This article was originally posted by a media partner at https://readwrite.com/2019/11/25/presentation-management-key-component-to-the-enterprise-sales-funnel/.
Sales 101 says that more transactions lead to more revenue, and more revenue comes from more clients. But how do you get more clients? Enter: The Sales Funnel. A strong sales funnel is an essential component for any enterprise that wants to build relationships and drive more leads. With a strong funnel, you can transform your visitors into buyers.
The funnel is the visual representation of the route your visitors, leads, and customers take before making the purchase. The trick is getting enough leads into your pipeline to hit your revenue goals while ensuring you have the right processes in place to close the lead.
The Sales Funnel and What’s Wrong With It
At the top of your sales funnel lies your advertising strategy – social, traditional, direct mail. The goal is to attract as many people into the funnel as possible. You have to have the attention of potential customers. With the customers’ attention in place, they’ll seek out third party verifications like your social media presence.
Then the clients and customers move to your website to familiarize themselves with your brand. They review recent product launches and news announcements. If the funnel works as it’s supposed to, your customers reach out to your company and ask to learn more.
Asking to learn more is the presentation phase of the sales funnel. It’s the final step in convincing potential clients to open up their wallets. The question is: why is this most crucial step often the most overlooked stage in the entire process?
Why Companies are Overlooking Presentations
Marketing and sales executives spend considerable amounts of time and resources on digital tools in order to engage with customers. Yet, marketing and sales give little, if any, consideration to presentations.
The presentation is actually at the bottom of the funnel. Your finest strategic communications asset — the presentation — is the final step in the sales process. Few organizations actually treat them as such.
The significant investment you make through advertising, social media campaigns and public relations efforts can all go to waste if you don’t close the sale at the end. And, what is the most resourceful tool to have when you get to the end of your sales funnel? A presentation.
Adopting an efficient presentation management strategy fortifies the last stage in the sales funnel, completing your overall sales and marketing strategy. More importantly, adopting this strategy provides your team with the processes they need to win more business.
Presentations are critical to those final meetings. A strong presentation management strategy makes your employees more productive. Your sales and marketing team can find and repurpose quality presentation content in a fraction of the time. Wasting time creating a new deck for a meeting need not be done.
Without presentation management, employees waste time:
- Searching through the network, worksites, and old email attachments looking for the “right” slides for their meeting.
- Using the “wrong” version of a slide in their presentation.
- Recreating slides that already exist somewhere, but they can’t find them.
- Collecting and consolidating everyone’s feedback.
- Trying to track content usage so they can understand what is resonating in the field and what is not.
Presentations are unique in that they straddle two departments – Marketing and Sales. It’s Marketing’s job to create master decks with proper brand elements and messaging. Your sales team that actually uses the decks, usually with the pressure of a sales target looming.
If your marketing team is implementing presentation management strategy, then sales won’t suffer from any of the problems noted above. Your sales team will be able to quickly find the appropriate slides and files. Customizing the correct deck for a meeting becomes a snap — and closing a sale comes within reach more quickly.
Sales are then freed up to focus on their client’s business and their own strategy — not searching for that one perfect slide. Presentation management’s role in accelerating efficiency in the workplace is critical. Companies adopting enterprise content management and presentation management strategies stand to realize a 400% ROI within five years of adoption.
Presentation Management Elevates Your Brand and Message
Presentations are the last stage in the sales funnel and have a direct effect on your company’s bottom line. The presentation is where you’re creating trust and establishing a personal relationship with the client. More than the impersonal experience of browsing through a website, the power of the presentation takes the clients away from getting served up a series of tedious ads.
Using presentation management is how marketing executives responsible for branding and messaging sleep at night. The execs know all sales collateral is on the brand, on the message, and seek to make the message easily accessible and auditable. Marketing gets its branding and Sales gets its material. It’s a win-win for both sides.
With presentation management, your company will have the ability to refine its presentation process to improve these crucial business assets. It puts actionable workflows around the lifecycle of a presentation – the continual evolution of presentation content.
