If a salesperson has built the foundations of a trusting relationship with a prospect and secured a meeting to present to key stakeholders, they are well over halfway to a conversion. In some instances, marketing might consider their job done, as the lead has been generated and a meeting scheduled. So, it’s over to sales now, right? Wrong! There is nothing more powerful than an effective sales and marketing team working towards a common goal. The job of a marketer is only complete once this goal is achieved.
Receiving the opportunity to present to key stakeholders indicates that the prospective business has a need, is ready to buy, and is interested in what you’re selling. However, this opportunity does not guarantee a sale. In fact, if the presentation goes badly, it can also damage your brand and ruin the chance of working with that business again. So, a well-structured, professional, and compelling presentation is one of the most valuable pieces of collateral marketers can contribute to the sales team.
Start at the End
The presenter has one small window of opportunity to make an impact. The audience, meanwhile, has limited time and a short attention span. So, a great presentation must always start at the end – summarise the solution your team is proposing. For example, if we were to present our marketing services to a prospect, we might begin by detailing how our solution will reduce sales cycle times and increase lead conversions by a percentage point or dollar figure. By starting at the end, you keep your audience engaged, because they will want to find out exactly how your solution will solve their problems.
Focus on the Prospect
Far too many presentations (and proposals for that matter) start with the capabilities of the vendor rather than the value they can bring to the customer and the specific problems they can solve. Instead, address the customer’s problem and demonstrate how you can – and have already done for other similar businesses – solve that problem for them and the benefits they can expect to receive. Only include information about your business and your capabilities at the end of your presentation. This information will be (or should be) easily accessible from your website anyway and shouldn’t be new information at this point of the sales cycle.
Follow a Clear and Logical Structure
A confused prospect will be hesitant to work with you. If you don’t communicate your ideas in a well structured and logical way, a prospect will take this as a warning of things to come, especially if you’re a services-related business. We recommend following the Minto Pyramid Principle. This principle follows a top-down approach, and logically groups key arguments with related data to support the concluded answer with which you started the presentation.
Finish With a Plan
Nothing demonstrates competence quite like a person in control with a clear path moving towards a valuable outcome. An opportunity to collect feedback and answer questions is important. But after answering questions, finish with a clear plan under the assumption that the audience is on board. This will provide clarity and confidence, and remove any barriers to a conversion.
Lastly, keep the content concise, the presentation under 30 minutes, and the cues visual rather than text-based where possible. You would have heard the saying that a builder’s house is never finished – that’s because it’s much harder to do things for yourself than for others. If you need assistance with developing sales material, messaging or putting it all together in a professionally designed document, reach out to our team of marketing and design experts.