Buyer Enablement

B2B Buyer Enablement: The Complete Playbook for Buyer-Centric Sales

Garin Hess said that selling is hard but buying is even harder. Why? Because modern buyers face mountains of information, lots of choices, and internal pressure to make the right decision. If you want to win in B2B sales, you need to stop just talking and start helping. This is where buyer enablement comes in.

Buyer enablement is all about giving your customers the resources they need to confidently buy from you. So, be their helpful guide, not a pushy salesperson.

Head of Buyer Enablement
min read
May 26, 2024

When you do buyer enablement right, good things happen:

Faster sales: Customers make decisions quicker when they have the right info.

More wins: Customers are more likely to choose you when you're helpful.

Stronger relationships: Customers trust you more when you act like a partner, not just a vendor.

Sounds good, right? But it's not as simple as just throwing some PDFs at them. Buyer enablement is a whole new way of thinking about sales. It's about putting the customer in the driver's seat and giving them the tools to navigate their own journey.

This guide will show you how to do exactly that, so let's get started.

Defining buyer enablement in the context of B2B 

What is buyer enablement? Not to be confused with revenue enablement or sales enablement, buyer enablement is more than just giving your customers information. It's about empowering them to make the best purchase decisions for their business.

Your buyers are on a journey to solve a problem. Buyer enablement gives them the map, compass, and supplies they need to reach their destination confidently. What does this mean in practice?

Buyer enablement helps your customers:

→ Make informed decisions

You give them the information they need to understand their options and choose the solution that's right for them. This could be through product demos, comparison guides, or educational webinars.

→ Build internal consensus

Buying decisions in B2B often involve multiple stakeholders. Buyer enablement equips your champions with the resources they need to convince their colleagues and get everyone on board.

→ Justify their purchases

Provide your buyers with data, case studies, and ROI calculators that help them demonstrate the value of your solution to their bosses and stakeholders.

The end goal is to make the buying process as smooth and stress-free as possible. When your customers feel confident and informed, they're more likely to choose you and become long-term advocates for your brand.

We’ve looked at what buyer enablement is. Let’s explore why it’s a vital part of B2B sales.

The importance of buyer enablement in modern sales processes

Today’s market is overcrowded, so you can’t just give your potential customers information. You need to cut through the noise and offer genuine value. That's where buyer enablement shines because it helps you:

Establish trust

Instead of being just another salesperson, position yourself as a trusted advisor. Offer unbiased comparisons of competing solutions, showing you're confident enough in your product to be transparent about the market. This builds credibility and helps your buyers make informed decisions.

Accelerate deal cycles

Speed up the buying process by addressing buyer pain points head-on. Offer free consultations to understand their specific challenges and demonstrate how your solution can provide real value. This personalized approach shows that you care and builds trust, leading to faster decision-making.

Increase win rates

Empowered buyers become your internal champions. When you equip them with the right information and resources, they're more likely to advocate for your solution within their organization, increasing your chances of closing the deal.

Again, buyer enablement isn't just about selling, it's about helping. And when you help your buyers succeed, you set yourself up for success too.

To appreciate the power of buyer enablement, you need to understand how it evolved over time.

The evolution of buyer enablement

Buyer enablement wasn't always the strategic powerhouse it is today. It started as a tactical way to push product features and information onto potential customers. But as the B2B space evolved, so did buyer enablement.

Here's a quick look at how it's changed:

→ From product-centric to buyer-centric

We used to bombard buyers with information about all the bells and whistles our product offered. But that's not what buyers want anymore. They want to know how your product or service will solve their specific problems and make their lives easier. Buyer enablement has shifted to focus on the benefits, not just the features.

→ From seller control to buyer empowerment

Gone are the days when sellers held all the cards. Now, buyers have access to a wealth of information online. In fact, B2B buyers spend a staggering 70% of their buying journey conducting their own research before ever speaking to a sales rep.Buyer enablement recognizes this shift and aims to empower buyers by providing them with the resources they need to make informed decisions on their own terms.

→ From one-size-fits-all to personalized experiences

Today's buyers expect personalized experiences. They don't want to be treated like just another number. Buyer enablement now involves tailoring content and interactions to each individual buyer's needs, interests, and stage in the buying journey.


Buyer enablement is about empowering your buyers to make the best decision for their business, not about you controlling the sales process. By understanding this evolution and adapting your approach, you can build stronger relationships with your customers and drive long-term success.

