Sales Enablement Strategies for the Modern B2B Landscape
In the ever-evolving realm of B2B sales, the landscape of buyer behavior has undergone a radical transformation, posing fresh challenges for sales teams and their sales enablement counterparts. As a result, organizations must have innovative sales enablement strategies that resonate with today’s B2B buyers.
To understand why, you must consider today’s B2B landscape. Buyers are more sophisticated than ever, charting their purchasing courses independently and opting for diverse communication avenues. Correspondingly, buying committees have expanded, encompassing multiple stakeholders, each bearing unique perspectives and priorities.
Furthermore, as the attention spans of modern B2B buyers dwindle and their content preferences become more discerning, go-to-market teams must pivot to seize and hold buyers’ interest.
Amid this dynamic shift, new sales enablement strategies are required to ensure sales teams adeptly navigate the intricacies of the modern B2B buyer’s journey. The first step: Understand how B2B buying behavior has changed.
3 Ways B2B Buying Behavior Changes Impact Sales Enablement
B2B buying behavior has shifted in three key areas, creating challenges for sellers and creating a need for updated sales enablement strategies.
1. Buyers are savvier than ever
Sixty-five percent of B2B purchase influencers initiate the buying process via self-guided research, according to Forrester. They perform as much research as they can before having to talk to a seller. Not only that, but 67% of buyers are opting away from in-person interactions, research from McKinsey & Co. reveals.
65% of B2B purchase influencers initiate the buying process via self-guided research.
2. Buying teams are larger than ever
Today, complex B2B purchases involve 6-10 individual stakeholders and sometimes up to 20 people, according to Gartner. And each is “each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group.” This makes it harder for sellers to understand the power dynamics of a buying committee. It also makes it incredibly difficult for a seller to connect with and resonate with so many personalities and job roles within an account.
3. Buyers have set a higher bar for the content they pay attention to
Buyers’ attention spans have dropped to just 8 seconds, shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years, according to research from Microsoft. At the same time, though, buyers’ standards for the types of content they engage with have risen. Those two things have made it extremely difficult to capture buyers’ attention—but not impossible.
The change in buying behavior means the traditional go-to-market motions of the past 20 years no longer work. And often sales teams fail to provide an experience that B2B buyers want. Companies must update their sales enablement strategies, as well as their go-to-market approach.
3 Benefits of Modern Sales Enablement Strategies
1. Shine a light on the right sales stories to strengthen learning, content, and conversations
Using an agile, peer-to-peer content engine, sellers share their knowledge and experience with their peers. Sellers become teachers as you capture and curate examples of what good selling looks like, best practices, win/loss reports, competitive intelligence, objection handling, and more—all accessible in sellers’ moment of need.
In providing just-in-time content in the flow of work, you drive learning across the revenue team, accelerate your sales team’s readiness, and ensure they’re able to engage buyers and win.
2. Align revenue and buying teams through collaboration and modern experiences
Modern sales enablement technology has built-in feedback and collaboration tools that help centralize data about seller and buyer actions. This allows the entire revenue team to see what’s working and what isn’t, and to collaborate on resolving issues.
Sellers and buyers can also collaborate via Digital Sales Rooms (DSR), personalized and immersive buying experiences. DSRs provide the self-serve experience that today’s buyers expect while also allowing sellers to monitor buyers’ engagement with the items in the DSR.
Modern sales enablement technology also allows teams to see how sales content is used and consumed, the effect training and coaching has on sellers, and how to improve engagement with prospects and customers. Those insights make the entire go-to-market team more successful. Marketing creates better content, and sales managers coach and train their sellers in a much more impactful way.
3. Scale success with integrated, AI-powered technology.
Modern sales enablement strategies tap the power of artificial intelligence. This allows you to leverage AI-generated insights and automation in the flow of work to drive efficiency and smarter decisions. This AI functionality makes it easier and faster for sellers to find content, allows marketers to see what content resonates with sellers and buyers, helps sales managers coach more sellers, and on ramps new reps faster so they can start selling sooner.
Companies that have modern sales enablement strategies use a comprehensive set of enablement tools combining sales readiness, sales content management, conversation intelligence, and digital sales rooms. The synergy of these functions together is powerful, and you’ll rest easy knowing you’re at the front of the innovation curve.
Companies See Success with Modern Sales Enablement Strategies
Companies like Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson Vision, and OneAmerica are seeing success with modern sales enablement strategies and technology.
- Abbott, by incorporating collaborative learning in the flow of work, saw 2-3x improvement in messaging.
- Johnson & Johnson Vision saw 8x sales growth using a modern sales enablement platform for a new product launch. The sales content management, pre-training, training, and certification features were critical to the success.
- OneAmerica saw 12x lift on buyer engagement using personalized video and Digital Sales Rooms.
With a comprehensive sales enablement platform, revenue teams are better able to collaborate, create, and curate their best content; train sales reps and get them in the field faster; and improve engagement with buyers.
Storytelling Powers Modern Sales Enablement
Not only do modern sales enablement strategies include leading-edge technology, but they also celebrate storytelling for its crucial role in spreading knowledge and inspiration.
Since the beginning of time, people have sat around fires telling stories. Humans understand the world through stories. They are the medium by which knowledge is shared most effectively and powerfully.
And now, with modern sales enablement, you can tap into the power of your sellers’ stories to help train reps and replicate top-seller behavior. It involves capturing, preserving, and sharing the stories and best practices of your top performers.
Sellers can also use stories when communicating with buyers, as stories engage buyers on an emotional level, making the information more memorable and relatable. Stories also create a connection between the buyer and your product/service, helping them envision its benefits in their own context.
Stories power the engines of modern sales enablement. They arm your team with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the demands of today’s most informed buyers. And they inspire your buyers to act and buy your products and services.
In today’s B2B sales story, sales enablement is the hero. Modern sales enablement is like Chiron the centaur, preparing Hercules for the 12 labours he was ordered to perform. When you adopt modern sales enablement strategies, you will help your sellers accomplish any feats they’re asked to perform.
Create a Business Case for Sales Enablement Technology
Download How to Sell Sales Enablement Technology to the C-Suite to learn how to prove the benefits of enablement technology and get the green light to transform your organization into a modern sales enablement team.