February 11, 2020 |
Gartner found, ‘’77% of them rated their purchase experience as extremely complex or difficult.’’
How helpful are you to your prospects in the buying stage?
The number one reason why businesses like you achieve sales but on a slower growth is because you are not doing enough.
That’s true and why is it true?
Businesses are under the impression that when a prospect visits their website, the number one thing to do is capture their details and then contact them, this is a good way of getting an idea of who your prospects are, but is it an efficient method of lead generation?
Yes, sales matters on a higher scale for every business, but if you had the option to select which sales method is better, which would you choose? The longer channel or the short?
You are living in 2020, which means that the market which was in awe 5 years back, is now constantly on the change run and will continue to do so accordingly. The one thing that has remained constant is the sales process that is between a sales rep and a buyer but if you observe closely the one thing that has altered or changed is the buyer process.
Gone are the days where buyers would pick up the phone to learn every detail of a brand from a sales rep, today with the rise in internet and the online world, your prospects are aware of what solutions are available and what is trending in the market.
So the question is why do the prospects contact you and how should you sell to them according to this new buying process?
Here is when the need for buyer enablement appears. Buyer enablement is an efficient and quick solution for brands who are looking to increase their sales, conversion rates and brand growth in a healthier manner.
Buying enablement refers to making the sales channel shorter. It refers to helping a prospect make the right buying decision by providing all the necessary information required which can give them the clarity to invest in a solution more confidently.
Let’s understand this with an example:
When your prospects are researching on purchasing a solution what happens is they gather as much information as they want online. Since they have more information in hand, they are confused as to how they can move forward and make the right choices.
So what they do is they reach out to sales reps from the business in the hope that all their queries can be resolved. But what happens here is the difficulty doesn’t reduce. It continues to grow because a sales rep would only cater to the needs of the prospects on a brief scale. Since they know that this is the solution, they are looking for, they would focus on selling just that.
Due to such an action, there are times where a buyer just invests in the solution and later backs out from the brand because they were not satisfied enough. The main agenda of buyer enablement is to refine the way selling is taking place.
Sales shouldn’t just be speaking the sales pitch in front of you, it requires the usage of the word ‘help’ to be taken seriously. Buyer enablement is the process of assisting a prospect from the minute they engage with your brand and during the process as well.
Many sales reps are under the impression that when a prospect is keen on purchasing a solution, they require sales reps assistance then which is wrong. You need to realize that the prospect doesn’t make the complete decision of the purchase, there are another set of people involved as well.
Now as a sales rep you can’t just convince one person and assume the sale is done, you need to also cater to the interest of the other members who are also a part of the buying decisions. The outlook from the other end is what a sales rep like you needs to understand.
Apart from the prospect engaging with you the other members of the buying process too conduct their own set of research and have data in hand to take a call n which solution is ideal for them. The drawback here is since every person has data in hand it becomes tougher to choose one.
Buyer enablement allows brands like yours to frame content or rather in other words information that can guide the buyer to take the action of investing your solution with ease and clarity.
For instance, if you are going to complicate your buyers by adding in more information, they might take their time to explore about you, but if during that process if they happen to find your competitor breaking things down for them to invest in their solution, you have lost a potential lead which is a huge loss.
Understanding this, it’s time for your brand to get back on track and your team to learn how buyer enablement is the right solution to sell.
Let’s begin with its process steps.
The main agenda of the process is to identify the problem. When you analyze what the exact problem is you will be able to retrieve a solution out of it. Study and conduct the main root if the problem so that capturing the right solution becomes much easier. For a client, a solution is required to be invested because they have developed a need for it. There are many solutions available for that need but not every solution will match the right requirements. Here is when the problem arises. To cater to such a problem, it is important to find a solution that matches all the needs of the clients.
Now the problem is in hand, the next thought process should be what are the solutions available for that problem. For instance, if a prospect is looking to access information online without any risks attached, what are the possible solutions available for them to conduct such an action. For a client finding the right solution becomes easy when a brand like yours lays it out for them in an efficient manner.
After understanding the first two steps, the next step is to analyze what are the expectations from the purchase. When a client purchases a solution, there will be many requirements that need to be catered such as, how can the solution help the brand, how can it help in the brand’s futuristic growth, how can the purchase satisfy all the brand requirements and more. The ultimate agenda of a client should be to invest in a solution that is ideal for brand growth and can help to nurture their needs with time by offering only the best services. Clients make a list of their needs and ensure that the solution they purchase meets their requirements.
Choosing the right supplier is necessary and it is important because there are thousands of suppliers available in the market that are selling the solution which satisfies the needs of a client. With so many in hand, a client can only invest in a good supplier whose solution caters to all the requirements listed.
