A recent study, by marketing research firm CSO Insights, revealed, “The top challenge in sales organizations today is that 90% of sales leaders believe that representatives have missed opportunities because of information overload.”
The study shows that salespeople are missing opportunities to close sales because they are overloaded with information from their own companies. Unfortunately, information overload is a problem of epidemic proportion. Why?
The Challenge For Sales Organizations
In this information age we have instant and constant access to information. It is extremely easy to create (email, PDFs, newsletters) and disseminate (email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) information, which produces information overload.
Too much information always leads to confused prospects, and confused prospects rarely buy.
The original challenge for sales organizations was to quickly and easily create and disseminate information to market to the masses. Not only has this been accomplished, but it has also been grossly overdone.
Now the challenge for sales organizations has become to refine that information and only share what is specifically relevant to a prospect’s problem. Unsurprisingly, this is VERY difficult to do because we all have a passionate love affair with our own products and services.
Two Fundamental Problems From Information Overload
Here are two fundamental problems created from when people have too much information:
- The sales person is often confused because he/she has access to too much information and attempts to communicate most of it to the prospect. As a result, the communication usually lacks structure, brevity, and clarity…all critical components of effective communication.
- The prospect is confused because scientific research proves that humans simply cannot process excess information, especially if it is not logically structured, takes too long, or is unclear.
2 Questions To Ask About Your Salesperson
If your salesperson is overloaded with information, do they have the necessary skills to both refine and communicate information to prospects with clarity and brevity?
Are they able to identify what is most important to the prospect and present a strong, unique solution that will meet their greatest need?
It takes tremendous skill to communicate with clarity and brevity since these are skills that are taught, not caught.
Therefore, a salesperson must not only know their product or service inside and out, but they must also know how to make a prospect understand how their product or service will solve a real problem, using the LEAST amount of information possible.
A savvy salesperson will know how to help a customer buy, by only sharing information that is relevant to that conversation.
Prospects no longer want to be told how great a product is, they want to know that their greatest need is understood, and a viable solution exists to resolve it.
The 4 C’s of Excellent Communicators
If you believe, like 90% of sales leaders, that your salespeople may have missed opportunities because of information overload, provide an opportunity for them to learn to become excellent communicators.
Forbes Magazine says, “Communication skills are what get you promoted,” and after my 20 years of global experience, I would add that they also impact a company’s overall sales.