Using better presentation management ensures that content does not get lost and that everyone can find and re-use the most up-to-date versions. Slides, files, video, an infographic, a brochure, or any other type of content is searchable and easily found.
Presentation management enables your business to leverage all the content you’re already creating for presentations.
The management of presentation assets is more than PowerPoint slides. Solid presentation management strategy optimizes all stages of the presentation workflow and offers team members:
- Interactive Slide Library. The library is accessible anywhere, anytime, and allows users to search and preview content. Your team can prepare a deck before a meeting, or directly while in a conference room presenting to their client.Based on the client’s direct feedback, they can quickly pull up any slide because the slide library is visual and full of ready-to-present assets. Sales can address client concerns and dive deeper into the product or service they are selling.Having the information and assets at their fingertips, your sales can also use the enhanced opportunity for cross-selling. Your sales can introduce new products on the spot. The presentation follows the conversation in a natural flow.
- Controlled Permissions. Employees must have access to the proper information and communication assets (i.e., who gets which files). Permissions need to be clearly understood upfront — including what they can do with the files (edit, download, share, present, etc.).
- Forced Messaging. Forced messaging is used to link essential disclosure statements to the appropriate content. You will want to ensure that the entire message is always presented. Forced messaging is particularly important for regulated industries such as financial services, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.
- Organization Wide-Updates. Your presentation content should be continuously refined and updated as your business and message evolve. These updates are an on-going process. By pushing out updates, you prevent employees from using outdated content.
- Reporting. Analytics. Reporting and analytics are your business intelligence. The critical intelligence information is connected to presentations, so Sales and Marketing can track slide engagement, usage, feedback, and time.Business intelligence information offers insight into who is presenting what content, to whom, for how long, and the performance of certain slides. These data points guide decisions on what content needs updating, what needs to be retired and what can be re-created.
The result is that employees spend more of their time building the business – talking to customers and developing better strategies to sell more products. No more wasted hours or days fumbling around with outdated, off-message PowerPoint slides.
Presentation management reduces the time spent creating presentations from hours to minutes resulting in an instant return on investment. Your sales team will be closing the funnel, while the entire workforce benefits from:
- Increased productivity. Visualized file preview with advanced search makes it easy to find the right slides for your deck. The action is combined with drag & drop or other features to seamlessly and quickly assemble a new deck.
- Ensured compliance. It guarantees that the right message is always communicated. The correct information is significant for branding, and the proper disclosures. Proper disclosures are always critical for regulated industries
- Better balance between Marketing and Sales. The presentation loop keeps content and feedback flowing continually. Your sales team in the field is ensured direct access to current assets that are proven to convert. Your marketing team back at HQ is getting feedback, so they can continually improve and then distribute updated content.
You Have Your Resources, Stop Neglecting Them
A company’s greatest sales employees are regularly out on the road meeting and learning from prospects — the last stage of the sales funnel. A solid presentation management strategy will support them in that task.
With the interactive library of slides, they can perform better during meetings and speak intelligently about the product or service that your company offers. Your sales team is armed with all of the content right there, at their fingertips.
Presentation management allows the sales team to interact on a more personal level to provide the prospect with the exact messaging they’re looking to hear. Furthermore, the feedback loop allows HQ to make changes to the content and distribute it in real-time. Your sales team can act on and display the best resources to close the deal at the end of the funnel.
Each stage of the sales funnel is unique and critical.
The top of the funnel, with its reliance on traditional advertising and content marketing, naturally gets all of the attention of Marketing. Salespeople often feel they are left to fend for themselves — one meeting at a time, wasting time, and wasting assets.
With the prevalence of mobile phones and tablets, we have become comfortable with on-demand media, and we expect it. Those habits are working their way into our business habits and business conversations. Your sales meeting is your most important business conversation.
Presentation management fosters better business presentations, better habits and ultimately, better conversations. The presentation follows the conversation.