Buyer enablement is a relatively new marketing and sales concept, and it is taking the B2B landscape by storm.
What is buyer enablement?
Buyer enablement means providing B2B buyers the necessary information and appropriate tools to make the best possible purchase. It also involves supporting buyers throughout each stage of their journey.
In terms of supporting B2B buyers, buyer enablement means shifting the focus to:
- giving prospective buyers the right information from the start so they can make a well-informed purchasing decision
- guiding prospective buyers through the entire buying process and providing them the easiest ways to take each next step in their journey
- meeting prospective buyers on their terms and giving them the opportunity to choose how they communicate with you based on their preferences
- helping prospective buyers succeed rather than just selling them a product or service
In other words, buyer enablement is about making your current and future customers’ lives as easy as possible so that they start their journeys to become happy customers and remain that way.
The importance of buyer enablement
The B2B buyer’s journey is lengthy and complicated. Unlike B2C, the B2B process is never linear. With B2C, a customer can decide to purchase an offer in the span of a few minutes.
The typical B2B buyer’s journey isn’t like that. It involves several people (stakeholders) who make the purchasing decision together. Each of these stakeholders has consulted various companies that have provided them with different sources of information. This can often lead to conflict among the stakeholders regarding which company can provide them with an ideal solution.
Buyer enablement aims to resolve these types of conflicts. With buyer enablement, a B2B brand can:
- identify a buyer’s problems
- provide them with different sources of information so that they can explore possible solutions
- make sure that the buyer obtains the best solution when they are ready to make a decision
- convince all stakeholders involved in decision making that it is, in fact, the best solution
Buyer enablement through email marketing
There are a number of ways you can enable buyers and provide them with the answers they need. One of the most effective tools at your disposal is email marketing. Here’s how you can use email marketing for buyer enablement.
1. Ask the right questions.
Before you can solve your buyers’ problems, you first have to identify what those problems are. To do that, you need to ask buyers for the right information at the start of their journey.
Optimize your signup forms to capture specific information that can help you determine what prospective buyers need from you. Information you can ask for includes:
- Pain points – What is your buyer looking to resolve? The best way to know your buyer’s problems is to ask them directly.
- Industry – Buyers can come from a wide range of business backgrounds. One buyer could be in the financial industry while another could be in healthcare. Having this information helps you provide buyers with useful content.
- Organization type and size – Buyers can be owners of a small business or executives of multinational conglomerates. The solutions you propose should be tailored to the buyers’ unique circumstances.
2. Welcome your buyer.
Whenever buyers sign up to be a part of your list, it’s vital that you send them a welcome email immediately and thank them for opting into your list.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Sending a welcome email allows you to engage with new subscribers from the start and build instant rapport with them. Furthermore, a welcome email makes prospective buyers feel valued and feel like you have their best interest in mind.
3. Provide them with informative content.
B2C welcome emails usually include offers for discounts. This does not work for B2B because buyers are not yet ready to make a purchase. B2B buyers are looking for helpful information and actual insight—not the newest products. According to a survey, 51% of B2B buyers said they valued content that provided data and analysis.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Use the information you captured from buyers during their signup to provide them with content that offers insight into how buyers can solve their problems.
For example, imagine you run a business that provides inventory management solutions to wholesalers and manufacturers and a prospective buyer just joined your mailing list. The buyer is one of the owners of a small wholesale business and they’re having difficulty in keeping track of their inventory. Assuming you create high-quality content on a regular basis, you can send the buyer newsletters focused on inventory management as well as blog posts that offer advice on how to tackle their problems.
4. Create a consensus through email marketing. . .
Even if you supply buyers with helpful information and different options for solutions, it will take them some time to reach a decision. They’ll have to confer with other stakeholders and decide together whether your company can provide the solution they require.
Use email marketing to convince all stakeholders that your company is indeed the best fit. Send your buyer (the stakeholder who joined your list) an invite to a video conference with one of your product experts. Instead of asking the buyer for their preferred time, send an invite that already states a time but include an option for the buyer to request for a different time in case the specified time does not work for them.
It’s important that you avoid overselling your proposed solution. Rather, your product should outline its benefits to the stakeholders and their business. To convince stakeholders, give them proof of how you can help them in ways that other companies cannot.
5. Automation is key.
To maximize buyer enablement, take advantage of email marketing automation. It will make your buyers’ lives as well as your life a whole lot easier.
You probably get dozens, if not hundreds of new subscribers each day. It would take a significant amount of time for you to manually send a welcome email to each of them. Automation can help you there. Set up a workflow that sends an automated personalized welcome email to new subscribers right after they sign up. This ensures that you stay on top of buyers’ minds.
You can also automate content sends to prospective buyers based on the information that they provide upon signup. Use this information for your segmentation efforts and send prospective buyers.
Buyer enablement may be a new concept, but it is already poised to change the way B2B organizations do business. With buyer enablement, you give buyers all the tools necessary for them to succeed—and when your buyers succeed, so do you.
One of the most effective ways to enable your buyers is through email marketing. It can help you get information from buyers so that you can give them the right information in return. To maximize the effectivity of buyer enablement through email marketing, automation is crucial. By automating specific messages, you can provide prospective buyers with the exact information they need at the exact time that they need it.