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Sales enablement brings the buyer into focus

While selling has never been an easy job, the growth of digital has made sales a herculean task. Power has moved from the seller to the buyer. With the explosion of information online and the number of channels for peer interaction and crowdsourced research growing, buyers are better informed than ever before. In their sales conversations, buyers expect sellers to have an intimate understanding of their industry and their business needs, and demonstrate strong knowledge of the solutions that they have to offer.

Sellers, on the other hand, haven’t been able to embrace this change fully. Much of their sales conversations continue to be on the product or technology that they are promoting. At the seller’s end, sales and marketing are often at loggerheads over what they need to communicate to the buyer. This has resulted in as much as 80% of the content created by marketing going unused by sales.1 It comes as no surprise, then, as revealed in a 2018 study2, that just over half (53%) of all sales organizations hit their target numbers, and this figure has been on a decline over the past five years.

Sales enablement has evolved as a solution to this problem. It provides sales organizations with the tools that they need to enable their sales teams to perform more productively. But sales enablement isn’t just a productivity tool for sellers. It is an organization-wide shift in perspective that brings the buyer into focus. Organizations that have embraced sales enablement are more buyer-centric. They put the needs of their buyers at the center of everything they do. Here’s how.

 Simplifying the purchase decision

In recent times, buyers have enjoyed increased access to product-related information while making their purchase decisions. However, the information they receive is often overwhelming and conflicting. It is estimated that, on an average, buyers spend 15% of their buying cycle time simply reconciling the information that they gather.3 No wonder, even with such an abundance of information available to them, a majority of B2B buyers (77%) have said that their latest purchase experience has been extremely complex or difficult.4

This is what a good enablement platform can help correct. With sales enablement, sellers are able to ask the right questions and gain a deeper understanding of buyers' pain points. This insight helps the seller in demonstrating more convincingly to the buyer how their products and solutions can aid in overcoming the buyer's problems. With a carefully orchestrated sales enablement strategy, sellers can become trusted advisors who can provide buyers with meaningful and timely information that buyers see as helping them in simplifying their purchase decision.

Adding value to sales conversations

Content production is generally considered the exclusive turf of marketing teams. The truth is, both marketing and sales have different sets of competencies that are crucial for effective content creation. They bring to the table different perspectives of the buyer organization, which, when integrated, provide the seller with a 3600 view of the buyer. For content to be truly valuable in a sales conversation, sales and marketing need to be aligned in the content creation process. Sales enablement helps in building greater alignment between the two teams, thus, ensuring that sales conversations are properly focused on the specific needs of different types of buyers.

One of the primary advantages of sales enablement is better visibility, exchange, curation, and collaboration of content between marketing and sales teams. Content analytics is crucial for understanding how to personalize content for buyers and optimize it for the different stages of the buyer’s journey. A robust sales enablement platform helps the seller understand which content is effective by providing a comprehensive view of how content is used, consumed, and acted upon. This involves seeing how content is used by the sales teams, what kind of pitch activity takes place around different pieces of content, and how the content is received, consumed, and shared by stakeholders within the buyer organization. All of this allows identifying high-performance content assets that can serve as a model for building future content. This helps the seller deliver value messaging that is consistent and focused on meeting the buyer's needs, thereby inspiring confidence in the buyer at every step of the purchase process.

Personalizing the buyer’s journey

Personalization of content has become a key expectation of B2B buyers. Buyers are more likely to engage with a seller when provided with tailored information. However, such tailoring of content requires that the content creation process be aligned with the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey determines the kind of information that a buyer would be looking for at each point of interaction in the sales process. Sellers need to deliver this information to buyers in a timely manner.

Best-in-class enablement solutions help sellers deliver the right piece of content to the buyer at each stage of the buyer’s journey. This ensures that buyers are getting all the relevant information that they need to move forward through the various stages of the purchase process, making the process smooth and rapid. Moreover, aligning content with the buyer’s journey allows the seller to create and deliver bite-sized content to the buyer in an interactive format that is more engaging than the traditional and rather ineffective way of sending content as a pdf attachment.  

Empowering buyers in times of crisis

It’s undeniable that we stand today at the threshold of a radical shift in how we do business. Sales enablement has, perhaps, never been more relevant in serving the buyer than in these difficult times. Consider this. Sales enablement has afforded sellers a way to remotely connect with buyers, provide them with all the information they need, demonstrate their solutions, and engage them all along the purchase journey - all this, at a time when isolation is the norm, and the very idea of face-to-face meetings seems a distant reality.

To know can help you focus on the buyer in these difficult times, schedule a call today.