The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 9 months ago

Breaking Down the Corporate Deck

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Being able to execute memorable and impactful presentations is an often-overlooked sales skill. John Kaplan shares the key steps you can take to prepare and execute a buyer-focused presentation, even when you’re talking about yourself. 

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There should not be one thing in this part of the presentation that is not a line to what you've heard about them. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth. Presented by the team at force management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. Hello, I'm Rachel Clap Miller. Today we are going to talk specifically about the sales presentation. We do a lot of them as salespeople. We use a lot of different technologies, a lot of different tools. When we pull these presentations together, they can really make our break a call. We've all been in the good ones and we've all been in the bad ones. John Camphul adjoins me today. Hi John, Hi Rachel. You got a great topic today. I think it's great one. We talk a lot about sales skills on these podcasts and in one of the skills that's commonly overlooked is the skill of presentation. So I'm looking forward to this one. Right and we're going to get beyond the technical issues of presenting. I mentioned that. You know, we're all using different technologies, typically, if for presenting virtual we're going to not talk about that today because that's a skill in itself. I'm off dating the technical issues, but we're going to talk about the key things that you need to remember before you're jumping on the call, as you're pulling the flow together, the presentations together. What do you need to be focused on? And really all of our tips had to do with being bire focused right on. Yeah, I like starting off with that concept of fire focused. You know, think about it. Is Heaven the outside in mindset versus an inside out mindset. And you know, when communicating...

...with prospects and customers, we always, you know, take a moment in your preparation and mentally sit in the seat of the customer. And so don't just grab your corporate deck or your corporate content and use it as a templates. You know, constantly ask yourself so what? So what does that mean to this customer prospect? And you know, most of the corporate decks are content that we see. They're all about you as a vendor and I, you know, I like to call this the stop me when you see something you like. Presentation, and the date is pretty clear on this. You first have to make it all about the customer and then earn the right to make it all about you. Yeah, those standard that standard content that your company is providing for you is we're not saying it's not great, like it's there for a reason, but it's it's your job, is a salesperson, to take that and don't just take it for what it is. Right, you need to customize it for this particular conversation that you are preparing for it. That is that you're aligning to this buyer. So the first step as you're pulling together that standard content is to really think about the agenda. You want to think about that upfront. Doing that up front. Yeah, it's you know, it seems simple, but most sellers don't even use an agenda done, you know, even less send one an advance. So for me, in agenda should be thought of as a fundamental professional courtesy. So many of you've heard of talk about the three piece the purpose, process and payoff the purpose. Why are you calling me or why are we having this meeting? The process? What do you want from me? Or what are you going to do in this meeting? And then then the payoff is what's in it for me? So what value should I expect that of spending this time with you? And we'll talk about that. You know the concept of proof points and just a moment here. But so, no matter what your role is in this sales motion, whether you're an inside cellar Dr Account Manage Your...

Account, executive customer success, you should always be utilizing this process. Some of you might be listening to US speak about agendas and sales presentations and you know, think to yourself, Hey, man, I'm just lucky if I can get someone on the phone, let alone prepare a presentation for them. So, no matter who you are or where you are in the sales function, you all can benefit from the three piece. So let me just address one last part to this. is on the agendas piece. I always encourage sellers to send an agenda in advance of the meeting and again, this is a basic courtesy to the buyer and it demonstrates professionalism. So it allows them, the buyer, to participate in the process. And you know, this is not a meeting that's going to be done to them. It's a meeting that's going to be done for them. And this point really gets me fired up when I think about this. You know, the number one reason that sellers don't send an agenda in advance, and I realize that the answer is because they don't want the customer or prospect to cancel the meeting. Man, that one really hurts me in my insides. It's like there's so much to unpack there, but but for now, let's just leave it at this. You either believe what you do for a living matters or you don't. Should we in the podcast right there? John. It's not bad, but I feel strongly about that, Rachel. I mean, like I ask you know, did you did you send an agenda? And in the GON did and send an agenda, and and when I really kind of unpack it with sellers, that the number one reason tends to be just an uncomfortable discomfort that they really that they really have earned the right to have the meeting. And at that one really just hits home with me. You either believe what you do...