The only way a client can make the right choice is when it is able to analyze and evaluate the choices with the team who are a part of the buying process. To make the right choices, validating the current choice in hand is important because that solution is going to impact a business in terms of better growth and conversion rates.
The decision-makers in a brand aren’t just one person, there are many of them who are involved so it is necessary to get the attention and approval of all of them. Today’s sales aren’t just about convincing one person from the company, it also needs the approval of the top management individuals as well. That’s when a brand is affirmative to invest in your solution.
Understanding the cycle of the buyer enablement is now evident that conducting such an action will help to enhance the way a buyer’s selling process is being conducted. To ensure that it conducted efficiently, it is wiser to curate an effective plan to continue walking on the right route.
When you curate information for your prospects the number one thing that you need to understand is the information you give them needs to be relevant and should match their needs and queries. See it in this way, your prospects have all the data they need to understand what solutions are available in the market that matches their current needs, but the lack is there because with so much data it gets confusing for them.
When you are sending them the content of information, you need to understand that when they read it they should be confident enough to understand how your solution can help them and what value will their business hold when they start incorporating your solution within their organization.
As mentioned in the earlier pointer, your prospects are confused and are in a dilemma as to which product or solution will be the ideal fit for their needs so when you throw in lesser assistance to them or dump them with more invalid information, you are just driving them away from you.
The main agenda of the buyer enablement plan should be to make the prospects live easy. When a prospect wants to know why your solution is the best, you should be able to guide them on the track of how your solution can help their business. The rest of the information such as the benefits of the solution or how the solution was incorporated can all take place later. Right now your prospects are on the lookout for which solution can fit their exact needs and as a brand, you need to showcase just that factor.
Curate your information in a way where it becomes easier for your prospects to understand what your solution is about and how you can help them. Make it to the point where a buyer can easily identify how your solution is satisfying their needs and serving all their queries.
The information you give to your prospects as mentioned earlier should be relevant and helpful to your prospects. As you are aware that the information is not being decided on just one person but also applies to all the other members who are a part of the buying process, you need to ensure that the information being created should win the minds of the deciding committee as a whole.
When creating the information to help the prospects during the buying process, curate the information in such a way where when the deciding committee views it, they are able to make a confident decision out of it. Similarly, when a prospect views that information, they should be convinced to explore your solution further or be adamant to invest in your brand. Stating only useful valuable information will ensure the above actions to be conducted efficiently.
You know how your information can be useful to the prospects when it is credible enough to look convincing. There are thousands of information that your prospects hold in hand and when you are selling to them, you cannot just state the obvious, you need to ensure that the buyer enablement concept you’re using is holding the information that is backed up with convincing factors.
For instance, you cannot just create a piece of information and say that your solution is the best, you need to find ways which prove it, for instance, you need to showcase the following answers for the questions listed below such as:
All of these questions need to be answered because your prospect isn’t going to be convinced if you are using the common lines such as ‘Our solution is perfect for you’ or ‘We are the only company that can satisfy your complete needs’, your prospects want more and the only way to do that is to conduct numerous researches to common questions and the recognition your brand has received to showcase a live example of your successful solution.
As mentioned earlier, today’s buying process isn’t decided on the basis of one individual, there are many individuals involved hence it is wiser than when planning the buyer enablement, creating valuable and insightful information in such a manner where it can be shared and understood by the other members of the buying process.
For instance, every individual who is a part of the buying process will conduct its research and come to a conclusion, for every member to be convinced in one solution, information which would suit all their requirements is necessary to take place. Before you start with the buyer enablement plan, it is wiser to first conduct research on who are the members of the buying process cycle and accordingly create insightful information.
Yes, your solution can help a brand grow, but how would it be helpful for the users who are incorporating it? Adding information that speaks volumes about how your solution can help the prospect who practices your solution, can also provide you with an opportunity to close better deals.
For instance when you mention the other factors apart from the brand growth such as if your solution is being used by a prospect they will be able to sell better, capture more efficient leads, perform better than their peers, all of these can contribute to your prospect indulgence in investing in your solution.
Prospects don’t want a minor advantage, they are on the lookout for a solution that can connect with them on a more emotional level because connecting with someone deeply increases your chances to sell better to them and convincing them becomes a whole lot easier.
If you are going to force your prospects to invest in your solution, they wouldn’t be the ones that would add value to your business in the long run. Hence it would be wiser if you tend to give confidence in your information so that when the prospects read it, they are convinced that the solution they are selling from all the research and the solution they are holding in hand is a great match.
