A lot of organizations come to us because they know using a tool like PowerPoint for sales presentations isn’t cutting it. They recognize their presentations are lacking and they want to explore their alternatives.
Others come to us because they’re aware there’s a problem with their presentations, but they can’t quite put their finger on what. They know their presentations need more to tell their story but aren’t sure how to or what that means.
If you suspect PowerPoint, or other platforms like it, are hurting your business through the quality of sales presentations your team is able to create, it’s time to reassess your presentation software. You shouldn’t be looking at every presentation going out and thinking “Ugh, am I sharing the right version,” or, “Ugh, this presentation looks just like our competitors’.”
Why Your Sales Deck is Making You Say “Ugh”
Let’s take a closer look at some of these common “ugh” moments in relation to the four basic pillars of a great sales presentation:
More often than not, the root cause of your sales presentation issues stems from one or several of these pillars not delivering the way they need to. That means it’s time for you to assess what you currently have.
1. Ugh, My Sales Story is so Flat
PowerPoint and other software like it aren’t designed for telling a visual sales story. Sure, a great designer can use PowerPoint to make a visually appealing sales presentation. But chances are your sales team isn’t made up of great designers. And it shouldn’t be.
It should be made up of great sellers.
Even the best salesperson will struggle if you’re not giving them the opportunity to tell your sales story effectively. A major part of doing so is visualizing the story. If your current sales presentation software results in presentations that feel dated, flat, or look just like your competitors, that’s a problem you need to solve. It may require moving to a presentation system that makes compelling visual stories with depth, dimension, and interactivity for your team to add in.
What’s more, sometimes the visual assets your sales team is incorporating aren’t in line with your current standards. They’re pulling whatever they need from outdated Dropbox folders or even googling pixelated versions of your logo. If the visuals aren’t aligned, you may need to consider the next pillar.
2. Ugh, Why is the Team Using the Wrong Presentation?
Maintaining control over a sales story and guaranteeing it’s told in a consistent manner at all times has always been a challenge. It’s even more of a struggle in a remote selling environment when you can’t just walk over to a coworker’s space and ask a quick question about the latest version or location of the most up-to-date asset.
Trying to track down updated assets and branding wastes everyone’s time. Your salespeople spend less time selling. Your design and marketing teams are forced to go on the hunt for what sales teams need — or create them on the fly. And the worst part? When all of these assets are flung into an ad hoc presentation and sent right out to clients, the best you can do is hope they’re on brand and on message.
If presentations are going out and you’re saying “Ugh, this one’s branding and message are off,” or you hear salespeople saying “Ugh, where can I find the latest sales asset?” then you definitely have a control problem. That suggests your solution lies in a presentation control system.
3. Ugh, The PPT Deck is Too Big to Email
They shouldn’t be struggling to attach bloated PowerPoint presentations or PDFs to emails. Nobody creates sales presentations for the fun of it. The whole point is to get those presentations in front of the right prospects, at the right time so you can close deals. Anything that makes sharing your sales presentations more difficult is actively working against you.
How many times have you tried to attach a PowerPoint presentation to an email only to find it’s too large? What did you do? Go in and chop out the visual elements to make it work? Was that really the best move for the presentation? Or was it a sacrifice you needed to make for the sake of sharing?
That’s a lot of time wasted just to get a presentation out the door — especially when the end result is a bare minimum hack job that looks less than inspiring. Don’t leave it to your team to triage what they need to edit or remove in order to get the file size down.
Your sales team needs a system that makes sharing their sales presentations a breeze — one that doesn’t rely on giant downloads that may not even scale correctly across different screens and devices. The shareability (and open ability) of your presentations is an integral part of the sales process, and your sellers shouldn’t have to find workarounds.
4. Ugh, I Wonder if they Opened the Presentation
Let’s say you don’t experience any of the issues above. You’re satisfied with how your sales presentations look. Your sales team actually has the assets they need, and they’re getting their presentations out the door to the right prospects at the right point in the funnel. That’s great, but…
How are those presentations actually performing? Do you know what prospect engagement looks like? Or which sales content is actually performing best? If not, it’s impossible to make improvements to those presentations in an informed manner. Even if you do know these KPIs, are you spending too much time collecting the data?
You need to be able to track your presentations and prospect engagement to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. You don’t want to trash a good presentation that has a couple of underperforming elements, and you don’t want to hang onto a decent presentation because you’re not sure how to make it better. Hard data. Metrics. Benchmark analysis. That’s how you iterate on presentations to fine-tune them and dominate sales with them.
But when you’re relying on a tag team of PowerPoint and email, you’re not going to be able to analyze anything other than open and click-through rates.
How to Honestly Assess Your Sales Presentations
Again, maybe you know PowerPoint isn’t the tool you need. Or maybe you just realize something is amiss, but aren’t sure where to start. Take a look at the presentations your team is currently sending out to prospects. What are they missing? What’s making you pause or even go “ugh?”
Then, take our quick 2-minute assessment below to see where you stack up. You might be surprised at what you learn. Or the results might even confirm what you already know.
Regardless, remain open to the fact that you may need a sales presentation transformation to earn the results you’re after. To truly go from “Ugh” to “Aah” may require a sales presentation system that plugs those gaps you’re currently struggling with.