Customer Enablement Essentials: What B2B and SaaS Brands Need to Know
Customer enablement empowers customers by giving them the resources they need to use your product successfully. This helps deliver more satisfying customer experiences, promoting customer renewals and referrals, which are critical to B2B SaaS businesses.
Here we’ll walk you through the essentials you need to know to harness customer enablement to increase B2B and SaaS sales. First, we’ll define what customer enablement is. Then we’ll look at the benefits of customer enablement and how it mutually supports sales enablement strategies. Finally, we’ll share five top strategies and best practices you can use to get the most out of your customer enablement efforts.
What Is Customer Enablement In Business?
Customer enablement is a customer success strategy that provides customers with the resources they need to achieve the desired results from using your product. This delivers customers more satisfying experiences, which promote higher retention, lower churn, and higher referral rates. A customer enablement program is a vital part of the customer landscape for B2B and SaaS companies that rely on customer retention for growth.
To enable customers, Customer Success teams may use methods such as:
- Assigning a Customer Success Manager to assist customers
- Providing onboarding guidance via in-app messages, emails, and tutorials
- Showing customers how to unlock product value by explaining features through demonstration videos, tutorials, and FAQ resources
- Improving support by providing self-service tools and using automation to manage routine inquiries and route manual tickets to the appropriate representatives
- Using key performance monitoring and automatically triggered workflows to guide customers toward successful results
- Monitoring customer satisfaction metrics and intervening when low satisfaction levels are detected
- Offering customized upsells geared toward customer needs and product usage patterns
These methods may be used in both B2B and SaaS contexts. For example, a B2B provider might establish and automate standard onboarding procedures designed to ensure that new customers receive the guidance they need to begin using a product in a timely manner. Similarly, a SaaS provider might use KPI monitoring to detect the first time a customer uses a product feature, triggering an automated email with a link to a tutorial on how to use that feature.
What Is Customer Support Enablement?
Customer support enablement may sound similar to customer enablement, but the concepts are distinct. Customer support enablement focuses on giving customer service teams the resources they need to deliver excellent support, such as training programs, knowledge databases, and customer support software. In contrast, customer enablement focuses on providing customers themselves with tools to experience excellent outcomes from using your product.
In short, customer support enablement is a customer support strategy, while customer enablement is a customer success strategy. While great support might indirectly improve your customers’ outcomes, the two approaches have different goals and methods.
What Are the Benefits of Customer Enablement?
Customer enablement delivers valuable benefits to B2B and SaaS businesses. These include:
- Empowering customers with the resources they need to experience intended outcomes from products, increasing customer satisfaction
- By promoting higher satisfaction, customer enablement increases customer retention and reduces churn
- Higher retention creates more opportunities for upsells and referrals, increasing revenue
- By proactively providing customers with the resources they require, customer enablement reduces support ticket volume, increasing efficiency
- Improving efficiency lowers costs, freeing up budgets for better uses and increasing profit margins
These benefits help explain why customer enablement is becoming more popular as a Customer Success strategy for B2B and SaaS providers.
How Should Customer Success Enablement and Sales Enablement Work Together?
Like customer support enablement, sales enablement is another strategy that resembles customer enablement in some ways but differs in some fundamental ways. To clarify the relationship between customer enablement and sales enablement, let’s start by defining what sales enablement is.
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is a sales strategy that involves providing your sales representatives with the support they need to close more deals. This is done by sharing marketing data with sales teams, using customer relationship management software to nurture opportunities, and utilizing customer data to optimize sales offers and presentations. The benefits of sales enablement include higher sales conversion rates, higher average purchase value, and increased customer renewals.
Customer Enablement vs. Sales Enablement
As a sales strategy, sales enablement is distinct from customer enablement strategy. However, the two endeavors overlap because sales data helps Customer Success teams steer customers toward better success outcomes. Likewise, better customer outcomes promote more sales from customer renewals, upsells, and referrals.
Five Customer Enablement Strategies and Best Practices
You can improve the effectiveness of your customer enablement initiatives by following specific strategies and best practices. Below are five of the most important tips. Combining these strategies and best practices with customer success software to automate them will yield winning customer enablement results.
1. Educate Customers on How to Succeed
To empower customers, you must provide the resources they need to help themselves. This makes customer education a key to customer enablement. You can provide customers with educational resources through tools such as:
- Learning management systems to deliver educational material and guide customers’ consumption of material
- Strong site support resources with up-to-date documentation
- A knowledge base that includes community-sourced tips and tricks
Providing these types of tools will empower customers to achieve their goals.
2. Provide Superior Support
While education can equip customers to solve many of their issues, some problems still require support. Delivering great support is another key to customer enablement. You can improve the quality of your support by leveraging technology to resolve routine issues and automatically steer customers who need human help toward the right representatives. Support performance monitoring can help you identify common problems to improve your product and provide relevant self-support resources.
3. Grow a Supportive Community
Your user community can strengthen the quality of your educational resources as well as the quality of your support. Use resources such as social media and forums to encourage your customers to ask questions and offer ideas to help their fellow customers or improve your brand. Build your community by designating a Customer Success Manager or team to monitor conversations and interact with customers.
4. Incorporate Customer Feedback to Improve Your Products and Services
Customer feedback provides an outstanding resource you can tap into to improve your products and services and make them more empowering to customers. Community discussions on your forums and social media profiles offer one valuable source of customer feedback. You also can use tools such as customer satisfaction monitoring and surveys to elicit feedback.
5. Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Biggest Brand Advocates
Satisfied customers can be your best brand ambassadors and can improve your customer enablement efforts in the process. Use customer satisfaction tracking tools such as Net Promoter Score monitoring to identify customers most likely interested in subscription renewals or making a product referral. Encourage these customers to participate in community discussions and share their knowledge of your customer enablement resources with other customers and prospects. Use rewards programs and discount offers to encourage brand advocacy among your most loyal customers.
Start Empowering Your Business With Customer Success Enablement Today
Customer enablement supports your Customer Success strategy by giving your customers the tools they need to succeed. Implementing customer enablement can increase satisfaction rates, increase retention and referrals, reduce churn, and support your sales enablement strategy. Keys to customer enablement include:
- Educating customers on how to succeed.
- Providing superior support.
- Growing a supportive community.
- Incorporating feedback.
- Turning satisfied buyers into brand advocates.
The technology you use to empower customers also determines the effectiveness of your customer enablement strategy. Totango’s customer success software automates customer journey management to deliver successful outcomes efficiently and at scale. Combine optimized workflows into Customer Success Playbooks with key performance indicators ensuring customers get the desired results from your product. See a demo today, or try it free to see how Totango’s Customer Success platform can empower your customers. Hence, they enjoy more satisfying experiences, which drive