Your prospects are aware and have learned what can accomplish their needs, and when you create such information that lists out the confident pointers, why wouldn’t closing a deal become easier?
Now the greatest advantage of buyer enablement is that you provide information and also tools that can help your prospect to make the right decision when it comes to catering to their needs. But sometimes this advantage can prove to go wrong as if the prospects find your competitors more appealing. If this happens, it can be a problem.
Ensure that the information and tools being listed are directed to your solution. Lay out the advantages and unique factors of your solution, when you are listing out the tools as well ensure that when your prospects see it they want to explore more of what you are offering them. The main agenda of buyer enablement is to shorten the way sales are being conducted, it is a process that helps buyers to make the right decision instead of being confused.
When you are providing all the information, tweak it in a way whereby the end, the prospects revert to your solution itself.
When it comes to conducting research, who do your buyers reach out to?
An article from medium stated:
An online research article stated when do buyers actually consult a sales rep:
Despite this, it also mentioned that ‘’Salespeople were ranked ninth source of resource.’’This is a problem because when it comes to a sales rep, prospects should trust the words of theirs first rather than the crowd.
For this reason alone, conducting buyer enablement is necessary because not only will it help to restore the lost confidence in sales reps, it will also help to enhance your brand to sell in a more efficient and successful manner.
Understanding this, the best way for your brand to conduct a successful buyer enablement process is listed in the next category.
Let’s mould your sales performance better
The number one way to start your buyer enablement process should be from the beginning itself. You need to understand that for every prospect that engages with you, not all their buying process would be the same. Some would require more effort while some would be easy to convince and convert.
Never go according to your understanding of how buyer enablement should be just because you have assisted many buyers in your career. You need to keep in mind that the only way you can successfully achieve buyer enablement is by putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. When you are able to think like your buyer, you will be able to understand how the buyer enablement process should take place.
Once you are aware, you will be able to create an efficient process as well as the information which would convince your buyers to invest in your solution. Ensure that whatever planning you are incorporating, it takes place according to how your buyer’s journey is.
Another important factor to keep in mind is to observe how your prospects are communicating with you. What are the words they are using, what context are they using when speaking all of these are important because you can include them in your information to them? When you use new words in the information, your prospects may be more confused or not be aware of the context then.
But if you communicate that same information in the way your prospects do to you, chances are it becomes easier for them to find what they are searching for as well as make it simpler for them to understand. Remember that the information you are creating isn’t to add more knowledge on what the prospects already know, the main key factor here is, the prospects should be able to understand what their next buying action should be.
Another important tip to conduct buyer enablement is to use the current drawback into an advantage. As you have read above, you are aware that prospects don’t reach out to sales reps in the first go, they have the other resources they first approach too. Use this drawback as an advantage and create valuable information so that the prospects can research upon.
Your prospects wouldn’t reach out to sales reps like you first because they would like to conduct their research before that. Hence use this an opportunity to capture their attention on your solution with the information you create for them. List out all the possibilities for their needs but ensure that when they read your content, they find their solution in your brand.
Another factor that you need to avoid when creating the buyer enablement is to refrain from telling the buyer what they need to do. Your buyer has conducted enough research to understand what a solution is and when they are approaching you, the one thing that you need to do is to guide them or rather help them.
Your buyer shouldn’t be told what to do from you, instead if you place your opinions in the form of recommendations and suggestions that would be the wisest thing for you to do. The reason being, at this point in the buying phase, buyers don’t want to hear more data, they are looking for brands who can give them relevant data which can help them make their buying decision and that is exactly what your brand needs to do.
Place your suggestions and recommendations with relevant facts, figures, examples which could add weight to your suggestions. See it in this way, your recommendations should guide your buyer’s and not confuse them more.
When listing out your recommendations, it is important that you also illustrate the tools which your prospects can use to conduct the recommendation. For instance, if you are a vendor of callback software, you would list out saying that your callback software can increase conversion rates up to 3x more and hence to prove that you would give out a demo of the solution so that your prospects can witness for itself.
When you conduct this, it becomes easier for your prospects to make a decision since they know which solution and the tools are the most effective in catering to their needs. Hence after this action, it becomes easier for the prospect to decide what the next buying step or action of theirs should be.
The whole agenda of buyer enablement is for a sales rep like you to solve an issue or cater to a need in a much more quicker manner. For instance, now if you are a brand that sells callback software, the reason why a prospect wants your solution is that they are unable to convert leads or their lead conversion is slow and many other related reasons.
Now when you list such pain points out and then place your solution as to how you are solving each of them, wouldn’t it be easier for your prospects to see the difference your solution holds? This can also convert such a great opportunity for you to close deals better as you have hit the prospect’s target in an efficient and clear manner.
