When salespeople think about how to best market their organization's products and services to potential customers, their minds may immediately go to a place that prioritizes complexity. After all, buyers want goods and tools that will bring them a variety of positive results, so why not outline all the incredible things these offerings can do? However, this may not actually be an approach that sets a sales professional up for success.
Simplicity is key
According to Inc. Magazine, potential customers actually want fewer choices and less information to process, not more. The source noted that a few important studies have pointed to this idea, including one by Columbia University on purchasing behavior in the context of selecting groceries. In her research, Sheena Iyengar found that 30 percent of people given the choice between six different jams bought an item, while only 3 percent of subjects who were asked to pick from a 24-jam collection completed a transaction.
Additionally, the source stated that in a survey of 7,000 consumers by the Corporate Executive Board's Managing Directors Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman, the researchers determined that "decision simplicity" is one of the most important factors in what makes customers more likely to make a purchase. The easier it is for an individual to understand a product or service, the higher the chance he or she will make a commitment to buy an item. Inc. noted that Apple is a prime example of this idea in action. Following Steve Jobs' return as CEO in 1997, the company eliminated a large number of products from its offerings and focused on making its devices easy to operate for all users. Today, Apple is one of the world's leading technology brands.
In a guest post for business news source SGE, Valerie Tan, head of digital marketing (global) at Dropmyemail, said that B2B and B2C customers are actually quite similar in some regards, including their desire for simplicity. Tan emphasized that in B2B sales, it's still critical to be able to market complex products and services clearly and concisely. Since the B2B purchasing process is much longer than B2C's, it may actually be even more important that sales professionals master the task of explaining complicated solutions in a more digestible form, as this will help move relationships along effectively while guarding against miscommunications.
Train for success
If sales representatives aren't skilled communicators, they won't be as well-prepared to bring the simplicity their clients need to the table. Fortunately, these qualities are teachable through sales training programs. By choosing the right educational resources, companies can arm their sales professionals with all the tools they need to free their clients from confusion and fill them with confidence.