Future-Enabling Buyers Will Be Key In 2021 And Beyond


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The new year is almost one-month-old.  In less than three weeks, the country has experienced a time like no other.  Where the degree of uncertainty about our future has intensified.  The chaos surrounding the vaccination rollouts and the political climate has altered the degree of hoped-for certainty. 

Such a turn of events has an impact.  Particularly on B2B buyers today. 

Here are three buyer insights on impacts buyers are experiencing B2B organizations should consider today:

1 – Choices and Decisions

When uncertainty is introduced or intensified, as it is now, this stymies the ability of buyers to make choices and decisions.  Think of it as an interruption.  Whatever progression of thoughts, efforts, inertia, and analysis that has gone into making choices or decisions is hindered by uncertainty.  

2 – Operational

Businesses have been and will always have an element of improving operational efficiency and effectiveness.  A climate of uncertainty can cause buyers to shift from an “improvement” mindset to one of “doing more with less.”  With the emphasis on lowering costs as drastically as possible.  It is important to note that lowering costs comes from “cutting” and not “adding to” as opposed to an investment. 

3 – Growth and Building Scale

Prior to the pandemic, many companies were dealing with a good problem.  That is, how to continue growth and build scale to meet growth goals. The last 10 months have curtailed growth plans significantly.  Heading into 2021, growth and building scale may have returned in an aspirational way.  What we can say though, in terms of impact, is the first month of 2021 has tempered such aspirations.  

The Response: Future-Enabling Buyers

As the three insights show, the impact of uncertainty can affect how buyers consider the future. The cloudier the future is, the less likely you will be able to address the three insights mentioned.  Thus, B2B sellers and marketers today will need to adopt the role of being Future-Enablers.

Future-enabling involves having a clear understanding and buyer insights needed to help buyers envision a future outlook.  Making an investment in obtaining a deeper understanding of your buyer’s goals as they relate to decisions, operations, and growth is a critical first step.  Why?  In order to establish trust and credibility, it will be important to demonstrate authentic understanding.  Helping and enabling buyers to envision the future has to be accompanied by trust – not guesses.

B2B marketing and sales will need to help bring sharp focus about the future to buyers.  Enabling them to fill in the gaps they are experiencing in mapping out a clear path to the future.  For example, decisions today can no longer just be about a good business case.  What will make a difference is laying out a clear idea of how a decision today will unfold and playout over the next months and years. 

Operationally, B2B companies will need to understand the aspirational future goals of organizations and show how they can enable future accomplishments.  Where efficiencies can be gained and how long-term improvements can materialize. 

Enabling buyers to attain growth and build scale will require the deepest amount of trust, as well as insights.  And confidence-building efforts with buyers.

A New Mindset

We cannot predict what is in store for 2021.  What we can do is adopt a new mindset with buyers. Not of being reactive but to that of readiness.  Where we exercise the insights-based patience needed to help buyers today be future-enabled.  And future-ready. 

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


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