Sales Presentations – The Big Picture!

A common sales myth is that you make a sales presentation. Most B2B sales are not impulse-driven but the result of a set of sales presentations, which, when coordinated properly, produce the end result: buying.

The danger of the myth is that companies don’t coordinate all aspects of the presentation-related events. Typically, buyers have to develop trust and confidence in:

- the product or service

- the company’s ability to stand behind it over time

- the sales team/person’s ability to tailor the product/service to meet the buyer’s needs today and tomorrow.

A sales “presentation” includes all the buyer/company touch-points from receptionists to website presentation. All must be aligned to deliver, powerfully the key messages of why the buyer should choose your company, product and sales person. There has to be a clear and convincing, rational and emotional triggered communication of its competitive advantage. Without it, the sales person has to work harder than necessary to get the message across, as he/she has to overcome fear of risk, uncertainty about long-term success, and doubt as to the benefit. This produces an unnecessary expenditure of sales effort or, even worse, loses the sale entirely.

The sales team must make sure all elements of the sales-chain are aligned and focused. Depending on which stage you’re in, the presentation content differs because it’s addressing the concerns of different people.

- The Scout wants to identify firms providing needed products and services

- The Qualifier wants the detailed features: does the product/service meet the company’s specifications

- The Decision-Maker (and team of influential) needs to determine whether he wants to be held accountable for making the decision, given the implications for his organization.

The key to success is orchestrating the presentation’s message and means of delivery so all the parts are aligned and reinforce one another. Whether you’re coordinating a presentation by a tightly knit team (e.g., responding to an RFP) or coordinating customer service, sales and operations, you want to make sure that everyone looks and sounds like they are working together. Just as everyone on a relay team has to pass the baton smoothly to the next person, each person in a sales team needs to perform their part without gaps or unnecessary repetition.

The task, therefore of the sales director, is to be an effective “orchestra conductor” making sure that all the “instruments” are delivering complementary components of a powerful message that compel the audience to take the desired action: BUY!