As an SME owner, if you are looking for B2B sales growth, whether through existing clients or new customer acquisition, the focus of efforts across your company comes down to one key activity: Make it easy for clients to buy.
What is Buyer Enablement?
Buyer enablement can be described as the provision of information and insights that support the provision of critical buying jobs. The six B2B buying jobs that buyers complete as part of their purchase decisions are:
- Problem Identification
- Solution Exploration
- Supplier Selection
- Consensus Creation
Buyer enablement is comprised of two key components:
Prescriptive Advice – “The What”
Advice and expertise to help B2B buyers:
- Address their problems, challenges and objectives
- Clarify goal setting during uncertain times
- Decide “what to do” or “not do” to complete their buying jobs
Practical Support – “The How”
Information and tools to enable buyers to:
- Complete activities pertaining to the 6 B2B buying jobs
- Address internal buying processes and requirements of their company
- Examples of tools include:
- White papers
- Online calculators
- Free Trials
Why is Buyer Enablement important?
B2B buying is challenging now more than ever than before.
The typical buying process in larger organisations such as corporations typically consists of:
- Buying committees of 6-10 people
- Each committee member looking at 4-5 information sources they obtained themselves through independent research
- The committee then trying to complete the 6 buying jobs to reach consensus on a course of action
It is important to note that the completion of buying jobs is often NOT done in a linear, straightforward manner. Buying stages are often revisited and repeated as part of consensus building.
As a result, 77% of buyers feel that the purchases have become very complex and difficult.
Therefore, providing buyers with advice, tools and support across the multiple buying jobs helps buyers perceive a job as easier thereby increasing their overall confidence leading them to buy a solution.
To learn more about Buyer Enablement, watch “Breaking Thru In B2B: Making It Easier For Buyers To Buy”:
Creating Buyer Enablement tools
As business buyers will both source online information independently as well as speak with sales representatives, creating the information, tools and support to support your clients and prospects in their buying journey requires cross-functional input within your SME.
Your Marketing and Sales teams should be working together to assess buyer needs and determine the buyer enablement tools required across the 6 B2B buying jobs.
However, participation will also be needed from other teams and departments including:
- Client Delivery
- Customer Service
- Customer Success
Business customers will spend about two-thirds of their buying journey learning whatever information and tools they can find. When developing your buyer enablement tools, it is important to take a customer perspective and consider the following:
- Buying committee participants-their roles/titles
- Buyer preferences for specific kinds of information and tools
- Internal approval and decision processes
Insights into these areas are obtained by “listening” to your business customers and prospects. To learn how to prepare for and conduct Buyer Discovery Sessions to “listen” and understand your business customers priorities and requirements, get your free B2B playbook: Deciphering the Business Buyer in the New Norm
Get your free guide to deciphering the business buyer
Understand what buyers are looking for and how yo can get them to buy
4 characteristics of effective Buyer Enablement tools
- Can be easily shared with stakeholders regardless of time zone and geography
- Are accessible where and how buyers prefer
- Are targeted to help stakeholders complete specific buying jobs
- Information and Insights are consistent across delivery channels
Take action now!
To develop your SME’s approach to buyer enablement, begin with the following:
Speak to your current clients and key prospects.
- Who are now the decision makers for your offering
- What are their urgent priorities and challenges
- What do they need help with?
Meeting internally with your marketing and sales teams
- Identify opportunities to add value through Prescriptive Advice or Practical Support
- Determine the required tools and information needed
- Liaise with other relevant internal teams and stakeholders as needed
A final note
Buyer enablement may be your compass, but is not your complete B2B roadmap
It is important to recognise that buyer enablement will provide direction to many of the key initiatives to be undertaken by your marketing and sales teams, it needs to be part of your company’s overall B2B strategy.
And if your company needs help with its B2B strategy development, Listen Innovate Grow is here for you!