We focus a lot of our sales enablement and related efforts on making our products and services easier to sell. We provide training, tools, coaching, support to our sales people. We want them to master everything about our products and solutions so they can easily sell them
But we are missing something important. Just because we are making our offerings easier to sell, doesn’t mean we will sell more.
We need to think about how we make our products easier to buy.
Too often, when I talk about this, people think about the ordering process. They think about on-line shopping carts, other types of electronic ordering, or well trained/polite order entry professionals.
While we shouldn’t overlook that, we need, instead, to think of the customer buying journey. We need, at each step, think about, “How do we make it easier for them to accomplish this step? How do we make them, first, more effective, then more efficient? How do we help each person in the buying team learn what they need to learn? How do we help them more effectively align around what they are trying to achieve?”
Customers just want to achieve their goals—as simply as possible.
The magic is, the easier we make it for them to execute their buying journey, the easier we make it for us (or our partners) to sell.
Sometimes, we make it hard to buy, because we offer our customers too much choice. We want to demonstrate the richness, functionality, and capability of our solutions. We inundate our customers with endless feature/function comparisons, believing that having more than our competition is better.
We dump endless data sheets, case studies, marketing brochures on them. In demos, we tediously show every feature, function, capability of our products.
Instead of making it easier for them to buy, we confuse them. We make it more difficult to make a choice because we have overwhelmed them.
What if we changed how we engage our customers?
Understanding what they are trying to do, understanding what they believe they need, helping them learn about new things that might help them and agreeing on those.
Then what if we just presented our solutions in the context of those priorities. And we ignored confusing the customer with all of our favorite features and functions, focusing only on those issues we and the customer have agreed are most important.
Our customers are overwhelmed with complexity. Too often, we add to that complexity, presenting all the richness of our solutions, and increasing the perceived complexity. And all our competitors are doing the same thing. Soon, they are overwhelmed with decisions and choice.
Our customers just want to achieve their goals—and they want to do it as simply as possible. Sometimes, simplifying, reducing the number of choices, makes it so much simpler and easier to buy.
Making our offerings easier to buy, makes them so much easier to sell.
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.