Ensure that when you are creating the content, the main factor is to place what the prospects are going through and how your solution solves all of them.
The main focus of buyer enablement is to assist the prospect at the right time. When a prospect reaches out to you, your main agenda should be to cater to them in every step. For instance, if they need more help in the initial stage to explore you, you provide content that will help them understand your solution better.
If they need to share your solution to the rest of the buying process individuals, create content in such a manner where the information can be shared and easily understood by all hence making a buying decision accordingly to that.
It’s not about just creating tons of content strategies, you need to frame the strategy in such a manner where on every level your buyer is, that information should be useful on that level. As mentioned in the first pointer, research and create a route for your buyer according to the buying process and then create content strategies that will help you to win them over in each buying step.
In order to capture information, prospects would analyze every channel possible which could include social media, your website and more. The online world is now garnering more attention because businesses are selling online more than physical selling methods. Hence this provides a great opportunity to target your prospects.
Keep a close watch on your prospects as they continue to view the social media handles and place valuable information there. For instance, when a prospect visits your social media handle and explores your solution, they are still in the beginning stage of the sales process, they still want to learn and explore their options more.
You can use this as an advantage by placing a set of information that could give them a heads up about your solution and why should the interest be reverted to your brand. When this happens, you push the interest of the prospect towards the second buying process and continue to do until they become a converted lead.
You are now aware that the main factor which determines a buyer enablement process is the type of content you create to help guide your prospects. Hence conducting it the right way matters.
‘’85% of B2B buyers use social media as a source in their buying journey’’. Social media has now become a trend for businesses to sell on such a platform. Today almost every business has gone digitized and is depending on the social media handles they have to capture organic leads which will add value to their business, so why shouldn’t you apply the same techniques when it comes to buyer enablement?
When you are aware that your prospects are going to dig in their research from the social media platform, use this as an opportunity to create content to display it here. Be it the blogs or social media posts, create such content that can help your buyers receive quality information for any of the research they conduct.
Tip sheets are a huge success because, in just one single sheet, valuable content can be written. This means that whatever issues your prospects are facing such as being confused or need more time to explore solutions, you can create individual content that would help them to relate to the problem they are facing and witness the solutions you’ve offered accordingly.
This is a great measure as tip sheets can also be promoted via your social media handles which again is a great way to garner the interest of your prospects towards your brand. When you release the tip sheets via social media, your prospects can easily view them according to the need of their situation.
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 (DMA, 2019). Email is considered to be one of the greatest ways to engage and sell better with prospects. With email, campaigns can be created and the right content will be sent to prospects according to their interest, imagine how effective it would be with would be for the buyer enablement process?
With email campaigns, you can select which audience you want to send the relevant content to. For instance, say if your prospects are warm leads, they need the push to invest in your solution, you can create the content accordingly which will guide them towards their buying decisions with your brand.
Email campaigns when conducted regularly prove to be efficient in the buying process. Email content works its way to tap the right audience with the right content they need to see hence making the buying process easier and simpler for them.
Another form of content that is suited for buyer enablement is case studies. The reason being you can explain how your solution has helped other brands. A prospect would find it easier to invest in a solution when they hear positive feedback from the existing clients of that brand.
Use this as a good opportunity to convince your buyers to invest in your solution more quickly. Create a visual or video form of content where it explains how well your solution has helped a brand and what are their opinions on the same.
You can even explain how the brand benefited from using your solution and enquire more details from your existing clients such as how well their brands grew, how much their conversion rates improved and other relevant information.
The more you are showcasing how well your brand is being recognized as the better are your chances of convincing your buyers to invest in your solution.
‘’Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.’’ Blogs have become an easier way to capture the attention of prospects online. Since blogs provide useful information, it has become another source where prospects can research a brand’s solution better.
Studies have stated, ‘’longer articles perform better in almost every single metric. Sales pages, blog posts, news articles, etc. – all of them do better when they are longer.’’ This clearly states that when you have long blogs to create, you can add in more relevant information that can add value to your buyers.
When prospects research they will access any source which provides them the relevant information, why can’t your blog posts do the same? With your blog posts, you can mention multiple factors such as why your solution is better than your competitors, live examples of your existing clients, recommendations, and suggestions of your solutions so that all these factors can prove your prospect that yours is the best solution to invest in confidently.
The best example to explain here is Neil Patel. His blogs have seen a good number of comments which is yet again another good way to engage with prospects.
As the image shown above, the high number of engagement via the comment section has pushed Neil Patel as a recognizable band all over along with its blog shares and social media activities, imagine how effective your brand would be conducting such a similar action?
