Sales enablement is a topic that's not discussed often. You probably think selling is tough. Well, surprisingly, buyers think buying is tough! A survey found that 77% of B2B buyers say that their last purchase was very complex or difficult. “The question is, what are you doing to help?” asks Kevin Dixon in an article for Sales Hacker. Many reps think they don’t need to worry about it; they are just there to sell, and that’s it. This mentality should be avoided.
The more you can understand the challenges facing buyers, the better that you can be at removing those challenges, i.e., sales enablement. But first, you need to know what those challenges are, which Dixon breaks down in the first part of the article.
Too many people
Buying processes can get overrun with people. Dixon reports that, on average, the number of people involved in the buying and decision process has gone from 5.4 a few years ago to 11 today. Now, salespeople are just working to get a “yes;” they need to get a collective “yes” to get the deal made. “Involving a larger team in the decision-making process helps people feel heard and increases buy-in," he explains. "The bad news is that this makes your job harder.” So, in most cases, you'll need to enable an entire team rather than just a lone buyer.
Buyers want quality information that will help them reach a decision. Typically, though, they find themselves drowning due to information overload. The primary issue, Dixon points out is that “the information that most sellers create is too self-serving, too broad, and too nonspecific to be helpful to the buyer.” This results in an overwhelming, and often grandiose, sales pitch that doesn’t speak specifically to the buyer’s needs.
Too many steps. Too many hoops to jump through. Too many meetings. Most sales processes aren’t linear, creating a feeling of chaos for the buyer. There are so many elements that go into purhcases that likely, formal buying processes go out the window once the sale gets going. “[Buying and selling] is fraught with complications, which is why it leads to so much looping, going back and reviewing what’s already been done,” Dixon explains. More often than not, you and your buyer will not follow a simple step-by-step process. This is where enablement comes in.
Now that you have a bit more understanding of what challenges buyers face, now it’s time to learn how you can help (which Dixon explains in the second part of his article). The more you can understand about your buyers, especially how they experience the buying process, the more you enable them to buy.