This evolution was key to aligning buyer enablement strategies with the modern buyer’s journey. But what does that journey look like?

Understanding the buyer’s journey

The B2B buyer’s journey isn’t linear, it’s a winding path with detours and backtracks. Your customers don't always follow a predictable path from awareness to decision. They might jump back and forth between stages, get stuck along the way, or even abandon the journey altogether.

So, how can your sellers navigate this more effectively?

First, let go of the illusion of control.

Accept that you can't force your buyers to follow a predetermined path. Instead, focus on understanding their needs and providing them with the resources they need at each stage.

Secondly, identify key touchpoints.

These are the moments when your buyers interact with your brand, whether it's through your website, social media, content, or sales conversations. By understanding these touchpoints, you can tailor your messaging and content to meet their needs at each stage.

Third, provide value at every turn.

Don't just focus on selling your product. Instead, offer helpful information and resources that address your buyers' pain points and guide them towards a solution. This could include blog posts, videos, case studies, or even personalized consultations.

Now, let’s dive into a structure that can guide your buyer enablement efforts.

Mapping the buyer's journey

While the buyer's journey isn't linear, it's still helpful to have a (flexible) framework to guide your buyer enablement efforts. Here's a simplified version:

  1. Awareness: Your buyer realizes they have a problem or need. They start looking for information to understand their options. (Help them here with educational content like blog posts, webinars, or social media posts.)
  2. Consideration: Your buyer has identified their problem and is now evaluating different solutions. (Provide them with comparison guides, case studies, and product demos to help them make an informed decision.)
  3. Decision: Your buyer is ready to make a purchase. (Make it easy for them by providing clear pricing information, easy-to-understand contract terms, and a smooth onboarding process.)

Remember, this is just a framework. Your buyers might not follow this exact path, but it gives you a starting point for creating relevant content and experiences.

By understanding the buyer's journey and providing the right support at each stage, you can build trust, establish yourself as a thought leader, and ultimately, win more deals.

To be truly effective, you need to define the types of content you need at each stage. Here’s where you should start:

Awareness: Focus on high-level educational content that addresses common pain points without being overly promotional.

Consideration: Provide content that helps buyers compare solutions and understand the pros and cons of different approaches.

Decision: Offer in-depth resources like case studies, testimonials, or product demos to help buyers make a confident choice.

(If you need a more comprehensive overview of these stages, check out our blog post on how to navigate the B2B customer journey to learn more.)

Benefits of this approach

Understanding the stages is great, but what do you get from all of this?


You clearly tie the buyer’s journey discussion to the overall buyer enablement approach.

💡Prevents redundancy

You have an overview of what’s already been covered, reducing keyword cannibalization risk.

💡Strengthens your content clusters

You’ll have a strong internal network of related posts, boosting site authority within your niche. 

Building upon your understanding of the buyer's journey, it's time to explore the essential elements that make up a successful buyer enablement strategy.

Elements of buyer enablement

Buyer enablement is like building a toolkit to help your buyers navigate their purchasing journey. It's about giving them the right tools at the right time. So, what should be in this toolkit? 

Buyer enablement content

Content is the foundation of buyer enablement, but it's not just about churning out blog posts and whitepapers. You need a variety of formats that cater to different learning styles and preferences. Here are some must-haves:

  • Interactive tools: Give buyers a hands-on experience. A pricing calculator can help them estimate costs, while an ROI tool shows the potential return on investment. This interactive approach makes the value of your solution tangible.
  • Engaging videos: Not everyone wants to read long articles. Use short, snappy videos to explain complex topics or showcase your product in action. Think of it as giving your buyers a virtual tour of what you offer.
  • Customer success stories: Let your happy customers do the talking. Share their stories of how your product or service solved their problems and helped them achieve their goals. Video testimonials are even more powerful, as they add a personal touch.

Key Point: Remember, quality over quantity. Focus on creating content that is relevant, informative, and valuable to your buyers. Don't just talk about your product, show them how it can make a real difference in their lives.

What are the best tools for buyer enablement?

Great content is important, but it's useless if your buyers can't find it or if your sales team doesn't know how to use it. That's where buyer enablement tools come in. They help you streamline content delivery, track buyer engagement, and personalize your outreach.

Here are some tools to consider:

Buyer Enablement Platforms

These all-in-one solutions make it easy to organize, share, and track your content. They also offer analytics to help you understand what's working and what's not. emlen is a great example of a buyer enablement platform that offers all of these features and more. 

emlen's analytics features provided Schweitzer Fachinformationen with valuable data on content engagement and buyer behavior, enabling them to refine their strategies and measure the impact of their efforts.

