You would never go into a sales presentation without a clear message. However, your current sales presentation platform may be allowing you to do just that.
Remember “the telephone game” we used to play as kids? The one where you whispered a message in a friend’s ear, which was then passed along to everyone else, and then the last person in the line revealed what they heard? Was the end result ever the same as at the start? Nope.
That’s exactly what happens when businesses use open presentation systems (OPS) as sales tools. With multiple users editing your presentations, over time they become diluted, modified, and often become unrecognizable.
Why Open Presentation Systems Aren’t Good Sales Tools
PowerPoint is the OPS stalwart. At over 30 years old, it’s still the primary presentation tool for organizations and educational institutions across the globe. In fact, approximately 35 million PowerPoint slides are produced daily by over 500 million users worldwide. It’s popularity is due to its ease of use and its gradual learning curve. A beginner can simply open the program, add bullet points, toss in some imagery, et voilà! A new presentation. But it’s this ease of use that enables presentation dilution – damaging your brand identity, sales story, and even business credibility. Trust us, we’ve seen it first hand.
When we’re onboarding a new client, part of our process is to review all the sales presentations used throughout the organization. This assessment of slide content helps us determine where/if they’re experiencing presentation dilution. During our experience with presentation audits we’ve witnessed hundreds of PowerPoint presentations that have discrepancies in visuals, copy, tone, and overall brand identity for our clients.
With an OPS, every time someone updates a presentation, they’re adding more modifications. The larger your organization, the further your presentation drifts from its initial purpose, and core messaging. It’s the telephone game played out for real – but with serious business consequences.
Three Problems Solved by a Closed Presentation System
At NuVue, we believe there’s a place for an OPS in the office. PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, and Prezi are all useful platforms for internal communications, daily meetings, and reporting. But for external communications, a CPS can help solve for three common presentations management problems within an organization.
Control: A CPS will keep your organization’s sales story and brand identity under lock down. You can ensure your teams cannot deviate from the message you’ve set forth, or alter information about your organization, its products, or its services.
Unity: How many times has a seller asked, “where is the latest company overview presentation?”, or asked, “ Where can I find that one-sheet?” With a CPS you can bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams, by removing the constant requests for presentations updates and misplaced sales assets. All your key presentation content will reside in one secure location, and updates made will be global throughout the organization.
Time: You didn’t hire your sales teams to design presentations. With a CPS, your sales presentation and key assets will be readily available so your team will spend less time creating presentations, and more time selling your products and services.
Does Your Business Need a CPS or OPS?
Even with all the benefits a CPS can bring to your presentations, deciding whether it’s the best option for your organization can be a tough decision. Here’s a couple of questions to ask within your organization to assess if a CPS is a right fit.
How often does our sales story need to change?A CPS is ideal for brands that don’t need to change their core company presentation for every meeting. However, if you’re running daily reports, or creating speciality presentations often a CPS might not be for you.
Is your sales story becoming diluted?Look at the presentation your team is sharing. Assess if they’re using the correct versions, ensure your messaging is on-point, and your visual on-brand. If you’re noticing discrepancies between presentations then you’re experiencing presentation dilution.
Is my team spending too much time creating presentations?Ask some of your sellers how much of their time is spent preparing presentations and assets for their presentations. With a good CPS your team will gain back hours in the day which they can spend selling your products and services.
Transitioning to a CPS
We know it’s tough to change up work tools, especially within larger organizations, but it doesn’t have to be. A common mistake we’ve seen is when organizations introduce a CPS to their sales team without warning or prior consultation.
In order for a CPS to be successful within your organization it’s necessary to involve key stakeholders from both your sales and marketing teams to be part of this decision and design process. Their input is not only extremely valuable in assessing what your organization needs to present more efficiently but it’ll make them feel part of the process, ensuring the transition to a new sales tool will be successful.
Do your homework and see if it’s time to take control of your sales story, and say goodbye to the telephone game. Hang up and connect to the 21st century.