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.
Before the Internet changed B2B sales forever, if a buyer wanted to find out about the market, they would attend trade shows, read trade magazines, and request information from companies that would be provided by sales reps perhaps through a sales presentation. Today, the potential buyer opens a browser, searches, reads LinkedIn, and engages in online conversation – perhaps with other buyers.
Marketing has changed as a result. Marketing automation is growing as a segment at breakneck speed. Companies employ people to tweet, to blog, and to create content. Generating leads for sales, and contributing directly for revenue – has become a prime objective. Read more on how marketing automation can go wrong in this article.
Has sales changed? And have the materials sales people use to sell changed?
Prospects spend hours educating themselves, reading whitepapers, vendor guides, and company websites. They do this for ages – sometimes well before you know they are out there. And then? When they finally reveal themselves, what does a sales rep do differently today to what they might have done fifteen years ago?
If your prospect’s behaviour has changed, so too must your sales presentation.
- The old ‘About us’ introduction to a sales presentation is boring. Very boring. Now, there’s even less reason to make prospects sit through it. They already know about your company, from your website. You don’t need to build credibility – they accepted the appointment. And it wastes precious time… Why spend the first five minutes of your sales presentation talking about you when they want to know about what you can do for them. It will just risk boring them, and ensure that attention levels plummet before you get going.
- You ought to know a lot about your prospect already. Does your company use marketing automation technology? Can you read your prospect’s digital body language? If you do, and you can – then delivering a canned presentation is daft. You know what the prospect is interested in – focus on that.
- Prospects can fall into the trap of thinking they know what you do. They’ve read your site, commented on your blog, retweeted your insights (maybe). But that doesn’t mean that they actually understand. Don’t be scared to go over the basics – quickly, and in a way that focuses on their needs.
- You can’t just repeat what’s written on the website – they’ve already seen it. There’s an argument that holding back some messages for use by sales (and not by marketing) helps in the creation of a sales presentation. (Maybe, but sales might never have anyone to present to if marketing has to hold back.) But even if sales and marketing use the same messages in different ways – make sure that something is new, or sales people will be rendered redundant.
- Companies are buying by committee. According to Sales Executive Council research, widespread support for a vendor within the buying organisation is the single most important factor influencing buying decisions. Even the best sales people can’t always access everybody who might influence a decision. Buyers want information – but they don’t always want to meet with sales people. In that case – let your supporters sell on your behalf by providing an on-demand version of your presentation for busy buyers to view. Narrate your slides – don’t just use PowerPoint as a word processor.
Is there material that marketing departments shouldn’t put in the public domain? Has your organisation adapted to the new buyer?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...
The launch was a success! Thank you so much for delivering even against the extreme turnaround time.Mila Johnson InComm