By sharing the right document at the right time, they moved towards a more data-driven and targeted content distribution strategy.

Marketing Automation Tools

These tools automate repetitive tasks like email campaigns and lead nurturing, so your sales team can focus on building relationships.

CRM Systems

Your CRM is the heart of your sales operation. Make sure it's integrated with your buyer enablement tools so you can track buyer behavior and personalize your communication.

Key Point: Choose the tools that best fit your specific needs and budget. Don't get overwhelmed by all the options out there. Start with the essentials and add more as you go.

By equipping your team with the right content and tools, you'll empower your buyers to move smoothly through the sales process. And that's a win-win for everyone.

The role of personalization in buyer enablement

More than ever before, B2B buyers want and need a more tailor-made buying experience. And this personalization is at the heart of buyer enablement. But before we talk about personalization, it’s important that you understand that personalization without relevance is useless to your buyer

Without addressing their specific needs or challenges, personalization won’t resonate with them and they simply won’t buy.

Imagine you’re a healthcare startup receiving a "personalized" demo of an enterprise CRM, focusing on features like complex sales pipelines—irrelevant to your current needs and a waste of your time.

Context and relevance before personalization is key.

Now that you understand that they have to go hand in hand, we can move on to the role of personalization in B2B:

3 reasons why personalization matters to the buyer and your revenue

1. Builds trust

When you cater to the buyer’s needs, you demonstrate a genuine understanding of their business and the challenges they face.

2. Increases engagement

If you provide relevant content, you’re more likely to see that it’s being consumed and shared.

3. Accelerates the sales cycle

You’ll find that your buyer’s decision-making process is significantly faster when they have a personalized experience. 

Here’s what you can do to give them this more targeted journey:

Tailor content recommendations

Use buyer data (industry, company size, job title) to suggest content that directly addresses their pain points.

Provide personalized demos

Showcase features and use cases most relevant to that buyer’s specific business challenges.

Use dynamic email content

Adapt email messaging based on their buyer’s journey stage, interests, and previous interactions.

These are some powerful personalization tactics, but you need a more holistic approach based on solid strategies. 

Your 3-step guide to implementing buyer enablement

Step 1: Align sales and marketing for unified buyer support

  • Set shared goals: Hold a joint session to define 3-5 KPIs both teams will contribute to. Examples include marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), deal size, and win-rate.
  • Schedule content collaboration: Establish recurring meetings for sales to provide input on content needs and for marketing to share upcoming content calendars.
  • Define your lead scoring system: Determine the criteria (behavior, demographics) that signals a lead is ready for sales outreach. Document this for both teams to reference.

Step 2: Develop your buyer enablement plan

  • Segment your audience: Start by identifying 3-5 key buyer segments based on industry, company size, job roles, or common challenges.
  • Create detailed buyer personas: For each segment, develop a persona profile with information about pain points, goals, decision-making processes, and preferred information sources.
  • Conduct a content Audit and map: Assess existing content and identify gaps based on buyer personas and journey stages. Link existing and future assets to the journey map you built earlier.
  • Choose your tech stack: Evaluate tools that fit your personalization, content delivery, analytics, and CRM integration needs.

Step 3: Focus on communicating value and building trust

  • Create ‘Aha!’ moments: Review content assets and focus on how they help buyers connect their challenge to your solution's impact.
  • Build an ROI toolkit: Gather case studies, testimonials, and consider developing an ROI calculator for prospects in common verticals.
  • Train sales on consultative approach: Reinforce the need for sellers to ask questions, listen, and provide value as an advisor, not just a product pitcher.

Don’t forget! Buyer enablement is an ongoing process. Regularly review results, gather buyer feedback, and adjust your plan based on what you learn.

While these strategies provide a roadmap for effective buyer enablement, it's important to acknowledge that this shift doesn't happen overnight. Successfully transitioning to a buyer-centric approach requires overcoming ingrained habits and embracing a new mindset

Let's explore the common challenges and how to navigate them to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.

Overcoming challenges: The mindset shift required for buyer enablement success

Transitioning to a buyer enablement strategy isn't always easy. It requires a fundamental change in how sellers approach their roles and interact with buyers. Here's a closer look at the challenges and how to overcome them:

Embracing change

Shifting from sales-centric to buyer-centric is actually quite challenging because it’s not just a process change, it’s a mindset change. And not just for your sales team, but organization wide! 