...matters, so you don't. Yeah, it's such a great point. It's such a big thing to keep tolf of mine. The other concept that you just said, John, that I think sets up this next point really well, is you want to make sure that the buyer understands that this is not a meeting happening to them, it is happening for them, and that's something you can use really when you level set at the start of the call, which is also really important to do. Yeah, so you should always begin with that outside in approach, and we call this the what we've heard. It should be a section in your mind that says, I'm going to begin with what we've heard or what I know about you, and this should demonstrate that you have some understanding of their business and their challenges. If it's a first discussion, this may be very basic, but there should be no excuses here. You know, using the Internet for five minutes can give you some basic information. Even if they're a private company, I can still get general information about their industry and industry challenges. So you know, it's here that you want to level set what you heard or understand. You know, remember, we have to first make it all about them. In order to be successful in selling, you must always understand the buyers positive business outcomes, technical decision criteria, which we call required capabilities and metrics or how they're going to measure success. So every meeting you have should be about using discovery to put that story together. So at forced management we call this the mantra. So every opportunity should have a mantra or a story. Positive Business Outcomes, the require capabilities in the metrics are all about the customer from the customers point of view, and the how we do it, how we do it differently or better and where we've done it before, are all about us, but totally aligned with their story. So when I say begin with what we've heard, start to tell the story of what you know about this mantra and what you...

...still need to understand, or closing the gaps in the mantra, should be the purpose of the meeting. Right where the where the gaps in the that of the information that you don't know. So the next thing, as you build out your dack or your content and and your tailor's the customer. You've got your agenda, your level setting in the call, you really want to consider the purpose of the call. You mentioned of the three P's earlier. John. Let's walk through a couple of instances and to determine for action steps for the very situations. So here's our here's one instance, the first one being a call where I've already heard a lot about the challenges and now I'm ready to start talking about my solution. Yeah, so for me it's the next step in the kind of the next step in the process. The first part is understanding all I can about a customers positives. Its outcomes require capabilities and metrics, and now I'm going to talk about how I think, or I've earned the right to talk about how I think I might be able to help you. So in this case I'm validating those challenges I've you know, that I've heard or we just talked about, and and then I'm pulling those slides or content together from my corporate deck or wherever the sources of content are that aligned specifically to those challenges. So here I'm going to specifically talk about how we solve those problems. You know, this is about your products and services. Remember, you've earned the right to do this because you are pointing it towards the problems and challenges that you've heard and how we solve those problems differently or better than others. Here's where you get to talk about your specific differentiation and it's not, you don't get to talk about it. You have to talk about it in these presentations. And so you know the next thing is you're going to talk about where you've done this before. So your proofpoint, your testimonials in your case studies. So there should not be one thing...

...in this part of the presentation that is not Aligne to what you've heard about them. Right. It goes to the pointment of the top. Make sure it's by our focused. Okay. So let's go to another instance. Let's say you're doing a call where the focus is really for you to walk through an implementation process or your approach. Even though you're focusing on yourself and in this call, right, that's the purpose of that call, you still need to keep it by your focus to talk a little bit about how we do that, John. Yeah, so at this point you know the customers validated their desired business outcomes, their decision criteria and how they're going to measure success. They've acknowledged that there is a fit for your solutions. After hearing how you do it, how you do it differently or better, and where you've done it before, the next logical question or topic should be how do you engage? What's the engagement process look like? So here's where you're outlining who does what when, both you and the customer. What are the specific steps? What is the specific path with actions and timelines that will bring them to a successful outcome? So, no matter what, you're selling, products or services or a combination, you have to demonstrate that you have a proven engagement process that gets the customer to a successful outcome. Right, making that engagement process, conversation, implementation process, focused on the outcome. We do it this way because it results in this that focus. Yeah, so, I mean they're going to say to you at some point, they're going to say, okay, you understand us, we understand what you're offering, we understand how it alliance to our problems and challenges. How do you engage with us? So how do you get us there? How do you get us to a successful outcome somewhere along the presentation skills process path for you, you have to be ready for that. Yeah, you know you. We mentioned it...

