Today’s online sales cycle means that you need to make it easy for your partners to connect remotely. Here are four proven strategies to facilitate better remote sales presentations and help you close your next deal.
Keep Traditional PowerPoint Presentations Simple
Don’t close out of this post just yet! While this may not seem like the most innovative tip, PowerPoint slides remain the workhorse for online sales meetings. Presentation guru Garr Reynolds says the keys to success using PowerPoint include keeping presentations simple. Use high-quality graphics, limit animations, and creating easy-to-understand charts to present key data points.
If you’re big on using bullet points, think again. Many experts believe that bullet points are the least effective way of sharing ideas. Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, for example, does not use bullets. “Since stories are best told with pictures, bullet points and text-heavy slides are increasingly avoided at Google,” Pichai says. PowerPoints can still be an effective way to engage in sales meetings, but remember that slides need to be used as a tool to enhance presentations, not as a crutch or script.
Focus on Developing a Strong Narrative
Successfully engaging with customers and prospects requires really good storytelling. For that reason, some companies have abandoned PowerPoint presentations in favor of other alternatives that are designed to foster engagement. Amazon, as we discuss in a previous post, uses what they company calls narrative memos. “The six-page narrative memo idea sounds like a good one to me. Greater understanding emerges from a group of people when they have to think through what something means, instead of having someone present to them what it means,” says Shawn Callahan, author of Putting Stories to Work.
Now it may be hard to get a prospect or client audience to buy-in to a six-page narrative memo, you can apply the same concept to your presentation. Presenting a strong, interesting narrative on what you deliver to your client will surely pay dividends in your remote sales presentations.
Engage Audiences with Drawing Tools
It’s important to think about not only what will resonate with your audience, but how to get them engaged. The most effective sales tool for your next online presentation is turning your slide presentation into a virtual whiteboard. According to Corporate Visions, “Concepts are much more likely to be remembered if they are presented as pictures rather than as words.” And Stanford University research shows that leveraging whiteboard content increased the overall credibility and audience recall of a presentation. So add some interactive and visual elements to your sales presentations. Pass the drawing tool and ask your client to fill on some blanks or demonstrate one of their challenges visually. Your ability to effectively engage partners online will improve engagement, sell-through and, ultimately, profitability.
Eliminate The Visuals That Are Actually Distractions
While the visual elements we’ve covered are certainly impactful to presentations, be careful not to overdo it. When you’re talking through the core value proposition of a product or service, or listening to a clients needs, it’s important not to have any distractions from that message. Talk-only portions of your presentation can reduce friction and keep everyone focused on a conversation. So weave in some time for concise, distraction-free conversations within your presentation time slot. And with video conferencing you can have a face-to-face discussion to facilitate a more personal connection. This face to face connection can go a long way for building trust with meeting participants. Which is crucial to a successful client-customer relationship.