Today’s customers spend around two-thirds of any B2B [business-to-business] buying journey gathering, processing and de-conflicting information, according to new research from Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com).
However, much of this learning happens without direct sales rep involvement, adds the research group. In today’s increasingly complex B2B sales environment, what customers truly value are suppliers that provide them with the right information, through the right channels, to make the purchase process easier.
“Today’s buying journey isn’t just hard — it has reached a tipping point where it’s become nearly unnavigable without a significant amount of help,” says Brent Adamson, principal executive advisor at Gartner. “However, customers today don’t really care where that help comes from. A conversation with a sales rep isn’t an end in itself, it’s simply a means to gathering the information necessary to complete specific buying ‘jobs.’ But, what matters isn’t the conversation, it’s the information provided.”
He adds that supplying customers with the right kind of information — specifically designed to enable the easy completion of buying jobs — gives customers a playbook to anticipate and overcome buying obstacles they might otherwise fail to address. This specific kind of support, in turn, significantly decreases the kind of purchase regret known to reduce customer loyalty and advocacy. At the same time, it dramatically increases a supplier’s likelihood of winning a larger deal at a better price.
“Much like sales enablement, sales organizations must focus on what we call ‘buyer enablement,'” saysAdamson. “Sales teams need to harness empathy, and their deep industry and customer knowledge to develop and deploy information to help buyers buy — just as they do to enable sellers to sell more easily.”
He says that, to get started and better position sales teams for success, sales leaders must:
° Uncover the hurdles/challenges customers must overcome along the purchase process;
° Develop specific information and resources to help customers anticipate and overcome challenges throughout the buying journey;
° Ensure buyer enablement is available to all customers consistently across both digital and seller channels.