...earlier and I want to talk about proof points, customers, testimonials, you could talk of I mean they're important in a lot of different parts of the of the sales process. I'm curious your tips here, John, and how you best leverage them throughout the presentation. Do you save them for last? You start with them? How you work in them in? I think that's a really, really great question. So not necessarily do you have to save them for the end. You use them as they're relevant to the information your persenting. So use them to get a meeting. You know the payoff of the three pece use them to open a meeting, to give your audience spirit and excitement around spending time with you. Use Them as relevant examples during a presentation to prove that you understand their business and challenges. You can use them to gain access to other key people like economic buyers. You know, yesterday I was on a call with a champion at one of our prospects and we both realize that one of our proof points of force management is going to be very, very relevant to their CEO, because those two CEOS know each other really well. So you can use proof points early and often. In the customers mind, every proof point should further reduce the risk of doing business with you. But when you use proof points, don't just spout out brand names. Tell the story about the proof point and tell the story in a way that most closely aligns to their story. You know, focus on those outcomes, those business outcomes, those things that were technically required and how they successfully measured success with your solution. Tell the story. Yeah, you make a good point with just spotting out brand names, which brings me to this idea of the we all seen it, probably in any standard content our company has the logos, whether it's the one sheet, the website page, there is...

...logos slide that everyone hasn't has in the deck. How do you suggest using that? Well, you know, logo slides are great, but what's even better is when you have already talked about those logos in the stories related to their success with using your products and services. A logo slide in the back of a presentation is much better, in my opinion, than a logo slide in the front. Sometimes that's the first slide I see in corporate decks. You know, remember you want to make it first all about the customer and earned the right to make it all about you. It's such a good point and I'm always sensitive to the logosides win penders are presenting to us, and you have to be careful, because your customer is going to be making their own conclusions when they see those logos. Mean it may be great to say, you know, have all these giant companies on your customer list and that might be impressive, but you know, if you are selling me and I see a logo this is, Oh, you work with Amazon, I can one be I can say, Oh wow, if Amazon such a big company, they must know what they're doing. If they're using you, that's a good sign. That's one conclusion. The other one I could say is, wow, Amazon is huge, they have a lot of money. You're expensive and I'm and we're not like Amazon. But it could go either way without the context that you're talking about. Yeah, I've actually found, you know, even at force management, where somebody has, you know, maybe inappropriately, put the you know, local slide, you know too earlier at the beginning. Hey, here the companies that you know, we specifically have worked with before. I find that sometimes that goes down the paths, unintended, bad paths, where the customers will be like, well, those are all, you know, Sass companies, or those are all specific stage companies or what have you. And what I found was you've seemed like you're defending your logos instead of, you know, people get to you know when you're picking...

...your and don't just take whatever the corporate deck is on a logo slide. Make sure that you can tell a story of any of the logos that you're putting on there, because what I found is sometimes customers will say, hey, tell me about what you did at Xyz, and if you put that slide up there, you put their content up there and you're not ready to talk about it, it can be an absolute disaster. So that so here's my point. It's fine to show logo slides, be prepared to tell the story behind the logo and for me it's kind of like the icing on the cake. When we've gone through we understand the problems and the challenges and we understand how we can help them and they understand how we can engage and now I show them a successful representation of where we've done those types of things before. It's just kind of the icing on the cake. That totally reduces the risk of doing business with us. So on my humble opinion, that's the best way to use them. Yeah, such a good point. We've gone through a lot of tips here for the presentation, and I know this is a big topic. Some of you listening out there probably have no issues with presenting, other others of you know that you can get better. So I hope everyone has found some information of value in this conversation. So, John, as we close here, wrap it up for us, give us some key takeaways. Yeah, so my key takeaways of what we talked about. We started off talking about presentation skills and then we kind of bucketed those presentation skills, you know, in kind of the following way. We began with the power of an agenda and powering it with the three P's, the purpose, process and payoff, and then making sure your presentation is outside in versus inside out, which means make it all about them first and earned the right to make it all about you. And so then the last thing we did was basically outlined a presentation. And I'm not saying this has to be a presentation you're going to do all of this in one meeting or one but it...

...should be a flow that follows this and we talked about powering it by the mantra or the story that you're building for the customer. So it begins with what you've heard or what you know or what you've learned about them. That should be based on the first half of the mantra. Business Outcomes, technical require capabilities, measurements for success. And then the next thing that we're going to talk about somewhere in our sales process, whether we're presenting all at one time or we're presenting over time, is we're going to follow that with a second half of the mantra. How we do that, how we do it better, differently and where we've done it before. Here's what we get a chance to talk about. All about us. And then what a lot of times gets left out in these presentations or skills of presenting, is what is your engagement approach? How are you going to get me to a successful outcome? So who does what when in the engagement and that's kind of a good framework to think about as you think about successful presentations and successfully presenting to a customer. Love that. Thank you for wrapping that up, John. My pleasure and thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. At force management we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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