that cover relevant topics and trends in the industry will build your authority and the trust in your brand.
- Events and webinars featuring industry experts and thought leaders will create buzz, and short video excerpts from them will be easy to consume.
- Success stories highlighting your existing customers’ experience will resonate with buyers who have the same challenges.
- Blog posts with helpful information will nurture your audience and support the decision making process.
- Product demos can help buyers better understand how your solution can solve their problems and create anticipation.