In one word: Yes. When contrasting Sales Enablement with Buyer Enablement, we’re actually just analyzing two halves of the same digital engine, both with slightly different mechanisms to enable B2B business to run smoothly. This helps to create the greatest opportunity for growth.
Think of a farmer’s market, a traditional open-air version of this concept with both buying and selling taking place, but scaled up to a global marketplace. An enterprise as a whole can only achieve sustainable growth if both sides in a transaction thrive, thereby creating increased demand, supply, and market prosperity. Long term growth requires both Seller and Buyer success.
This article is a brief explanation of how and why these two critical aspects of a B2B transaction should share equal space within a digital platform. This is the emerging gold standard for the future of B2B purchasing.
If you’re unsure what buyer enablement is, check out our first blog, Helping Buyers Navigate the B2B Purchasing Process.
“Sales enablement is composed of strategies, tools and processes that provide sales representatives with the ability to boost their productivity and revenue generation.” - TechTarget
In the context of the ever-expanding digital marketplace, Sales Enablement, at its core, is knowing where and how to equip your sales representatives with the most compatible coaching and relevant content to successfully close deals.
As human technology evolves, the inevitable by-product is a marketplace that continues to shift as new buyer trends emerge. Naturally, this plays out on a global scale, where the interconnectivity of the internet serves as a centralized marketplace accessible by any device with high-speed access.
This not only affects the purchasing habits of buyers, it also impacts Sales Content Management and how businesses must adjust to any change in customer tendencies. For this reason, Sales Enablement is an indispensable practice for any business serious about meaningful growth and customer satisfaction guarantees.
“Given that selling is now fraught with arguably more inherent barriers than ever before, it’s easy to see why Sales Enablement is being prioritized by organizations worldwide.” - LinkedIn
Sales Enablement isn’t simply applying one specific sales technique to the entirety of your business in order to reach revenue targets, but rather the implementation of a series of processes that are backed by data to streamline the buyer journey. Sales data can be analyzed to identify each client’s individual needs in order to connect the right seller with the right buyer.
For example, offerings from seller A may perfectly suit the purchasing needs of buyer A, while being completely unworkable for buyer B. This isn’t to say that buyer B is problematic or that seller A is lacking in supply, it just means that buyer B must be connected with seller B, whose services more closely align with buyer B’s needs.
While Sales Enablement continues to enhance the productivity of business to business transactions, there still remain some shortfalls in the current solutions offered. After all, even the most established commercial leaders have areas in need of improvement. It’s being able to identify and address these pain points that distinguishes run-of-the-mill suppliers from those who earn top tier status in their industry.
“If the goal of the sales leader is to increase reps’ ability to drive high-value customer interactions, then equipping them with the right information is the recipe for success.” - Gartner
Generally speaking, these problems can include anything from ease of integration with other solutions and lengthy implementation times to overly-complicated user interfaces and circuitous training programs that leave sales reps and champions within the buyer’s organization underprepared to problem-solve specific challenges.
To effectively address these issues at enterprise scale, it becomes essential to use data provided by buyers (either through content analytics or direct user survey) as well as sellers, to pinpoint transaction disconnects, re-establish broken links, and bolster customer engagement.
“Research proves that 84% of sales reps achieve their quotas when organizations employ a best-in-class sales enablement strategy.” - Enable Us
Not only does a holistic insight into seller and buyer data help shield a business from slipping into the trap of a “one-size-fits-all” approach, it can also double as a warning and preventative measure against slow user adoption. Opportunity requires engagement.
Successful Sales Enablement Platforms provide three major functions:
A Buyer Enablement Platform prioritizes three main objectives:
After distilling each platform’s mission into 3 key functions, it becomes clear that the ideal environment for B2B purchase growth is one in which buyers and sellers are viewed as two sides of the same coin.
While buyers and sellers should receive equal consideration and investment by companies committed to facilitating user-friendly digital sales rooms, it is important to note the myriad number of processes and targeted approaches to content management can vary greatly depending on which side of the transaction you’re coming from.
In a survey of more than 250 B2B customers, Gartner found that 77% of them rated their purchase experience as extremely complex or difficult. - Gartner
Fostering a tailored, individual buying journey for customers is what a Buyer Enablement Platform is designed to do. Both buyers and sellers need to be satisfied in each exchange. Both need to find value in the relationship. It’s only by understanding both components independently that their merging can become an efficient, effective, and transparent process.
Enterprise champions, no matter the industry, don’t base their decisions solely on revenue paths, they innovate and develop processes that benefit both sides of a transaction.
“With a strong understanding of buying motives, you can tap into the emotional reason someone will buy from you, which plays a critical role in a buyer's decision making process.” - Enable Us
There are myriad examples of Sales Enablement Platforms on the market, however, the logical next step is merging those tools with Buyer Enablement into one seamless platform —not by acquisition and questionable integration, but by unification from inception.
Digital platforms that dedicate equal time and space to Buyers and Sellers alike will be the most successful in promoting an environment of collaboration and information sharing guaranteed to speed, enhance, and simplify the B2B buyer’s and seller’s journey.
Schedule a demo to learn how our all-in-one seller and buyer enablement platform can engage buyers and boost your sales.