The top 3 challenges buyers face when making a purchase decision are:
- Building a case for change.
- Comparing options.
- Combating the status quo.
But there are scary underlying issues that accompany these challenges too. They are uncertainty, a lack of confidence, and a preference for self-service.
Buyers Aren't Confident with Change...or Themselves
Sellers can play a role in helping buyers with decision-making. Today's buyers are even more risk-averse than normal. Sellers need the tools to show buyers how to normalize risk. As we know, there's risk in most business decisions. Balancing risk with reward helps buyers gain confidence.
“The single biggest driver of purchase likelihood in a B2B sale is the degree to which customers feel confident about their own decisions,” said Brent Adamson, distinguished vice president analyst in the Gartner Sales practice.
“However, B2B customers in an all-digital world are unwittingly pursuing buying behavior deeply contrary to confidence creation. In other words, digital-only buying actually harms customer confidence.”
Sales enablement platforms give sales reps the tools they need to address risk head-on - and they help reps demonstrate an understanding of buyers’ situations. By enabling your sales reps to provide a “digital assist” and helping them build the confidence they need to address perceived risks or become aware of risks they may have overlooked, buyers gain momentum. Risks need to be calculated, understood, and minimized against the rewards and value the buyer gains by choosing your products.
But it’s important to realize that sales reps also don't like change and risk--just like buyers. Choosing a sales enablement platform that is easy to use, is highly adopted, and helps sellers create meaningful engagements with buyers is critical.
Fancy features and bloated systems are largely unnecessary and frequently go unused (but you still have to pay for them😳) . Giving sellers a platform that makes it simpler to consume, learn from, and share content to advance deals makes you the hero--rather than the tool enforcer. And you'll see a quicker return on your investment.
Sellers Can Help Buyers Differentiate Solutions
The elephant in the room in many selling situations is just sticking with the status quo and avoiding the risk with change. Sellers (41%) ranked buyer uncertainty as a top challenge in Richardson’s Sales Challenges 2021 report. Change is complex. It’s messy. It’s a bit like herding cats. And it’s the last resort a buyer will take after they’ve exhausted all other options.
Reps know they need to bring value and insights to buyer conversations. But they frequently find it challenging to help buyers overcome misconceptions. Today's buyers prefer a self-service model and they’re struggling to differentiate the options they're evaluating. Gartner finds that 64% of surveyed customers cannot tell the difference between one B2B brand’s digital experience and another’s. And 76% of customers report doing nothing different as a result of engaging suppliers through digital means (e.g., websites, online tools, digital content) - yikes!
Giving your reps just-in-time learning in bite-sized modules through a sales enablement platform gives them what they need at just the right time to assist a buyer. And with personalized microsites (or digital sales rooms) stocked with relevant content and a discussion thread for self-serve Q&A, your reps have the ability to easily engage with buyers.
Sadly, many buyers have pushed sellers away due to a lack of perceived value. Sales enablement that reduces the effort for your sales reps to interact with buyers and to share relevant information can give your reps the upper hand against the competition.
Sales Enablement that Works the Way Your Reps Do
The role of a simplified sales enablement platform is to provide the tools, content, and skills development your sellers need to engage buyers. Fancy, bloated platforms aren't what your reps (or your marketing and ops team) need to add to their arsenal.
Sellers need tools they want to adopt to help them remain agile to pivot with buyers and provide answers to their questions. Discovery is a two-way street. Sellers need to understand buyers and their pain points, but buyers also need to get to know and trust their sellers.
A sales enablement platform that delivers information in useful ways, and aligns with your sales process means your sellers will want to adopt it to meet their targets.
Sales Enablement Removes Obstacles to Accelerate Sales
Buyers today put more value on other resources than they put on a salesperson. They use your website, read your customer reviews, talk to their peers, conduct online research, and attend webinars and (virtual) trade shows. Remove the challenges your sellers face and arm them with the knowledge and tools they need to close the gap with buyers - you’ll see your pipeline fill up.
It’s worth your time. Especially when leaving them to their own devices results in less than half of them making quota. Is that good enough for you?