Breaking the Sales Enablement Status Quo: The Power of Buyer Enablement for B2B SaaS Companies

Marc Grewenig
Apr 13, 2023

Sales enablement has long been a key component of the B2B sales industry. However, in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, traditional sales enablement methods are no longer sufficient, particularly in the B2B SaaS industry. 

In this post, we will discuss the shortcomings of traditional sales enablement methods, why it doesn’t work for B2B SaaS anymore, and how buyer enablement can be a more efficient alternative to it.

Let’s dive right in!

Why old-school sales enablement methods just don’t cut it anymore

To succeed in today's business world, sales teams need to adopt a more personalized and efficient approach to selling. With the buying process getting more complex and involving more decision-makers with varying needs, sticking with the rigid, old-school sales enablement methods can mean customer disengagement and lost opportunities for a business.

Here are some of the common shortcomings of traditional sales enablement methods that make them a poor choice for the B2B SaaS space. 

1. Poor customer experience

Traditional sales enablement often focuses on training sales representatives to sell more effectively, rather than on understanding and meeting the needs of customers. This can lead to a sales-focused approach that ignores or downplays customer needs, leading to a poor customer experience.

In addition, most sales enablement teams rely on one-size-fits-all sales scripts and marketing materials that don’t take into account the unique needs and preferences of buyers. As a result, the buyer feels unheard and may eventually fall out of the pipeline, leading to lost revenue. 

2. Low productivity of sales reps

Even though sales enablement places a significant emphasis on training sales reps, it does not provide them with the tools and resources they need to keep up with the unique needs of the buyer. With a lack of personalization, sales reps spend more time trying to customize their approach to individual customers, rather than selling. 

In addition, traditional sales enablement teams operate in silos and lack active collaboration with other teams, such as marketing and customer support, which can lead to decreased productivity. The lack of automation and high reliance on manual processes, such as tracking sales activities and managing leads, also take up a lot of time of sales reps that they could have otherwise spent on engaging and converting prospects. 

3. Inefficient content management and organization

Buyers today prefer to self-educate and engage sales reps only when they consider a product a potential fit for their needs. However, traditional sales enablement requires sales reps to serve content to buyers, instead of allowing them to self-access marketing collaterals. This leads to poor utilization of content assets, poor buyer engagement, and lower conversion rates. 

Also, traditional sales enablement relies on disconnected tools, such as spreadsheets, email, and file-sharing services, to manage and organize sales content. This can make it difficult to find and update relevant content, leading to inconsistencies and confusion. The lack of centralized content management also leads to content being scattered across different systems and platforms, making it difficult for sales reps to find the information they need.

The misalignment between traditional sales enablement and B2B SaaS sales

B2B SaaS is an ever-evolving space where buyer preferences continue to change at a rapid pace. However, sales teams relying on traditional sales enablement methods have remained unable to keep up with the change due to some key misalignments between their selling approach and the dynamics of B2B SaaS sales. 

Let’s look at some of them. 

1. One-size-fits-all vs personalized approach

 Traditional sales enablement often relies on a one-size-fits-all approach to selling, with a focus on product features and benefits. However, B2B SaaS sales require a more personalized approach that focuses on solving the unique needs and pain points of each customer.

2. Length of sales cycle

B2B SaaS sales often have long sales cycles that require a consultative selling approach. Traditional sales enablement may not provide the necessary tools and resources to support this type of selling.

3. Focus on customer success

B2B SaaS sales require a focus on customer success throughout the entire sales process, including post-sale onboarding and support. Due to lack of a customer-centric approach, sales enablement does not keep the customer engaged post-purchase. 

4. Emphasis on data and analytics

B2B SaaS sales require a data-driven approach that emphasizes analytics and insights to optimize sales processes and drive revenue growth. Sales enablement often relies on old-schol sales scripts and selling techniques and does not use data to direct the art of selling. 

These misalignments between traditional sales enablement and B2B SaaS sales highlight the need for a more personalized, consultative, and customer-centric approach to sales that emphasizes collaboration, data, and analytics.

Modernize your sales process with Buyer Enablement

Buyer enablement is a sales approach that's all about empowering potential customers to make informed purchasing decisions on their own terms. Instead of bombarding them with sales pitches and one-sided presentations, buyer enablement focuses on understanding a buyer's needs and providing them with the right resources to help them make a decision that's best for them.

Think of it this way: imagine you're shopping for a new car, and you go to a dealership. Instead of the salesperson immediately launching into a spiel about the latest models and features, they ask you what you're looking for in a car, what your budget is, and what kind of driving you do. Then, they might give you brochures, let you take a test drive, and show you online reviews to help you make an informed decision. That's buyer enablement in action.

Another example could be a software company offering free trials or demos of their products so potential customers can see how they work and make an informed decision on whether it's the right fit for their needs.

In simple words, buyer enablement is about building trust and empowering the buyer to make the best decision for themselves, rather than pushing a product onto them that may not be a good fit.

How buyer enablement empowers sales reps to engage and convert prospects

According to research by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), buyers are up to 57% of the way through the purchase decision-making process before ever engaging with a salesperson. Another study by Forrester found that 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research independently online.

This means that B2B buyers are increasingly relying on digital channels to research, self-educate, and evaluate potential solutions. On the other hand, they also expect sales reps to be more knowledgeable about their products and services and to act as trusted advisors.  

Rather than simply pushing products, sales reps should be focused on understanding their customers' needs and providing tailored solutions to meet those needs. This requires a deeper level of engagement and a more consultative approach, i.e., buyer enablement.

Here’s how buyer enablement empowers sales reps to engage buyers in a more personalized, transparent, and efficient way.

It brings personalization to the sales process

By leveraging tailored content, personalized interactions, and adaptive sales processes, buyer enablement adds a personal touch to the sales process, making the customer feel valued and delighted.

Sales reps who use buyer enablement techniques take the time to understand the buyer’s need and preferences and tailor their interactions accordingly. With customized content that is based on the unique use case, needs, and preferences of the buyer, sales reps empower buyers in making an informed purchasing decision.

It adds transparency to B2B sales

Buyer enablement involves educating buyers about the product or service they are interested in purchasing. This includes providing information about the features and benefits of the product, as well as any limitations or potential drawbacks.

By providing buyers with a clear understanding of what they can expect from the product or service, buyer enablement creates a more transparent sales process and fosters a strong buyer-seller relationship.

It makes selling more efficient

In contrast to sales enablement, buyer enablement focuses on empowering the buyer. This involves providing buyer with all the information they need to self-educate and move through the buying process more quickly. This, in turn, reduces customer churn, shortens the sales cycle, and increases win rates.

Buyer enablement is also sustainable, as it reduces the amount of time sales reps need to spend on each individual account, sparing them more time to hunt, engage, and convert new leads.

Buyer enablement is the way forward for sustainable B2B sales

Today's B2B buyers are more informed and empowered than ever before. They want to be able to self-educate, access information, and engage with sellers on their own terms.

If you want to keep up with these changing expectations of buyers, it is important to make a shift from sales enablement to buyer enablement. It is the only way you can empower your buyers, foster long-term relationships, reduce friction in the sales process, and create a working sales flywheel.

Marc Grewenig