It’s Time To Buy-In To Buyer Enablement Content

By Mike Poledna

There’s a new competitive advantage for SaaS and B2B technology companies: Ease of purchase.

The B2B buyer’s journey hasn’t just gotten complicated for software vendors— it’s equally challenging for buyers. Gartner found that 77% of B2B buyers thought their latest software purchase was “very difficult or complicated.”

We’re all in the business of alleviating some sort of pain in our customer’s lives, yet combined, we’re creating a massive headache.

Not only is the average buyer group between 6-10 individuals—each with their own goals, agendas, and requirements—but the market for software has never been more crowded. Martech alone has over 7,000 vendors. Hundreds of companies do marketing automation. Buying new tools is literally a full-time job.

While we can’t control market competition, we can turn the noise into an opportunity: a chance to be the breath of fresh air. To promote clarity. To create a pleasant buying experience in a world full of dull white papers and pushy salespeople.

Buyer Enablement Content

How do we do that? By giving buyers what they need: information.

Sales enablement content is a mainstay in the B2B world, but buyer enablement content plays a different role. Buyer enablement content is designed to be self-serve and consumed by the buyer on their own time.

Examples include calculators and guides can help buyers determine costs; simulations and sandboxes that allow buyers to try out the software on their own before requesting a demo; and my favorite: a diagnostic framework for helping users assess their current performance and needs.

With the majority of the decision-making process happening before a buyer talks to sales, buyer enablement content is a way to influence the buying decision indirectly. In fact, it may be the only way to influence a buyer.

How to get started on Buyer Enablement content

Start by identifying the specific buying jobs for your buyer. Gartner suggests 6 key jobs:

  • Problem identification.“We need to do something.”
  • Solution exploration. “What’s out there to solve our problem?”
  • Requirements building. “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”
  • Supplier selection. “Does this do what we want it to do?”
  • Validation. “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”
  • Consensus creation. “We need to get everyone on board.”

These jobs map almost perfectly with the inbound marketing flywheel: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

Next, identify the buying job that is most challenging for buyers. For example, in a crowded marketing, supplier selection may be the hardest job for your buyers.

Now it’s time to create the piece of buyer enablement content. The type of content you choose will depend on the buying job, your product, and your market. Gartner has some good examples.

Finally, be sure your content is highly shareable. As we mentioned, B2B purchase groups may be as large as 10 people, so enable your person-of-contact to share with their team.

Uniting sales and inbound marketing

The buyer’s journey has changed. It’s not just difficult for your business to navigate, but your buyer. The new competitive advantage is ease of purchase. How can you make the buying journey as painless as possible for your buyer?

This mindset will reward the businesses who commit to it. Gartner found that buyers were 2.8x more likely to purchase from a vendor whose information they found helpful.

Buyer enablement content helps buyers get the information they need quickly, share with their teams, and come to a decision. It’s the new standard in B2B buying. Are you buying in?