As a marketing professional, you know what it takes to create an effective sales presentation, including things like:
- keeping the slides simple and not using too many words
- making sure sure the focus stays on the presenter and not the presentation
- limiting the amount of content to what you can cover comfortably during a meeting.
So why are your company's sales presentations going wrong? It likely has nothing to do with you.
4 reasons sales presentations fail
1. They're not being written by marketing professionals like you. Many companies let sales and product people craft their sales materials. And while they're good at selling and developing products, they're generally not the best story tellers. People who do sales often believe they need to share everything they can -- the "kitchen sink" approach -- to get the sale. Product people often focus on the minutiae of the products they develop and not their benefits. Neither approach is right to drive a sales meeting to a successful close.
2. There is never enough time to get presentations done right. Are most of your company's sales presentations developed in the days -- or even the day -- prior to big sales meetings? This is not uncommon. But like most good writing, a sales presentation should take time to develop and go through an iterative process.
3. You're not prepared for technology snafus. Tech problems can kill a sales meeting before it begins. They waste valuable time and launch the meeting with a lot of bumbling and fumbling. In most cases, it can be impossible to recover.
4. Lack of training. Most of the people delivering sales presentations for your company have probably not been trained to do so. And it likely shows. They're reading off slides, missing opportunities to engage with their audience and are not prepared to answer questions. This lack of professionalism could be costing you sales.
So what can you do?
Consider building a simple and effective sales presentation system. The process of building one could include:
- Reviewing your entire sales process so the right messages are delivered in the sales meeting. This can help you avoid missing key messages -- or packing the meeting with ones that don't matter to your prospects.
- Creating a library of pre-approved slides that are ready to go at any time. This can keep you from scrambling at the last minute to prepare for sales meetings.
- Designing a branded template for your presentations. A template will ensure your brand is always presented in the best possible light.
- Incorporating flexible technology so your sales materials can be shared any place, any time. It can help ensure that you're sales team is always ready to sell your products and services and avoid technical snafus.
- Developing materials based on best practices so your presentations are always polished and professional. Slides are kept simple -- and the words on them well chosen -- so the focus stays on the conversation, not the slides.
- Setting rules on how many, and what types of materials, can be used in any presentation. This can help avoid the information overload that can derail a sales meeting.
- Producing leave-behinds that include everything needed to close the sale. Leave behinds that summarize your key messages ensure that when it comes time for your prospective client to review your company against your competitors, they'll have all the information they need to know your company is the right one for them.
- Developing follow-up materials including emails and hyper-targeted social posts. This will make sure your company stays top-of-mind even after the sales meeting is over.
- Training on how to deliver your sales messages effectively. You can develop the right sales materials, but if the people delivering them are not trained on how to do that effectively, they'll fall flat.
So how much will this cost?
The cost of developing a sales presentation system depends on the size and complexity of your company. But it is a small price to pay when you consider:
- The millions of dollars of sales your company is losing because of your ineffective sales presentations.
- The amount of time -- and money -- your company is spending on constantly developing new sales materials.
- The sales opportunities your company misses because you don't have materials ready for spur-of-the-moment sales conversations.
Most companies that develop a sales material management system find that it pays for itself through increased sales and reduction of waste within a few months.
It may seem that building a sales material management system could be a big and cumbersome project. But it doesn't need to be. An agency that has done this for many other financial companies -- large and small -- could help. Carpenter Group has a clear understanding of financial products and services, the financial sales process, effective sales material design and messaging, sales material storage and delivery systems and employee training.
Why not contact us today to learn more about how a sales material management system could help you and your company? We'll take the time to get to know about your company and the issues you're dealing with. Then we'll make some recommendations about what your company could do to improve your sales meeting support materials.
This could be a great first step toward turning your sales presentations from sales killers to a strong and effective sales generation machine.