Highly successful B2B Sales & Marketing leaders empower their sales teams with sales presentations that engage senior decision makers and key influencers early in the sales process. Research shows close to 80% of early buyer meetings with sales reps fail to deliver customer value (resulting in the majority of sellers being eliminated early), so what are the key differentiators in sales presentations delivered by leaders versus laggards?
Three messages customers and prospects want to hear early in the sales cycle from your B2B reps:
- What are the top three tangible business differences between your offering and other alternatives (i.e. competition or status quo)?
- What are the key results your customers in our industry achieve by implementing your solution?
- Show a customer example using typical data and assumptions positively impacting business results.
Forrester Research stated, “The first vendor to succeed in communicating a vision to executives wins the business 74% of the time,” yet many Sales VPs are still in denial reps lose qualified opportunities by using the standard Corporate Overview as an introductory sales pitch. Touted example customer benefits in standard PPT pitches include: “innovative products”, “great customer support”, “industry experience” etc. and reps are told to qualify opportunities by asking a series of questions about the customer’s business. Buyers hear these same messages over and over from most sellers, so how does your sales rep earn another meeting? Sellers would never say, “Our products are NOT innovative, our customer support is NOT the best, and our industry experience is weak,” so why waste precious sales presentation time on these mundane points?
Winning B2B sales presentations focus on maximizing the reps critical time in front of buyers and recommenders to tell a compelling story, what we do for our customers in your industry, by communicating with confidence a presentation incorporating your customer Value Proposition in a sales-ready format. There are 5 key elements of sales presentations during the qualifying stage of the sales process. These elements deliver differentiated messages guaranteed to create customer interest, conversation, questions and, in many cases, the sharing of specific data and information:
- Industry specific. Develop immediate buyer credibility showing your sales team has experience selling in the buyer’s industry. Many sellers provide buyers unique presentations for various industry segments, such as, enterprise, mid-sized and SMB companies. (Key point: the customer doesn’t care if you service 10 other industries.)
- Identify 3 key business drivers including a range for results. Additional credibility is established when your rep presents the pain points you address for your customers in the buyer’s industry even if only 1 is important to your audience. Equally important, your rep begins the qualification process (without asking annoying probing questions) by simply inquiring, “Do you have similar challenges and do you have additional ones?” (Key point: at this stage it’s just as important to disqualify an account if none of these points are critical or there are wrong stakeholders in the meeting.)
- Customer “example”. Qualified senior customer participants will peak their interest when your rep is proactively presenting customer business results with a Value Proposition that includes reducing costs, increasing revenue, mitigating risk, TCO, ROI etc. using data and assumptions from a consensus of tangible results by other customers. Ironically, sellers have this information in case studies on their website already, however, these case studies are normally emailed to a customer’s inbox and, you guessed it, never read! It’s guaranteed, several attendees will comment on the Value Proposition and often ask if their data can be inserted to see new results. (Key point: so far no costly pre-sales engineering time has been spent on this opportunity, so the rep has the option to further qualify the opportunity, and request other senior customer members attend the next presentation.)
- Sales-Ready format. We expect sales reps to spend time engaging directly with customers instead of dealing with internal administrative roadblocks, or searching marketing collateral for the right content. The leading B2B companies provide easy web access by reps downloading in seconds the right sales-ready presentation by industry (i.e. security software), right segment (i.e. enterprise company), and right customer example (i.e. trading compliance software). This delivers a differentiated presentation and qualifies opportunities faster versus competition. (Key point: SaaS solutions are available today where the sales presentation can be presented via PPT or in a digital tool with built-in calculator functionality allowing sales teams modify data live and calculate new results.)
- Right messaging, specific content and professional graphics. Confidence by the rep is the hidden gem for success in customer sales meetings. Reps knowing the sales presentation will resonate with the target audience, uses typical (not exact) customer data, and includes a customer example, their confidence will always be high. Supporting professional graphics like pie charts, bar graphs, ROI summary, TCO table etc. are included in a sales-ready format as well. It’s highly recommended every sales presentation include a sample talk-track with pointers on how to communicate key points. Reps will review the presentation and call track (could include sample questions to ask) in the call prep stage prior to the meeting. Additionally, many companies automatically include the specific collateral (no searching by reps) such as videos, case studies, applications briefs, etc. as part of a web-based presentation. (Key point: competitors before and after your sales rep’s presentation showing a customer Value Proposition will most likely be a standard 25-40 slide Corporate Overview with no specific customer value.)
The early qualifying stage of the sales process separates the winners from the losers in B2B sales. The days of starting customer meetings with a standard Corporate Overview touting your company’s products, features, benefits, customer support, etc. are over. Sales teams must create a vision for success early in the sales process and qualify only those opportunities worthy of engaging pre-sales resources. A “due diligence” or next meeting is not guaranteed if your rep fails to communicate the tangible customer value of your solution in early customer meetings. Highly successful B2B companies help their sales teams by providing instant access to the customer-centric, sales-ready presentations that engage senior buyers in collaborative conversations about solving their business problems. Differentiating your solution versus alternatives will increase qualified opportunities by 20-30%, leading to more winning deals.