I've been a bit obsessed with sales presentations lately. Not so much on construction of attractive slides, but on the requirement to tell a compelling story via the world's most torturous medium: PowerPoint.
In the Inside Sales world, Reps work incredibly hard to earn 10, 20 or 30 minute discovery/needs analysis calls. At presentation time, we’ve got (at least in theory) guaranteed prospect attention.
But far too often, we squander all that preceding effort by confusing, boring or annoying prospects while generally failing to move the sales process forward.
I just came across this eBook from the folks over at SalesCrunch called "Designing Presentations That Sell." And let me tell you, it rocks. (Note: I wouldn't normally link to registration required content - but it is that good.)
In the eBook, presentation designer Jan Schultink goes through 3 acts: Images, Stories & Content. I thought I’d share the bits that most impacted me.
You are the presentation – not the slides
Here's why this resonated for me: You & your Reps need prospects to be listening and connecting - not daydreaming and staring at some eye chart, an endless series of bullet points or worse yet, logos of completely unrelated customers.
Build a story & think about flow
There is plenty of excellent advice that has become Sales canon: “Find the pain,” “Always be closing,” “Talk benefits not features.”
I think it is time to make a new entry “Build stories, not decks.” Schultink offers this advice:
I can feel you nodding your head. How many times have your Reps pulled together 20 slides from 10 different decks? How did you feel about the monster that was created?
If you take away 1 thing - let it be this
Schultink’s idea on how to best use your final slide, really blew me away.
This is brilliant! Billboarding is such a great idea.
But, be careful. Pick the most critical point and try to communicate it in a simple & powerful fashion. The goal here is make the most of that single frame that will be "burning" into your prospects' minds.
What do you think? Should presenting be up there with prospecting, qualifying & closing as sales skills worthy of development? I think so - but how about you?
I hope you will check out the ebook & perhaps organize a training for your team around the content. I'd love to hear the results if you do.