Here’s how you can make this transformation easier for your teams:

Leadership buy-in: Secure commitment from leadership. When executives champion buyer enablement, it sets the tone for the entire company and ensures resources are allocated to support the initiative.

Cross-functional training: Conduct workshops and training sessions that bring together sales, marketing, customer success, and other relevant departments. These sessions should focus on:

  • Empathy building: Role-play scenarios from the buyer's perspective to understand their challenges and motivations.
  • Shared language: Establish a common vocabulary around buyer enablement, ensuring everyone understands key concepts and goals.
  • Collaborative problem-solving: Identify pain points in the current sales process and brainstorm buyer-centric solutions.

Incentivize collaboration: Create incentives that reward collaboration between departments. For example, consider rewarding sales reps who share valuable buyer insights with marketing, or marketing teams that create content that directly contributes to closed deals.

Data-driven decision making: Implement systems to track and analyze buyer behavior throughout their journey. Share these insights across departments to inform content creation, sales conversations, and customer success initiatives.

Celebrate buyer success: Highlight customer success stories internally to reinforce the value of buyer enablement. Showcase how empowering buyers leads to positive outcomes for both the customer and the company.

Here’s a great example of how to shift the conversation from sales-driven to buyer-driven:

👎 Traditional sales pitch

Sign up now before this limited-time offer expires!” 

This creates urgency, but feels pushy and manipulative.

👍 Buyer enablement conversation

I understand you're still evaluating your options. Here's a comparison guide of our product and its competitors, so you can make an informed decision at your own pace.

This empowers the buyer with information and respects their timeline.

Implementing a buyer-centric approach is a journey, not a destination. As you cultivate this new mindset and roll out your buyer enablement strategies, it's crucial to continuously measure and analyze your impact. 

This ensures you're on the right track and allows you to refine your approach for optimal results. Let's jump into the key metrics and methods for gauging the effectiveness of your buyer enablement efforts.

How to measure the impact of buyer enablement 

If you want to see increased sales success, having a solid buyer enablement plan translates to a more engaged buyer journey. 

Here’s how you can measure its effectiveness:

Key metrics and KPIs for buyer enablement success

Just measuring website traffic isn’t going to cut it. Your teams need to focus on metrics that show content engagement and effectiveness.

Time spent with content

Track the average time buyers spend on different content pieces. Lengthier engagement indicates valuable content that resonates. 

Content downloads and shares

Monitor downloads of your content assets like white papers or ebooks. Social media shares indicate that your buyers are finding something useful enough to share with others.

Returning visitors

Are you buyers returning to your website for more information? To find out, analyze return website traffic to measure this. 

Now, you’ll need to tie all of this back to your ultimate goal - driving sales.

Buyer enablement success can be measured through three things:

  1. Shorter sales cycles: Track the average time it takes to move your deals through the sales funnel. When you streamline buyer journeys with clear and valuable content, this can lead to faster sales cycles. 
  2. Improved close rates: Check the percentage of qualified leads that convert into paying customers. Buyer enablement should nurture those leads, increasing the likelihood of closing. 
  3. Larger deal sizes: When you do buyer enablement right, you’ll see your champions advocate for your solution internally. Track your average deal size to see if informed buyers are requesting more comprehensive solutions.

Don’t forget your buyers! Metrics give you a data-driven perspective, but don’t underestimate the power of buyer feedback. 

Customer satisfaction surveys

You can use these surveys to understand your buyers’ experiences with your content and overall buying journey.

Live chat and website feedback

Use live chat functionalities and website feedback forms to capture real-time buyer insights and concerns.

Sales team insights

Encourage your sellers to share feedback on how buyer enablement content helps their interactions with leads and prospects.

All of these things shouldn’t just be sitting around gathering dust. Buyer enablement is an iterative process and you’ll need to adapt strategies based on insights: 

  • Identifying content gaps will show where additional content is needed to address buyer pain points at different journey stages.
  • Optimize content performance by prioritizing high-performing content and tailor formats or topics based on your buyers’ preferences.
  • Use buyer data and engagement insights to personalize outreach with relevant content recommendations. 

By consistently measuring and analyzing your buyer enablement efforts, you can optimize your strategies and content for maximum impact, leading to a more buyer-centric sales process and ultimately, greater sales success.

Implementing buyer enablement requires effort and alignment, but it’s something that can be simplified with the right tools. Let’s take a look at how emlen helps your sellers enable your buyers no matter where they are on their journey with you.

