Start Counting the Money – Fabulous Sales Presentations
Have you found yourself in a meeting you had no chance to prepare for? You keep listening to monotonic voices, try to follow slide after slide full of text in a small font, none of it relevant or specific to your business. There’s no follow-up.
Have you ever been the object of bad sales? I bet you have.
Our company provides a SaaS Sales Enablement tool, and in the last 7 years we've experienced successes and setbacks in our own B2B sales. In this article we share what we’ve learned about how to manage sales time, presentations, and processes efficiently to make more money!
Consider this first
Who is the right person in the buyer organization to meet, i.e. who has the chops to drive change within the organization? This is a critical question because the contact person is directly related to whether you have a sales opportunity at all and how much sales effort is required to win the case. Especially in new customer acquisition, the buyer side must always make some type of improvement or change, something different to how they’ve operated in the past, if they choose to buy from a new provider. That always requires a will to change and an active driver to make that change happen.
There’s a risk you’ll end up talking to people who have time in their calendars and who might be from an interesting company, but who don’t have the willpower or capability to change how things are done in their organization. That’s a waste of your time and time away from true sales opportunities. You can go for a beer or coffee with nice people, but if you’re trying to make your sales hour productive, you need to talk to forward thinking contacts who aren’t just shooting the breeze but who will really make things happen.
Obviously, in bigger organizations there might be lots of people who need to be convinced during the sales process. If you notice that your contact isn’t the person who drives change, it still always helps in the sales process if they understand your value. But the problem from a sales efficiency perspective is the significant effort that it requires from the seller.
When you talk to the ambitious ones in the buyer organization and convince them about the value of your service, they become ambassadors – salespeople for the salespeople – pushing the case forward in the buyer organization.
So, when managing sales hours efficiently, before putting all your sales effort into the game, try to pull the right strings to find out who that right person would be in the organization. As a seller, your time is a cost and a precious resource, you don’t want to waste it.
It’s not necessarily even about your contact person’s title. Of course, usually people with higher titles have more power. Still, it’s important to remember that the big wigs don’t always know that much about the day-to-day operations and a person who has noticed that something needs to be done differently in their company and is leading the process might be just that forward thinking person who will be committed to contribute.
Also, there are a lot of people who are only in it for the paycheck, who aren’t driven to figure out how to add value to existing processes or structures in the organization. For them, it’s enough to show up every morning and adequately contribute only to not get their asses canned. That’s fine for some, but those people will not help your case.
The people who drive change contribute more, put in the effort and have the will to make their organization work better. Do your best in supporting them in becoming the successful change makers in the organization and establish yourself as a partner who they can count on. If you’re constantly helping the client by presenting possibilities for their business, you will establish yourself as a valuable expert and the sales opportunities will follow naturally.
If you’re constantly helping the client by presenting possibilities for their business, you will establish yourself as a valuable expert and the sales opportunities will follow naturally.
Who are you talking to? What are they interested in? How is the topic related to them?
People are naturally individualists, always most interested in their own lives. Most likely everyone you talk to has experienced, at least as a consumer, many situations where a provider or a salesperson has given zero attention to their interests.
Everyone remembers answering a sales call and listening to a 2-minute pre-written monologue or meeting a salesperson in a store who’s super excited to explain all the great product details that aren’t relevant to your interests at all. Naturally, you just want to step back. When a salesperson is calmly giving you their full attention, trying to understand your situation and how it could be improved, the selling and buying can be a breeze.
Usually, when people buy something, they feel good about the purchase afterwards.
It doesn’t matter whether they really have use for the product or if a marketer or a friend successfully planted a need in their mind, they typically feel satisfied after making the purchase. A salesperson’s job is to help the customer. You, as a salesperson, provide value for the customer. In the B2C market, the value might mean a good feeling for the buyer, but in the B2B world it’s about some kind of business value. Still, in the business world, buyers are people too. So, don’t make the mistake of listing all the hardcore details of your product. Buyers are only interested in things that are relevant to them from their perspective, and sellers should focus the relevance of their service for the client.
Buyers are only interested in things that are relevant to them from their perspective, and sellers should focus the relevance of their service for the client.
So, no matter how impressive the numbers, facts, concepts, ideas or references you’re showing are, the customer won’t care unless you can show the relation to their business and situation. Relevance is the key! If it’s relevant to whoever is listening to you, you’ll see it in their reaction when they’re recognizing the value and the impact in their situation.
In most presentations, the audience will only remember a couple of points afterwards.
In sports, some coaches have said that you can tell only up to three things to a player before a game. If you try to explain more, they won’t remember it.
Sure, there are some super talented individuals who can immediately adopt tons of information at a time and their minds work like supercomputers. Unfortunately, most of us humans – like myself – are equipped with just the regular run-of-the-mill brains, limited in their ability to learn new things. Most often it’s impossible for people to learn and understand multiple things during one presentation that lasts somewhere between 15 and 45 minutes.
Even though you might feel like you have so many things that you want to share about making your product the ultimate best choice for the prospect, you don’t want to give them an information overload that will likely just push them back. Focus on just a couple of main points relevant to the client. If some additional features or issues come up, then you can naturally react and cover those points in case they turn out to be relevant for the client. You shouldn’t, however, spend time on those X number of points that might be important from the perspective of your product or service, but aren’t interesting to the client.
Also, if you’re talking to the right people, their time is valuable, and they have little of it for you.
There are many ways they could improve their business, so they must prioritize based on what will provide the best ROI or the shortest payback period. You want them to remember only whatever, out of what you’re offering, creates business value to them. All that extra stuff, which is not valuable to them right now, is something they have no time or energy to think about. They are likely to have days full of meetings, where they also have lots of stuff they must cover internally and externally. Your subject, what you’re talking about, must be important, to become meaningful for the client, so that they’ll feel comfortable spending time and resources on it and that they can practically smell the return for their investment.
This is a simple part of sales that often gets forgotten.
You’ve already done plenty of work before and during the presentation, don’t waste all that by not following up. Following up with the client will make you look like a professional and an organized person to work with:
- Thank the client for the meeting
- Review the key points you went over
- Share the relevant materials
- Summarize next steps
- If you’ve agreed upon a time for the next meeting already, send a calendar invite!
Another important point: never push too hard!
Give space for the client to review and decide! Maybe you’ve provided a deadline for your offer, but besides that, you don’t need to keep contacting the client. It’s natural to remind them at some point, if you haven’t heard from the client and the deadline is approaching. But other than that, you should spend your time on other sales opportunities, because there’s nothing more that you can do.
The sale will come naturally if what you can offer matches the client’s situation best. If someone else has a better solution to offer, just be happy for the client. When you have enough opportunities in your pipeline, efficient sales management also means that you don’t have to worry about single cases too much. Always help the customer the best you can and eventually the sales and money will come to you.
If you'd like to discuss more about the topic, feel free to contact us!
Henri Piipponen, Sales & Marketing Director
+358 50 350 0051