While we can’t control market competition, we can be heard over the noise.
The B2B buyer’s journey hasn’t just gotten complicated for software vendors — it’s equally challenging for buyers. Gartner found that 77% of B2B buyers thought their latest software purchase was “very difficult or complicated.”
We’re all in the business of alleviating some sort of pain in our customers’ lives, yet combined, we’re creating a massive headache.
Not only is the average buyer group between 6-10 individuals — each with their own goals, agendas, and requirements — but the market for software has never been more crowded. Martech (a portmanteau of marketing and technology) alone has over 7,000 vendors. Hundreds of companies do marketing automation. Buying new tools can feel like a full-time job.
While we can’t control market competition, we can turn the noise into an opportunity: a chance to be a breath of fresh air. Your content can promote clarity, create a pleasant buying experience in a world full of dull white papers and pushy salespeople, and offer deeper engagement.
How do we do that? By giving buyers what they need: self-service content.
Buyer Enablement Content
Sales enablement content is a mainstay in the B2B world, but buyer enablement content plays a different role. Buyer enablement content is designed to be self-serve and consumed by the buyer on their own time.
Examples of buyer enablement content include:
- Calculators and guides can help buyers determine costs
- Simulations and sandboxes that allow buyers to try out the software on their own before requesting a demo
- Diagnostic frameworks that help users assess their current performance and needs
With most of the decision-making process happening before a buyer talks to sales, B2B buyer enablement content is a way to influence the buying decision indirectly but powerfully.
How To Get Started With Buyer Enablement Content
To create valuable buyer enablement content, start by identifying the specific buying jobs for your buyer. Gartner suggests six, all of which track with inbound marketing.
- 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.”
Next, identify the most challenging job for buyers and create the piece of buyer enablement content (e.g., buyer’s journey map template, website performance test, lifecycle stages map). The type of content you choose will depend on the buying job, your product, and your market. Doing this will help you stand out in a crowded market and make supplier selection just a little easier for buyers.
Finally, be sure your content is highly shareable. As we mentioned, B2B purchase groups may be as large as 10 people, so enable your person-of-contact to share with their team.
Make Your Business Stand Out with Self-Service Content
The buyer’s journey has changed. It’s not just difficult for your business to navigate, but your buyer. How can you make the buying journey as painless as possible for your buyer?
Buyer enablement content helps buyers get the information they need quickly, share it with their teams, and come to a decision. Plus, buyers are usually 2.8x more likely to purchase from a vendor whose information they found helpful, so creating valuable self-serving buyer enablement content will pay off.