[Day 2] Gartner Sales & Marketing Conference Daily Digest

October 11, 2018

Posted by Taylor Mecham

Posted in Product Marketing, Sales


Yesterday I left you with two questions: “How do we build Buyer Enablement?” and “How do we construct a Buyer Enablement ecosystem?.” I wasn’t trying to lure you into reading today’s post; Gartner just hadn’t told me the answers yet. But, hey, if it worked I’ll take it! Welcome to Day 2’s Daily Digest! And, luckily, Gartner shed some light on our burning questions.

As a reminder, Gartner labeled the provision of information that supports the completion of critical buying jobs as “Buyer Enablement”. Those six buying jobs are:

  1. Problem Identification
  2. Solution Exploration
  3. Requirements Building
  4. Supplier Selection
  5. Validation
  6. Consensus Creation

Brent Adamson states, “If we only had one battle to fight it wouldn’t be in sales, marketing, nor marketing and sales alignment. It would be in buying.” There is value to you as a supplier providing the right help to buyers. Potentially huge value. But how do we drive more value to win more quality deals? How do we progress buyers through the pipeline? Well, we have to achieve just one goal:

Make Buying Easier.

Buyer Enablement is all about anticipating buying obstacles and providing the help in both in-person and digital channels to overcome those hurdles. For any given buying job, there are a number of specific, tactical ways that suppliers can support job completion. Here is Gartner’s Supplier Intent “Checklist” (what we, as suppliers, need to do to support each buying job):

  • Problem Identification
    • Compare customer’s performance against peers
    • Quantify cost/benefits of action/inaction
    • Prompt exploration of overlooked questions/information
  • Solution Exploration
    • Evaluate alternatives
    • Visualize solution in customer context
    • Prioritize possible trade-offs
  • Requirements Building
    • Identify solution criteria
    • Prompt exploration of overlooked questions/information
    • Prioritize possible trade-offs
  • Supplier Selection
    • Compare competing supplier solutions
    • Visualize solution in customer context
    • Evaluate Alternatives
    • Prioritize possible trade-offs
  • Validation
    • Provide unique support for customer conclusions
    • Affirm readiness to move forward
  • Consensus Creation
    • Anticipate internal debates and stakeholders’ objections
    • Establish a framework for discussions/decisions
    • Define minimum thresholds for agreement

So how do we construct a Buyer Enablement ecosystem? We have to use tools that address the various aspects of supplier intent, and streamline them between marketing and sales. The design principles of Buyer Enablement tools (at a minimum) are relevant, easy, useful, and credible. Recommended principles include shareable, aligned to customer’s emotional needs, provides confidence, and leads to supplier’s unique strengths.

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