Whether they’re created for a meeting taking place in person or online, for internal planning or for external sales, presentations represent a repository into which all critical company information eventually makes its way. But as a category of communications, the presentation is often overlooked. Presentation files contain a wealth of knowledge, yet that knowledge too often becomes lost on the network or in an email after the meeting; in other words, presentations are too frequently one and done, with very few considering their long-term value. As a result, companies are wasting a vital resource.
Employing a presentation management strategy, whereby you treat presentations as a communications platform within your enterprise, lets you exploit the cumulative knowledge within presentations. Presentation management enables you to distribute, update, share, broadcast, present, and track presentation material; all files—PowerPoints, video, images, PDFs, Word files, Excel charts, etc.—are formatted to present at a moment’s notice. It’s like putting a tap on the company’s well of knowledge.
Presentation management transforms dormant files into active working content, making them accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere. While it is useful enterprise-wide, its most valuable impact is on marketing and sales—the former because it painstakingly crafts the company’s brand and message, and then implements that message into various media, and the latter because it is charged with communicating the brand’s value proposition in order to generate revenue.
Presentation Management and Marketing
Marketing departments spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year perfecting their brand messages for TV, print, Web, collateral, trade, events, and social. They take painstaking effort to develop strategies, craft messages, execute the plans, and then measure the results. But when it comes to presentations, they slap a logo on a PowerPoint template and let every salesperson fend for themselves. And even the more disciplined marketing teams that actually make the effort to prepare presentations for their sales teams still don’t institute an efficient means for distributing the presentations and tracking their effectiveness. It’s a lost opportunity, because what transpires during the sales meeting directly affects the company’s bottom line.
Presentation management elevates the sales presentation into the marketing mix, giving it the attention it deserves. It goes beyond writing a great deck and posting it somewhere on the network for someone else to find. Presentation management leverages marketing’s investment and ensures that the brand value is effectively communicated during a meeting. It allows all files, not just PowerPoints, to be accessed on the fly—before, during, and after a meeting.
Presentation Management and Sales
The biggest benefit for sales teams is increased productivity. Presentation management reduces the time a salesperson takes preparing for meetings and then following-up afterward. And then think of all the time salespeople waste searching for that one great slide or file, and then repurposing it for their meeting. Presentation management saves an average of four hours in meeting prep time. It visualizes the content, making all files and slides easier to find, and provides a turn-key (real-time) means to reuse them for a new deck, or share them directly with clients. Furthermore, because presentation management makes all files accessible at all times—especially at that most critical juncture, when a salesperson is face-to-face with a client—meetings in and of themselves become more productive. The salesperson now has the ability to talk about any aspect of the business, intelligently, during a meeting, whether or not they had planned to. All the materials are at their fingertips, at all times.
Joint Benefits for Sales and Marketing
Presentation management balances the needs of sales and marketing. It ensures that both departments are apprised, in real time, of the others’ initiatives. Through distribution and updates, combined with an easy way to locate and reuse a particular file, the marketing department is assured that the sales team is using the most up-to-date, best-of-brand message in their meetings. Through reporting and tracking, marketing and sales both have a quantitative measure of what is really going on in the field, such as which products and services are resonating with clients. And finally, with social features, the entire team can comment and communicate with each other. They don’t have to wait for the next status meeting, or for someone to take the extra initiative of sending yet another email to the gate keepers.
When properly implemented, a presentation management strategy benefits both sales and marketing departments. It leverages a company’s marketing investment and ensures that the right message is in play during critical meetings. And it saves time preparing materials for meetings. It’s a win-win.