Buyers are contrasting everything all the time, and the more complex the information, the more difficult time they have at creating contrast. The brain is hardwired for simplicity. Explore how to help your customers clearly understand the issues at hand and be able to simplify the value of your solution.
- Today's business-to-business seller is constantly battling the balance between communicating a robust differentiated solution that doesn't confuse their customers with the oversimplification message that can inadvertently commoditize your solution. In fact clients often complain to me that if their solution is so complex, why do their customers end up either making no decision at all or beating them up on price, essentially treating their product or solution as a commodity. If you viewed the Science of Sales course, then you already know there's a biological process in the human brain whereby it determines value relative to contrast.
That means your buyers are contrasting everything all the time in their brain, and the more complex the information is, the more difficult time they have at creating contrast, i.e. value. The brain is hardwired for simplicity. When you as an organization and you as an individual sales professional can communicate simplicity, it actually helps your customers make faster, better decisions in their own mind. The challenge with decision-making for any of us, let alone our customers, is it requires the right amount of information and the right understanding of that information.
For many of us, we think entirely through our own lens about our own products, services, and solutions. We can communicate vast information about our features and benefits inside and out, can't we? In fact we have spreadsheets embedded into spreadsheets embedded into PowerPoints that articulate the vast capabilities of our solutions, but when we go to explain those to a customer, sometimes it all starts to sound a little bit like white noise. The primary reason for the unnecessary complexity in our message tends to boil down to three mistakes or assumptions.
Number one, you don't understand or qualify the customer's decision-making process. You see, without understanding this, or helping them define it, we tend to look at their approval process. The result is missed opportunities, longer selling cycles, and many times never even speaking to the right decision-makers. Secondly, you assume the customer actually understands their problems completely. This mistake forces us to have conversations that every supplier is having with every customer around the already recognized needs.
It also doesn't help the customer understand the actual quantifiable cost of their problem. Both issues will lead to commoditization. Finally, presentation exasperation. We show up and present everything we can around our solution so that we can ensure the client is educated enough to make an informed decision. If your presentation is more than 25% about your solution, you're probably doing it wrong. Regardless of the industry that you're in, globalization, increased competition, and increased technology, among other things, all lead to increased pricing pressures or commoditization.
All of that said, the number one reason for commoditization is actually the inability to articulate value in your customer conversations. For those companies and individuals who are really good at simplifying the complex, and at the same time, creating clear differentiation and an urgency to buy, they will always succeed and thrive in any market condition. In today's marketplace, the most successful business-to-business salespeople are the ones who can diagnose their customer's problems and help them uncover evidence of quantifiable cost of that problem.
They're then able to actually connect their solution's unique differentiation, and the value of the impact of your solution, that ties directly back to the very specific problem your customer's trying to solve. In summary, today's successful business-to-business salesperson needs to be able to do the following. Identify the problem and the absence of value the customer is receiving because of it. Quantify the cost that problem is having on the customer.
Create the path your solution must take in order to solve that problem. Then clarify the value your solution will ultimately have for their organization and for them as an individual buyer. And finally, validate that solution with proof sources, proof points, and proof of concepts. Helping your customers clearly understand the issues at hand and being able to simplify and clarify the value of your solution will not only create more urgency to buy, it will also help you defend against commoditization.
- Simplifying the complex
- Mapping the buyer journey
- Identifying buyer objectives and challenges
- Using insights to drive urgency to buy
- Defining your compelling differentiation
- Mapping your solution to the problem
- Bridging the gap between problem and solution
- Gaining commitment