How emlen helps you enable your buyers

We said tool, but it goes beyond that. You need a strategic partner. Because it’s not like a microwave - put something in, set the timer, press start, and you’ve succeeded. You need a tool and the right partner to help you understand, engage, and empower your buyers throughout their decision-making process. 

Here are five key ways emlen does that:

1. Buyer engagement analytics

emlen digs deep into how your buyers interact with content to give you granular insights:

  • Content consumption: Track the content pieces the buyers are engaging with and see how long they spend engaging. You’ll be able to see the actions they take afterward - for example, filling out forms or requesting demos.
  • Engagement trends: Identify the most popular content and which pieces are the most influential at specific journey stages.
  • Buyer collaboration: Who else is involved in the buying process and how are they influencing decisions?

2. Personalized content recommendations

emlen uses buyer engagement data to recommend the most relevant content at the right time, guiding buyers toward the information that truly matters to them.

3. Automated outreach

With emlen, you can automate personalized follow-up emails and notifications based on buyer behavior, ensuring timely and relevant communication.

4. Sales enablement

emlen provides a centralized hub for sales reps to access buyer insights, recommended content, and personalized messaging, empowering them to have meaningful conversations that drive deals forward.

5. Data-driven decision making

emlen's analytics provide a clear picture of what's working and what's not, allowing you to refine your buyer enablement strategy based on real-time data.

When you and your team use a solution like emlen, you shift from guesswork to data-driven insights. It helps you create highly targeted sales content to deliver exactly what your buyers need to make decisions.

But how do we all move into the future with buyer enablement? Here are our predictions that we think will shape the next phase of buyer-seller dynamics.

The future of buyer enablement

We predict the future will be even more buyer centric, because that’s what the market will demand from us. We’ll see real revenue attribution of content. We’ll also see sellers pushing content assets to the buyer or, through AI, your digital sales room will do that for you automatically. 

Here’s a more detailed breakdown:

AI tools and machine learning

Sellers will use AI-powered tools more often to personalize buyer journeys at scale. Machine learning algorithms will analyze buyer behavior to predict the most relevant content to give the buyer hyper-personalized experiences.

How to stay ahead: Invest in tools to enhance personalization and automation

Interactive experiences

Instead of you clicking through static walkthroughs, you’ll find more prospect-friendly experiences. For example, we have a product tour here at emlen that shows you the solution in action. In the future, you’ll be able to experience products and services in a virtual environment before making a purchase decision to help enhance engagement and understanding. 

How to stay ahead: Experiment! Create interactive content like quizzes, assessments, and calculators to engage buyers and give them personalized insights.


Instead of broad segmentation, companies will focus on delivering personalized and relevant experiences at each micro-moment along the buyers’ journey. You’ll need to serve the right content, to the right person, at precisely the right moment to succeed here. 

How to stay ahead: Use buyer data and behavioral insights to tailor content, offers, and communication channels to individual preferences.

Increased focus on buyer communities

Brands will invest in creating online communities where buyers can connect, share experiences, and learn from each other, fostering a sense of belonging and loyalty.

How to stay ahead: Develop online forums, social media groups, or other community spaces where buyers can connect and share knowledge.

Integration of buyer enablement with sales enablement

Lines between both will start to blur because organizations will be focused on creating a unified strategy that empowers both buyers and sellers to reach their goals.

How to stay ahead: Break down silos and create a unified strategy that empowers both teams to deliver a seamless buyer experience.

The only way not to lose out is to anticipate these trends and proactively adapt your strategies to match them. While this takes effort, it’s worth it if your buyer feels like you’re meeting their needs and you’re staying ahead of your competition.

Beyond the sale: Build lasting partnerships through buyer enablement

The shift from selling to helping is so powerful. And when you recognize that the future of B2B sales lies in collaboration and empowerment, you’ll find yourself shaping the next evolution of sales together with your buyers. 

Remember, the journey isn’t a straight path to a sale or deal. It’s a commitment to understanding your buyer’s needs so they can succeed at being the navigators of their own journey. Embracing the buyer-centric approach isn’t an option, it’s essential for sustainable relationships and growth.

If you find yourself stuck on that non-linear path with your buyer, we're here to help wherever we can! Reach out, we’d love to help you become unstuck. 

Subscribe to our blog!

Stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest on buyer enablement.
Subscribe illustration
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Table of contents
Enjoying this article? Share it with the world!

Articles like this