Sales presentations are the cornerstone of many companies’ sales efforts, yet so often they aren’t given the time and attention they deserve. Thrown together at the last-minute, often your sales reps stand up in front of a sales presentation that's nothing more than a glorified page of notes. Read this article for everything you need to make the ultimate sales presentation.
What marketing assets do you spend money on, and which do you do in-house? What content is high-quality, and what isn’t that great? Often, what you spend time and money on reflects interests and ‘fashion’, but not impact on revenue. If you are making your own PowerPoint slides, but haven’t moved beyond nicely-designed but ineffective text, you need to consider sourcing compelling professional presentations instead.
Filling the funnel
What’s your cost per lead? How much content do you create? How many webinars do you run? How many guest posts do you write? How many talks do your executives give? How many adverts do you run? How much time do you spend on social media? How many outbound calls do you make? How many trade shows do you sponsor? How many keywords do you bid on? How much work do you do – to get a lead into the top of your funnel?
Then, how many of these people do you manage to nurture through the funnel, until they actually show a strong interest – until they become a ‘marketing qualified lead’ or a ‘sales accepted lead’? Then, how many of these sales accepted leads actually represent a real opportunity to sell something in the here-and-now?
Cost per opportunity
Some companies need 100s of names in the top of the funnel to find a real sales opportunity. What’s your cost per opportunity? What would it be if you attributed all the marketing staff time that supported the effort, the cost of marketing automation, the professional agency support?
Sales presentations and quality
Then what do you do, for that moment of truth – the first sales meeting?
You arm your sales person with a sales presentation. They may edit it, amend it, make it worse than it started. Then, when they deliver the presentation, if there’s too much text, the prospect will just read, wait impatiently for the sales person to click to the next slide, and generally be underwhelmed.
And your chances of converting the opportunity become much lower than they need to be – because your sales presentation doesn’t help your sales person to communicate value, differentiate your offer, or follow-up on the great content that you already used trying to get the opportunity in the first place.
What’s your cost per opportunity? How many opportunities do you create each month? And then how much did you spend on your sales presentation – the sales tool that actually helps tell your sales story and communicate value to prospects? Nothing? That’s what some companies spend – maybe because they just weren’t aware that there was another way, that there were people out there who specialise in creating professional sales presentations.
Professional presentations aren’t a luxury you can’t afford. Amateur PowerPoint presentations for critical sales meetings are a mistake you can’t afford to make.
It’s 2012. You wouldn’t let your colleague’s nephew throw up a website for you with Dreamweaver. You wouldn’t shoot your own corporate video. So why on earth ignore professional presentation standards and try to make your own? Because typing into PowerPoint seems easy? Because your graphic design team can apply the static principles of print to presentation design and you don’t realise that the output doesn’t work well when presented? Because your competitors are just as bad? Because sales presentations don’t seem sexy enough? Because paying for presentations can’t be worth the money when you already know how to animate your bullet points in one at a time? Because it’s what you’ve always done?
Things have moved on. Now you start to understand what each opportunity costs you – it’s time to look at the presentations you use to close those opportunities.
Why not use professional presentations? Really??
I honestly don’t know why every company doesn’t supply their sales team with professional presentations. If marketing isn’t expert in sales presentations, why not just hire an agency for the presentation design project? Part of the issue may be that companies don’t know that the option exists – or that they haven’t budgeted for a professional presentation, or that they don’t know what difference a decent presentation makes. I suppose the lack of huge VC-backed vendors means no-one is making a huge noise about this issue. Companies like BrightCarbon just need to keep plugging away… But for pity’s sake – help us out. If you spend a fortune sourcing an opportunity, and then risk losing it with a crappy sales presentation – get in touch. We’ll make you a persuasive and compelling sales presentation and your chances of winning will shoot right up.
Professional presentations for sales meetings are a good idea. If you are going to use presentations in your B2B sales cycle – and most people do – then use effective ones. If you aren’t able to do the work yourself – and most companies really aren’t, whatever your graphic designers tell you – bring in someone who can.Leave a comment
DirectorView Joby Blume's profile
Sales presentations are important, but 1000s of people each day ignore the principles of sales presentation design and sales messaging and deliver material that is tired, ugly, and ineffective. These sales presentation ideas will help you to easily improve your sales presentation; stand out, engage your audience, and sell more.
We exhibited at a large trade exhibition a couple of weeks ago, and I went along to see what other vendors are up to. A lot of exhibitions are a desolate wasteland for exhibitors with nothing but tumbleweed and other vendors to stop the boredom. This show was actually pretty busy though, and by walking around l think I managed to notice things companies were doing (right and wrong). Some of these observations are surprisingly apt for sales presentations too...
We were notified on Friday that we’ve been successful in our renewal bid. They were particularly complementary about our presentation and claimed it was one of the best they’ve had.Greg Tufnall Siemens