What ensures the success of a sales presentation? If you're a regular reader of our blog, you'd expect us to talk about the clarity of message, understanding of audience, and valuable visuals. And of course, all of those things are important. However, there is one key element that is often forgotten by the well-intentioned sales and marketing leaders that turn to us to develop their new and compelling credentials presentation.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly proud of what we do here at Eyeful. We take complex, cluttered, and often confused messages, and we bring them together. And when that works well, the net result is powerful sales presentations that are used to help people share the benefits of their service or solution, hit quota, and go home with a hefty bonus in their pocket.
Similarly, we support bid teams with our sister company Sales Engine and witness the direct impact our work has on winning important contracts. Each relies on great content, engaging visuals and an unerring focus on audience
However, all of this hard work falls flat when presenters, especially sales people, are disengaged with the process. For sales presentations to truly be successful within an organization, sales people need to believe. If there is an iota of cynicism or fear about the ‘new presentation’, even the most motivated of sales teams will revert to ‘slumber mode’. They will happily sit through the initial introduction by the sales leader, nod politely and then go back to what they've always done (which obviously wasn't working in the first place).
Of course, this all makes sense if you take time to put yourself in the shoes of your salespeople. These are challenging times, yet you are asking them to rethink their approach to their well-loved and familiar sales presentation. You're removing the comfort blanket of lots of text on slides. And, in many instances, you're challenging them to actually converse with audiences, rather than just talk at them.
In many of the businesses we help, this is nothing short of a sales revolution. As such, it is imperative to think differently about the on-boarding of this new presentation approach. A quick web meeting followed by an email and attachment won’t cut it.
So, how should you be approaching such a challenge?
Step 1 - Ensure your sales team are involved from day 1
Indeed, at Eyeful we do not run any of our Presentation Optimisation workshops without sales people in the room. We do this for the simple reason that in their absence, the new presentation, no matter how engaging and compelling it is, will not be adopted by the sales team.
Step 2 – Develop & deliver a formal on-boarding plan
It is vital that people understand not only why you've developed the presentation in a particular way, but then how to make the most of that in front of a prospect. Any sales person that comes a cropper in front of an audience will never, ever return to that presentation with the required level of gusto again.
Much of this can be addressed through a considered and well structure training program. Indeed, our Eyeful Labs is booked up for much of the next three months with sales teams being educated on the new thinking and then applying this approach in a ‘safe environment’. Winning approval and support from your presenters early on makes getting results from your investment a lot easier…
Step 3 – Schedule in reviews
Presentation Creep is a topic we have previously discussed, and sales presentations are more susceptible than any other type of presentation. So, regular honest reviews carried out with your team are absolutely key to the ongoing success of your sales presentation.
Ultimately, presentations are, and always have been, about people. They are about ensuring your audience understands your message, that your presenter has confidence in the tool that you've provided them and that, by working together, you achieve the result both parties are striving for.
Ensuring there is understanding and buy-in across the entire sales team is merely the first step…