In my discussions with many successful businesses there is a common pain point or thread that exists throughout the space. For most, the very things that made the business successful are now slowing growth. At CEVOH, we’ve spent some time trying to better understand this, how the complexity happened and what to do next and I think there is good news to consider.

When you count all the products, items, rates, market prices, bundles, discounts and exceptions – a mid to large company may have millions of iterations to keep track of. This sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s not. Much of this is with the legacy or core products and all the variations, but even the new offerings could be duplicating this approach. Normally choice is a good thing, but over the years, too much choice can cause issues with customers, reps and fulfillment groups. It can cause confusion around the value story, and cause stagnation.

The direct reps, resellers and servicers can’t keep up with all the products/prices and try to make-do while understanding the differentiators of choice because the increments between each choice are too small. Many reps tell me they have to pick a few ‘favorites’ to focus on. But this can make it hard to follow another rep.

When it comes to the customers, they are interested in offerings that are more clear and transparent. Complexity burns time and energy, bridling all employees. Innovation, systems and processes are taxed.

While it may seem risky to move away from a formula that has proven so profitable in the past, adapting to client needs and desires is more critical than ever in today’s market – a market that offers plenty of alternatives for an unsatisfied client.  Simplifying the menu of services makes sense and can help drive some meaningful improvements to the space. Here are some of the benefits to this approach:

  • Sales reps can focus on the value of each offering rather than trying to explain the differences and complexities. A clear, focused and easy to understand presentation is much more effective than a convoluted one and helps with a sales rep’s credibility.

  • Clients are more willing to commit to purchase something they understand and are comfortable with. They are more likely to say “yes”.

  • Clients will pay for “easy” as demonstrated by companies who have leveraged its sale-ability. Staples still uses the “easy button” effectively and Apple monetized easy over free when users migrated to iTunes from Napster.

  • Removing complexity makes room for new/innovative products, and important segmentation approaches that didn’t get traction before.

Of course, any transformational change in your product portfolio needs special care to protect your revenues. CEVOH has extensive experience with protecting revenue streams while creating a lift event.

In summary, view simplification as a way to lift your revenues and bring greater value to your customers.

Feel free to contact me at to keep the conversation going.

John KleinComment