I’ve been yelling for years that technical jargon in marketing content turns off B2B business buyers. Now, it’s official – or at least corroborated by a Forrester Research Inc. report.
“Vendor use of jargon and their lack of simplifying issue complexity often keep business-oriented buyers from grasping the nuances of how technology can help to solve their problem,” says a post on the Marketing Interactions blog. “When it's too difficult, the executive will choose to switch priorities” to something easier to understand.” (My emphasis.)
In other words, if you baffle them with your BS, they’ll tune you out. Only 15% of the exec surveyed by Forrester felt their meetings with salespeople are valuable and live up to their expectations, and only seven percent usually accept a follow-on meeting. That’s a pretty pathetic return for all those expensive feet on the street.
Explaining things clearly to your prospects isn’t rocket science. But it can be hard work because you have to get your nose out of your own technical brilliance and marketing buzzwords and speak plain English. And, as Forrester points out, you need to develop sales content geared to the needs of individual industries so buyers in each of them can understand why they should care about what you’re selling.
Marketing Interaction suggests creating “content designed to answer specific questions buyers have at each stage of the buying process” and “create a conversational brief for sales that indicates which resources should be used when for specific buyer segments.” That sounds like a series of FAQs (frequently-asked questions) aimed at prospects with different pain points, budgets, buying authority and/or existing infrastructures. That’s a good idea. But doing so won’t help unless you scrub the jargon from the answers to those FAQs.
For tips on doing that, see my presentation on “Art of the Pitch.” Or, just ask your mother, father, friend, partner, etc to read your material and see if they can make any sense of it. If they can’t, fix it.