Buyer Enablement

Navigating complex sales cycles with buyer enablement strategies

Sales cycles are getting longer and more complicated. Learn how to simplify the process through target buyer enablement techniques.

Rory Sadler
March 27, 2024
July 16, 2024
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Sales cycles are getting longer and more complicated. Learn how to simplify the process through target buyer enablement techniques.

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Past sales techniques relied on training and tools to equip sales teams for the challenges they faced. However, this sales enablement approach was built for a world of in-person sales interactions, where the human element was always present. That's no longer the case.

According to McKinsey, today, over 60% of B2B sales interactions occur digitally. Sales interactions are now longer and more complicated, as B2B buyers must navigate new industries alone in the search for business solutions. It's a different world. Little wonder that 77% of B2B customers complained their last purchase was "extremely complex or difficult."

What's needed is a new mindset. Buyer enablement is a recent sales strategy that proposes that rather than upskilling your sales team, you should be empowering prospective customers. After all, only they make the final decision. 

Let's explore how targeted buyer enablement techniques can revolutionise your sales cycles, cutting out the complexity, restoring the human element, and saving time. 

The common challenges in complex sales cycles

Sales cycles used to be conducted in offices and warehouses. Salespeople would travel from location to location, pitching their product or service and building client relationships. It was the relationship that counted. Everything else simply followed.

What's changed? That's simple – everything's gone digital. Accelerated by the pandemic, the drive for remote work, video calls, and online research has essentially eliminated the traditional role of sales teams.

B2B buyers no longer rely on personal relationships, being forced to conduct industry research internally. The modern buying group consists of six to ten stakeholders who must continually revise their assumptions as new information comes to light. 

Nor is the information sorted and neatly organised – buying groups must wade through dozens of blog articles, guides, reports, eBooks, and more to find answers and solutions. It's a glut of content. No wonder they revise their assumptions. There's no centralisation. No collaboration. No helpful advice. 

Is this what buyers want? According to the research, no. B2B buyers consistently prefer a personal relationship with potential partners, working together to answer questions and forge a deal. They want trusted advisors, not hard sellers. 

Leveraging buyer enablement to simplify complex deals

Buyer enablement recognises that it's not the sales team that determines a deal; it's the customer. They're the ones who make the decision.

Answering their questions and understanding their business objectives are what determine the complexity or simplicity of the deal. If you provide resources and guidance that speed up the process, you cut sales cycles from months to weeks, even days. 

How does this work in practice? First, we must understand the buying process is no longer linear but involves multiple stakeholders and a number of digital interactions. Buyers can touch points with a company dozens of times before deciding upon a deal.

The solution is to centralise the process, creating a virtual space where buyer enablement can flourish.

Potential customers gain access to a repository of blog articles, videos, product comparisons, mutual action plans, and more, which are curated to improve and guide their understanding. It's not hard to see why it's so revolutionary.

We call this space a digital sales room. trumpet has pioneered the concept, developing fully customisable, user-friendly, and trackable spaces suitable for a vast variety of sales scenarios, from the initial consultation to the final sale.

Inside these deal rooms, sales teams can provide reading materials, learn what buyers want, instantly respond to queries, and see everything the buyer does. It's perfect for tracking the client throughout their buyer's journey using analytics and buyer signals.

The best tech stack for complex sales cycles

  • CRM Software: Vital for tracking customer interactions and sales progress, CRM systems like Salesforce and HubSpot enable better communication and strategy alignment across sales teams.
  • Digital Sales Rooms: trumpet's innovative digital sales rooms offer a tailored space for buyers, aggregating essential resources and tools to support informed decision-making throughout their purchasing journey.
  • Communication Tools: Key for modern sales processes, tools like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams facilitate effective digital communication and collaboration between sales teams and buyers.
  • Document Management Tools: Platforms such as DocuSign and Adobe Sign simplify and accelerate the documentation process, offering secure and efficient e-signature capabilities to expedite deal closures.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Enhancing efficiency and personalisation, these tools provide predictive insights, automate routine tasks, and offer immediate assistance through AI chatbots and virtual assistants, improving the overall buyer experience.

Why buyer enablement builds trust in complex deals

There's an odd fact about selling: the more you want the sale, the harder it is to close. Potential customers mistrust the hard sell and turn elsewhere for answers. However, the salesperson who acts as a helpful expert, providing clear, honest answers to questions, earns the trust of any buyer. It's honesty and transparency that win a client's trust. 

When buyers are enabled with comprehensive, unbiased information and resources, they feel empowered to make informed decisions. This empowerment reduces the perceived risk and uncertainty associated with complex purchases, thereby building trust. Buyers are more likely to engage with a brand that respects their autonomy and provides them with the means to thoroughly evaluate their options.

Equipping buyers with the right tools, information, and support demonstrates your commitment to the buyer's success, not just the sale.

Buyer enablement isn't just a strategy for simplifying sales; it's a commitment to building lasting, trust-based relationships with customers. It recognises that the true value of a sale lies not in the transaction itself but in the mutual success and satisfaction it brings to both parties involved.

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