What is Buyer Enablement?

What is Buyer Enablement?

Kris Sæther
13. May 2021 | 8 min read

What is Buyer Enablement?

When companies provide information and tools perceived as helpful in advancing the purchase process, buyers are three times more likely to make a high-quality purchase.

 

In a recent article, I wrote about digital sales enablement – and how equipping your sales teams with the right technology is vital for them to have the right content and information at the right time in order to keep buyers engaged and sell more.

Just as sales enablement helps sellers sell, buyer enablement helps buyers buy.

How exactly do you help your buyers buy from your company? Well, this is what my colleague Kevin Geraghty discusses in his article “Why You Need to Become Easier to Buy From”. In a B2B journey that has become progressively more complex due to the abundance of information and multiple stakeholders involved, you must provide your potential buyers with prescriptive advice and practical support to make the buying process easier to navigate and complete.

In other words: Buyer enablement is all about simplifying and streamlining your buyers’ purchase process. It helps your prospective customers get the right information quickly to make a purchasing decision fast and without obstacles. 

The business outcomes for your company? According to Gartner research, providing information that helps move the purchase forward will not only help load the odds of winning the deal in your favor – it also means the buyer is more likely to place a bigger order.

Read on to learn more about buyer enablement best practices.

Two Main Types of Buyer Enablement 

Buyer enablement falls into two main categories: prescriptive advice and practical support.

Prescriptive Advice: The What

“Help us know what to do and how to do it.”

Your prospective buyers want you to give them qualified recommendations on what to do (and what not to do), backed up by verifiable research and content such as blog articles, white papers, case studies, webinars, etc.

Practical Support: The How

“Help us complete discrete, job-related activities.”

Prescriptive advice must be coupled with content and resources buyers can use to follow through on the prescriptive advice. Buyer enablement tools can take many forms, such as an ROI calculator that shows buyers hard number benefits, an interactive model (simulator) that demonstrates how your solution will work in the customer’s context, or benchmarking that showcases how current customers leverage and succeed with your solution. 

Read More: Why You Need to Become Easier to Buy From

The Six “Buying Jobs” That B2B Buyers Must Complete

Gartner identifies six specific “buying jobs”, i.e., tasks that customers must satisfactorily complete to make a purchase. Buying jobs don’t happen sequentially, but more or less simultaneously.

1. Problem Identification

“We need to do something.”

The buyer (company) is aware they have a problem that needs to be solved. At this stage, they are focused on understanding the market, and looking for guidance on how to best solve their problem. However, they are prone to become overwhelmed by all the information available. 

You must cut through the clutter and provide resources that help them fully understand the problem, what the problem costs their organization, and the expected return on investment of the solution you’re providing. 

By being present online and providing the content, expertise and thought leadership for them to fully define their problem, you’re already leading out of the gate as a solutions provider worth considering.

2. Solution Exploration

“What’s out there to solve our problem?”

The company has identified and understood their problem – now they have to search for a solution. They will conduct research online, engage in discussions with industry peers, read user reviews, and download product-related marketing content such as white papers and reports. 

To get on their radar, you must be present in searches with resources (customer testimonials, use cases, certifications, etc.) that convince your prospect that you’re a solution provider they should move forward with. Your sales team must also be proactive and engage with your prospective customers when and where they need you to.

3. Requirements Building 

“What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”

At this stage, buyers have reached out to many different vendors to explore solution offerings. They are looking for detailed information on how the potential solution will support their needs and function within the company and its existing processes, procedures and systems. 

The buying team may go through a request for proposal (RFP) process. Also, they will actively engage with sales teams to view demos and other relevant buyer enablement resources that help them answer specific questions or concerns. 

4. Supplier Selection

“Does this do what we want it to do?”

Here the company has developed a solid understanding of its internal requirements. Now they will create a shortlist of the solutions and suppliers that meet their criteria. This is where the combined effort of your industry recognition and brand building will assist in satisfying your prospect that you’re a recognized supplier that they can trust and successfully do business with.

5. Solution Validation

“We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.

Your prospective customer has chosen a solution (yours, hopefully!), but they need to continue making due diligence to make sure their decision is right. This involves corroborating your claims as a supplier, soliciting feedback, references and reviews from your customers, and looking at third-party expert analyses. This task of looking for ROI data to support their selection will be ongoing throughout the buying process. 

6. Consensus Creation

“We need to get everyone on board.”

The rest of the buying group, the leadership team and other internal stakeholders involved in the purchase need to be convinced that the chosen solution is the right one. An efficient sales team will help the organization build consensus, secure budget and arrive at a decision. This includes coaching them on how to present the solution to get buy-in from everyone and finalize the deal.

 

Buyer Enablement Boosts Sales And Helps Grow Your Business

The easier it is to buy from your company, the more likely businesses are to choose you as a supplier. By adopting a buyer enablement approach, you’ll be making it easier than ever for buyers to do business with you – by ensuring they have exactly what they need to purchase your product or service with confidence.

 

Choose the Right Technology to Empower Your Sellers to Deliver Value

In today’s complex buying environment, one may say that the single biggest sales challenge is not selling – but your customers’ struggle to buy. Gartner survey results show that when supplier provide information perceived as helpful in advancing the purchase process, customers are three times more likely to make a high-quality purchase, i.e., a solution beyond what they had initially planned, at a premium price.

In order to keep B2B buyers engaged and help them complete the critical activities necessary to make a purchase, your sales team needs to have the right content and the right information at the right time. Therefore, one of the most strategic moves you can make as a company is to equip your team with the software solutions and systems they need to simplify your buyers’ purchase process.

Summary

Buyer enablement is about providing buyers with the information and tools to help them get in a position quickly, and without obstacles, to make a decision to purchase your products or services. 

To win in the new B2B buying environment, you should focus on providing your customers with information specifically designed to help them easily take each next step through the buying process until they are ready to buy from you.

 

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Kris Sæther

Kris Sæther

Kris Sæther is Chief Commercial Officer of Xait. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Media Studies, and has worked in financial communication in London and Frankfurt prior to joining Xait. He has 20+ years experience from the information management industry. Kris is an avid runner and skier, and a passionate fan of the world’s coolest soccer team, Tottenham. If he is not working or running you will find him cheering for his two daughters on the handball court.

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