Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Buying Teams' views on Powerpoint and Conference presentations from Salespeople

Over the last 14 years that the Buyers views of salespeople study has been tracking the presentation media preferences of Buying teams , 4 out of five respondents prefer PowerPoint as presentation media.

click here for Buyers Views of Salespeople Selling in a VUCA world
The Buyers' Views Of Salespeople 2012 is in preparation and shortly to be published. Some advanced information has been released on Buying teams' preferences with reference to PowerPoint, Demonstrations and conferencing.

Much as people talk of  'death by PowerPoint' presentations, this is more to do with how the programme is used rather than a rejection of PowerPoint as a medium in itself.

79 % of Buying teams prefer to receive supplier presentations through this software.

Demonstrations still hold around the 42% preference level with flip chart slumping to  2.8% from 20% acceptance ten years ago.

One of the areas for significant growth has been video/web conferencing as a form of presentation media where 1 in 5 buyer teams accept a sales presentation via web conferencing. 

Respondents are allowed to  select one or more presentation medium options. So often PowerPoint will play a part as the visual aid for a web conference presentation.

  How  suppliers use rather than whether they use such Web conferencing technology  to present their offering is becoming a significant differentiator.

If a buying team have a poor experience with your on line presentation , they
will most likely have a negative perception of your product and solution that the organisation is presenting.

Here is a checklist adapted from the  Microsoft’s GoTo guidelines. Commonsense stuff but I find it really helpful.

Before the 'virtual' sales meeting

If you intend to share your  PC desktop with your  audience, it is a good idea to turn off any instant-messaging applications, notification software or other programs that may 'pop up' or distract your audience from your presentation. Does anyone know how to switch of those annoying Norton Intenet security messages by the way? ! Please advise in the comments box below I would appreciate your help.

• Switch off any streaming media apps that may take up bandwidth and resource-intensive applications that may be exhausting your PC’s processor ability. As I use a small netbook which has limited memory this helpful advice.

Should you wish to record your seesion

• Pre-Set your desktop display to a neutral background and adjust display settings to a mid-range resolution (e.g., 1024 x 768) to improve the display for attendees with lesser settings. This will also be the optimal setting should you wish to record the presentation apparently.

• Tidy up your pc’s desktop before a meeting. Remove wallpaper and icons that may distract your client audience.

• Pre-load any documents you wish to share ready to be accessed in just a couple of clicks. Clients dislike being held in limbo while additional documents are being uploaded.

• Hold a dry run rehearsal with a team colleague to anticipate any questions and to acquaint yourself with the set up of your online sales presentation.

Running your Presentation via conferencing - some tips

•  As the host of the meeting log on a  good 10  minutes early to greet your client attendees as they arrive and start your meeting on time. It also helps to have a welcome presentation up and running during this time. Your presence in these opening minutes can help establish the tone and direction of the meeting.

•  Create a welcome message  (in Go TO under the Meetings category of Preferences) to greet your client attendees as they click onto the meeting. It is their first impression experience of your preentation.

• Provide a Overview agenda at the start of the meeting, with estimated timing, and  keep to it.

• Verbal Agenda -Explain to your client attendees what the purpose/goal of the meeting is, what to expect and when and how they can ask questions and participate in the meeting.

• Email information on how to use  the equipment or service and how to get assistance if needed

•  To monitor and respond to the chat log when someone is presenting enrol a colleague or co-worker to do it.
•  You can encourage participation by using open questions such as “Who What When Where How...?"

• End your meeting clearly with a call for action if suitable. Ensure all your attendees know that the meeting is formally over and stay on the line to address any last questions.

Hold a de-brief meeting with your colleagues off-line to ensure follow up actions have been captured.

Best practise in Conference Call management

• Phone in to the meeting from a location where there is little background noise.

• Switch off system prompts and sounds for when attendees join or leave a meeting.

 It is worth reading the Voice Conferencing section of the help files to familiarise yourself with the conference call features. ( The old adage "When all else fails READ THE INSTRUCTIONS "still applies!)

• Best to avoid using mobiles and cordless phones because of static and use the phone handset or a headset instead of speakerphones because of background noise, echoing room effect and sentence chopping off.

• Switch off your call waiting . The beep of a new call on another line is broadcast to everyone in an audio conference.

• Don't put your phone on hold during an audio conference, otherwise

 Greensleeves, Fur Elise or Vivaldi Four season will play into your conference call, and make it impossible for your client attendees to continue the meeting.

• Introduce yourself when you begin speaking and ask other attendees to also identify themselves before speaking. Not everyone in the meeting may recognise everyone else’s voice

Related Links
Sales presentation on web

Cisco Webex
GoTo meeting

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