Sales and Marketing Performance Blog

I've no time for a PowerPoint Sales pitch, Just Give me the Big Idea

Posted by Mark Gibson on Tue, Feb 19, 2013

Is it my imagination or have you too noticed that the average length of time for a sales call has gotten shorter lately?

I'm interested in comments from sales leaders on their experience with this metric as I have been unsuccessful in finding any hard evidence to support a change in buyer behavior that has reduced sales call duration.

We are aware that buyers are fully capable of exploring options on their own and don't need salespeople to convey product information.
This obviates the need engage vendor salespeople until they are 60-70% of the way through a purchasing cycle.
When buyers do speak with salespeople they are more likely to know what they want and to know what information they need from salespeople to make a decision.

Similarly I have not been able to identify any productivity improvement studies where salespeople have used technology to reduce the average length of a face-face or inside sales calls.

Do Web Conferencing tools enhance personal sales productivity?

While, Web collaboration technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, I have personally encountered connectivity, firewall, slow response and browser problems with Web conferencing and collaboration tools like gotomeeting and Webex, that have negatively impacted sales call productivity.  

The heritage of these tools is in marketing Webinars and they have a great feature set and recording capabilities to support this application. I believe they are less effective as personal productivity tools for salespeople.

What about sales calls where the buyer’s time is limited?

I have no empirical data, other than personal observation, but my experience is that sales calls can be run in a fraction of the time they once were using a traditional PowerPoint approach, if the salesperson is prepared and has the appropriate skills and visual aids.  
powerpoint ipad
Have you ever had a Gotomeeting or Webex with an important prospective customer and you just couldn’t get both parties to communicate over the link?

Well it happened to me and I had an epiphany as a result. I had developed a one page visual confection to show the prospective customer how their sales team could tell their story without their traditional 10 slide PowerPoint sales deck.
The first 20 minutes of our 30 minute meeting were wasted as we tried multiple video conferencing tools and browsers….nothing worked, no visual communication through their firewall. 

With 10 minutes left I generated a .pdf of the image I had created and emailed it to the prospective client. With 5 minutes remaining before he had to leave for another meeting, he opened my email.
I talked him through the visual confection, validated his issues and closed with next steps and got another meeting….he was interested….this took 3 minutes.

Now for first call meetings over the Internet, I refer people to the many high quality visual confections on my Website and I engage the buyer in discussion. 
If I need to show something that is not on my Website, I open up a Join.me and I can explain the big idea I’m trying to get across in a matter of moments.  
The concept of using visual confections to convey big ideas in a matter of moments works just as well face-face as it does over the Internet. 

Webinar - Create Visual Confections that Sell!

Topics: powerpoint, visual confections big idea selling

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