HomeBlog Twenty Pounds of Slides in a Five-Pound Deck

Twenty Pounds of Slides in a Five-Pound Deck

August 08, 2016|Christina McKeon

  • B-to-b organizations are cramming too much content into their sales presentations
  • Sales reps are overwhelmed and are not using sales presentation content created for them
  • A component-based approach to sales presentations helps sellers build credibility with buyers

When it comes to sales presentations, b-to-b organizations are stuffing slide decks so full that not only are the decks overflowing, but sales reps reach information overload and start tuning out. Those same sales reps are missing out on a small window of opportunity to establish credibility with the buyer. We see this situation all the time when asked to review sales presentations. Decks have hundreds of company- and product-centric slides with extremely large file sizes, and reps are trying to download them in the parking lot 10 minutes before a buyer meeting.

To move to a best-in-class presentation approach, b-to-b providers must get rid of the “megadeck” mentality. Instead of trying to cram everything a sales rep possibly could need on hundreds of slides in one file, take a component-based approach to help reps establish credibility with their buyers early in the buying cycle. Here are key steps to moving in that direction:

  1. Start with the buying decision process. Winning sales presentations are buyer-centric, which means they are aligned to the buying decision process and address what buyers want from a vendor as they go through the different phases of a buying cycle.
  2. Define the content purpose. For each phase of the buying cycle, think about the purpose of the sales presentation content. What are you trying to accomplish with respect to buyer behavior? That answer will guide the content components that get created.
  3. Align the sales cycle to the buying cycle. Using the buying cycle as the orientation point, align your internal sales cycle stages to the buying decision process phases. With this approach, sales reps stay focused on buyer needs rather than on internal processes and constructs.
  4. Determine the content components. Create sales presentation components that align to the buyer content purpose and goal for each stage of the sales cycle. That means providing a needs diagnostics component early in the buying decision process and a customer onboarding component toward the end of the buying cycle.
  5. Think beyond slideware. As a content asset type, sales presentations can be delivered in some form other than a slide. This could be an object in a sales asset management system or a talk track, or a leave-behind or part of a formal proposal.
  6. Validate the content components. Marketers should validate that the sales presentation components they create actually work in front of a buyer. There should be strong interlock with marketing and sales – marketers should ride along on client calls to get live feedback on how the material is working, so necessary adjustments can be made.

Clients of SiriusDecisions’ Portfolio Marketing service have access to the brief Designing Buyer-Centric Sales Presentations That Win, which contains the Buyer-Centric Sales Presentation Framework. This framework includes the 24 content components of a best-in-class sales presentation. In addition, SiriusDecisions provides guidance on how to source, assemble, validate, disseminate and measure each component.

Christina McKeon

Christina McKeon is the Service Director of Portfolio Marketing at SiriusDecisions. She has more than 20 years of experience in product and solution marketing, sales enablement, demand generation and social media. Follow Christina on Twitter at @ChristinaMcKeon.

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