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Can You Send Me the Deck?

Can You Send Me the Deck

By Kristin Shevis


Every day thousands of B2B salespeople go to work with the goal of selling products and the hope that their efforts along the way will yield that critical first meeting with their dream customer. Every conversation in B2B sales starts with an intro/discovery call that if all goes well, leads to the coveted follow-up meeting, which is almost always driven by a presentation. The sure sign that a call went well is when the customer asks at the end,

Can you send me the deck that you presented?

Salespeople have a number of ways to prepare for this first formal meeting, and it usually involves a base sales deck with some customization. I’ve seen wild examples of how inefficient this can be — hundreds of versions of the same core deck spiraled into different locations, with inconsistent customizations, and often outdated information. The duplication of content can be scattered across personal hard drives, Google Drive,  SharePoint, network drives, and services like Dropbox or Box, with both the cost of storage and the cost of time wasted searching for content escalating as the team grows.

Worse than that, the inefficiency in the process of creating “the meeting deck,” is a huge opportunity cost for a salesperson and can ultimately mean closing fewer deals and even worse, outright losing deals to competitors.

Sales organizations include the thousands of salespeople in industries like technology, manufacturing, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, travel- the list goes on. The top 500 sales forces include tens of thousands of people who are out trying to sell products/services to other companies and using presentations in almost every sales cycle. Organizations spend thousands of dollars to train salespeople to use consistent sales methodologies, on the products they develop, and often on industry expertise so that there is consistency across the team. One area that few companies have invested in involves a strategy around the whole process of creating, delivering, maintaining, and repurposing presentations.

Why haven’t companies developed a strategy around presentations? Presentations are the medium in which your company’s vision, product, competitive differentiators are communicated to explain how you are solving a problem and why a company should buy from you.

Some large enterprises are starting to realize the compounded inefficiencies in current processes, the risk of brand consistency and compliance, and the overall lack of insights around what content is being shared and communicated both within and outside the organization. A very helpful book, Presentation Management, The New Strategy for Enterprise Content by Shufflrr co-founder, President and presentation expert, AlexAnndra Ontra, provides an excellent blueprint around why companies need and how to go about creating, a strategy for Presentation Management. She rightly defines presentations as “enterprise assets” that need to be searchable, organized, and tracked.

A Stronger Sales Organization

Deck Academy: One of the top global enterprise technology companies in the virtualization software space has invested in a program to enable their sales organization to deliver the best presentations. The program is called Deck Academy and there are a number of elements to it including a Presentation Management platform. The benefits of this platform include:

Empowering the sales organization is not the only reason to consider a Presentation Management strategy. Other examples of Presentation use cases in the enterprise include:

External Communication

Internal Communication

Sales First meeting
Proposals
Quarterly business reviews
Executives Company all hands meetings
Strategy pitches/proposals
Quarterly reviews
Board meetings
Product Product launches
Consulting firms deliver a presentation as their product
Product Product planning
Product updates
Product roadmap
Conferences External conference presentations/panels
Investment road shows
Training HR
Onboarding
Sales training
Product training

Sales is not the only department in a large enterprise that can benefit from a presentation management strategy. Presentations touch both internal and external stakeholders every day. Companies like US Bank have evolved their presentation strategy and the efficiency of their sales team, reducing the time to create a presentation from 4 hours/presentation to under an hour!

Takeaways

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    Kristin Shevis was Advisor for Commercial Strategy at Shufflrr, the leader in Presentation Management solutions and an elegant, easy solution that ensures brand and message compliance, while giving the team a quick way to create and share a new presentation.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.