Buyer Enablement

Simplify your buyers’ purchase process and empower sellers to deliver value

Buyer enablement helps buyers buy

What is buyer enablement? Buyer enablement is the provisioning of information that supports the completion of critical activities necessary to make a purchase.

Just as sales enablement helps sellers sell, buyer enablement helps buyers buy by providing them with prescriptive advice and practical support to make the buying process easier to navigate and complete.

Why does buyer enablement matter?

The B2B buying journey is hard

In a survey of more than 250 B2B customers, Gartner found that 77% of them rated their purchase experience as extremely complex or difficult.

The complexity of making a purchase decision can be largely attributed to the abundance of high-quality information available to buyers. The typical buying group involves six to 10 stakeholders, each of whom have consulted four to five sources of information that they must then deconflict together.

What’s more, 95% of buying groups report having to go back and revisit decisions at least once as new information emerges. 

Suppliers that make buying easier win big

What customers truly want in this complex buying environment is information that helps them simplify the purchase process.

And suppliers who can provide them with that information will be rewarded. In fact, Gartner research shows that customers are three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret when suppliers provide information perceived as helpful in advancing the purchase process.

We call this type of information “buyer enablement.”

There’s a massive opportunity for supplier organizations to simplify the purchase process by providing customers the information they need to anticipate obstacles and overcome them.

Brent Adamson

Distinguished VP, Advisory, Gartner

Buyer enablement supports the completion of buying jobs

“Buying jobs” are distinct sets of discrete tasks that customers must satisfactorily complete in order to make a purchase. Through interviews with hundreds of B2B buyers, Gartner identified six buying jobs:

  • Problem identification. “We need to do something.”
  • Solution exploration. “What’s out there to solve our problem?”
  • Requirements building. “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”
  • Supplier selection. “Does this do what we want it to do?”
  • Validation. “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”
  • Consensus creation. “We need to get everyone on board.”

For any given job, there are a number of specific, tactical ways that suppliers can support job completion.

Buyer enablement must meet a minimum set of standards

At a minimum, buyer enablement must be:

  • Relevant to the specific challenges buyers face 
  • Easy for the customer to use quickly and effectively 
  • Useful for customers in accomplishing the intended buying job 
  • Credible and backed up by data and facts 

The best buyer enablement will also be shareable, align to customers’ emotional needs, provide confidence and lead back to supplier’s unique differentiators.

Does your content meet the standards to be considered buyer enablement? Use our audit tool to find out.

What does buyer enablement look like?

Buyer enablement content can take many forms:

Calculator

Provides a simple, structured way to analyze data

Diagnostic

Provides customers with a useful framework for assessing performance or identifying their options

Connector

Enables stakeholders to identify and establish common ground

Recommender

Provides a clear, prioritized set of options in a particular purchase task based on customer inputs

Advisor

Coaches customers through discrete purchase activities

Benchmark

Provides customers with hard-to-find data for peer comparison

Simulator

Demonstrates how the solution will work in the customer’s context

Buyer enablement boosts seller performance

Buyer enablement lifts the frontline sales force’s burden of figuring out how to drive customer value and places that effort inside the organization, where quality and consistency can be assured to far greater effect.

Sellers are still a critical force in delivering this information, but the bar is far lower to deliver buyer enablement than create it in the moment. This allows organizations to build world-class customer interactions without necessarily having to build world-class sales experts.

If the goal of the sales leader is to increase reps’ ability to drive high-value customer interactions‚ then equipping them with the right information is the recipe for success.

Equip your sellers for success

Download our free e-book, “Win More B2B Sales Deals,” to learn how to develop an organizational capacity to create and deliver buyer enablement and empower sellers to drive value in their sales interactions.

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