Lastly, another form of content you can use for buyer enablement is whitepapers. When your prospect comes down to the decision stage where they have to find out which supplier is the best which matches their needs, you can conduct the research and list out the favourable ones for them. This makes their deciding factor much easier for them and who knows such an action could win your brand advantage of winning them over.
When you create your whitepaper content ensure that your main motive is to help your prospects find the right solution.
Since you now have an idea of what content you can use to enhance the buyer enablement process, it’s time for you to convert your actions and the only way to do that is by creating content in the right way so that the above content types serves justice to the information.
The whole idea of using buyer enablement is to sell a reliable solution that will suit your prospect’s needs. When you create content, the main agenda is to understand that when your prospects read it, they should be able to find a solution to their existing need. The information should help the prospect seek the right assistance and guidance on how their needs and queries can be resolved.
Prospects have a need and are looking out for a solution to help them cater to it. Thus the wisest way for you to capture their interest is to create information in a way where they find your solution more reliable and confidently go one step forward to invest in it.
The next main thing you need to list out in the content you are providing the buyers is all their requirements. Not every buyer is the same, all of them have different requirements which when matched accordingly they can easily be convinced which solution is ideal for them.
Understand what your buyer’s requirements are such as what their main concerns are such as cost prices, quality checks and more and incorporate that in the content. Match the requirements with your solution so that it becomes much easier for selling to take place. Frame your content in such a manner where the minute the prospects view your information, they are convinced that your solution is the perfect fit to accomplish their needs.
Once you’ve framed the content the next important step is to understand how you can execute that content. As stated above, choose which type of content would be ideal for your prospect to view. To make a confident choice, you could conduct research on what type of content your target audience prefers to view the information in and according to that you can make your choice.
When selecting the content type, ensure that your content delivers only valuable information. Your content needs to be helpful so that prospects can continue further with their buying process. Hence it is ideal that when you exhibit your content it should be in a manner where the essential points are highlighted and content is easy to read and understand.
The next step you need to take care of your content formation is the way you design or prepare the layout of the content. Your content design shouldn’t be complicated and should exhibit the content you are showcasing in a much clearer manner. Ensure that while the content retains the interest of the prospects, the design should work like a charm to capture the attention and indulge the prospects to click on it.
As you are now aware of how the content framework works, the next steps are to help the prospects understand the content better by providing them with an efficient tool to use it.
When a buyer seeks a solution, they may not be able to completely understand what their exact issues are. Hence make this process easier for your prospects by creating a set of questionnaires or conduct one to one sessions where you can easily help your prospects to identify what are the barriers so that it becomes easier for them to understand the problems and cater to the right solutions in order to resolve it.
Another way to convince your prospects from the content you share them is by showcasing how well their brand will benefit in growth terms with your solution and the best way to do that is via a calculator. Using a calculator, you can help the prospect to witness how much growth is taking place in the form of numbers with reference to the growth rate, conversion rates, lad activities and more.
Another good tool to exhibit your solution is by providing your prospects with live examples. For instance, when selling to your prospects via the buyer enablement process, ensure that you are able to exhibit the positive factors your existing clients have received on using your solution. List out what issues your existing clients have gone through and where and how your solution has helped their brand to be enhanced better. Showing this often can win your prospect’s attention towards your brand more easily.
Everyone can speak and say that their solution is the best but the ones who are confident to close deals ensure that they do the same in the form of action. Give the prospects a detailed view of your solution and how it can enhance their needs better by creating an interactive model. Let the model deliver all that is required to convince your prospects that your solution is the ideal choice for them. Your prospect wouldn’t remember much of what you’re saying, but they would definitely remember the model you have shown them which will be in their minds during the buying decision process which gives your brand a chance to be considered.
When prospects look at their option before choosing on one solution, they will have many doubts and queries which when assisted quickly can increase the chances of closing deals much sooner. Hence it is wise to have individuals who can act as information connectors by helping to share relevant information during every stage of the buying process. This would help your buyer to clear their doubts quicker and invest in their interest in the connector who is helping them out.
As the name suggests it would be an ideal solution where prospects can receive valuable advice so that their buying process can take place accordingly. By using an advisor tool, prospects can capture advice at the right time so that making a buying decision or clearing an issue can be conducted in an efficient manner.
Buyer enablement is bound to grow and would be considered as the finest methods of sales being conducted in a quicker and efficient manner.
What are your views on this process? When are you planning to apply buyer enablement in your brand?
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A writer by choice. Leena has served her passion for writing mainly into the B2B marketplaces.