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Fueling Sales and Marketing with Presentation Management

First published on November 15, 2018 in KMWorld, by AlexAnndra Ontra

Large organizations use presentations to drive their business. Whether it be sales team members pitching potential prospects or internal marketing documents used to inform employees about brand updates, presentations are crucial to the success of every business.

This is why a lot of time is invested into their creation, with everyone providing input, from C-suite executives to entry-level copywriters and designers. Too often, this results in multiple versions—none of which are finalized—scattered across company cloud networks, saved to personal desktop file folders, or passed along in one-off emails. This leads to partially completed presentation decks that are rife with inaccurate and outdated information spread throughout organizations, leaving management with little control over how they are shared and to whom they are presented. In other words, they are a mess.

That is why forward-thinking organizations are implementing innovative presentation management strategies that streamline the development and distribution of presentations while also getting all slides, files, documents and other digital assets in order. An efficient presentation management strategy treats presentations as communications assets at the top level, the same as you would a website brochure or TV ad. Presentation management lets companies plan, design, write, produce, distribute, get feedback, and improve crucial business assets while empowering everyone at an organization to speak intelligently about the business—especially in sales scenarios.

A sound presentation management strategy optimizes all stages of the workflow associated with presentations, and lets executives and managers view the entire process as a “presentation loop” with stages:

  • Creation—A copywriter and a graphic designer within an organization team up to develop a deck, kicking-off the presentation loop.
  • Distribution—Once the initial draft is complete, the copywriter and graphic designer then share the deck with internal team members, such as sales reps.
  • Sharing and Presenting—Sales reps then present all or parts of the deck in their meetings to close sales and build the company brand.
  • Social—Once shared with prospects, the sales rep leaves comments on the deck, providing the marketing team with real time feedback from potential customers.
  • Reporting—Thanks to quantitative analytics, managers are able to see if and how the deck is being used.
  • Updating—Armed with all the data and team feedback, the copywriter and graphic designer update and redistribute a better, improved version of that deck so it can convert more clients.

The deck never dies, it simply evolves along with your business.

Presentation management goes beyond PowerPoint to include images, videos, PDFs, and all of the other file formats that managers and executives rely on every day. Housing all of these key business assets in one place allows organizations to improve productivity, ensure compliance and optimize sales and work hours, which will ultimately boost the bottom line and improve overall company performance.

Improve Productivity

Presentation management improves productivity through a strategic configuration of storage, permissions, search, visualization, and reuse—all with the objective of directing the right content to the right person at the right time.

Files Visualized

Translations GlobalLink found that 70% of content created by marketing departments goes unused and 90% never gets reused. This directly affects the bottom line, because according to an AIIM Market Intelligence report, companies that need to redo documents pay eleven times more than the original cost of the document.

Humans process images 60,000 times faster than they do text, which is why visualization is so important. Visualizing slides lets employees scan through and find specific slides, images, videos, or whatever asset they are looking for quickly, eliminating the painfully time-sucking task of digging through networks and emails looking for the right file.

With presentation management, employees don’t have to spend countless hours creating 20-slide presentations that will only be used once. Instead, it lets the entire team develop, edit and improve an army’s worth of company assets, that can be used over and over again, and updated as needed. The files remain relevant and effective, making both employees and business growth more productive.

Compliance Ensured

Compliance refers to both content and function—who gets access to the content and how are they allowed to use it. Whether it’s sales meetings, research results, product rollout plans, or earnings reports, an organization’s most sensitive assets often make their way into presentation decks. That’s why, when investing in presentation management, it’s so critical to provide proper permissions depending on employee status and job role, guaranteeing that your team members each have the proper information that they need to do their jobs well.

At the “content” level, the company needs to be able to control who accesses which files and how they can be presented. They can repurpose files and slides, and mix and match them in a new presentation, giving users the flexibility they need to speak on their prospects’ terms. Compliant content also refers to forced messaging, required by regulatory bodies and or the brand management team. For example, in the finance and healthcare industries, disclosure statements are legally required with certain messages. A sound presentation management strategy will ensure that all of your team members across the globe are including those statements.

Functional compliance addresses what specific employees or presentation recipients can actually do with the asset—whether that be access, download, edit, share or print—and for what period of time.

With a presentation management strategy, organizations have complete control over all of their content, while the team in the field has the flexibility it needs to customize presentations for the individual meetings.

Sales and Work Hours Optimized

Presentations feature the best thinking from a company’s brightest and best performers who shouldn’t be wasting their time searching for specific statistics and piecing together one-off presentation decks.

According to the IDC report, “Bridging the Information Worker Productivity Gap: New Challenges and Opportunities,”  more than 45% of workers’ frustrations are related to conducting time-consuming searches through email attachments, while 30% of frustrations are due to how much time workers have to spend following up with people to get documents reviewed. So, when your best employees are piecing together presentations that are only going to be used once they are not only wasting valuable time but also getting frustrated in the process.

Employees should not need to hunt for company assets to piece together the perfect presentation for a specific prospect. The ability to search for one slide out of thousands, and preview it quickly, so individuals can decide whether or not it’s right for their meeting, and then select it for a new presentation—much like buying things on Amazon—is fast, easy, and productive. Furthermore, the content selected is up-to-date and required messaging is forced into the presentation, making this new presentation accurate and on brand. This frees up sales reps time so they can focus on what they are actually paid to do—pitching potential clients and converting leads.

Whether it’s for outward sales or internal marketing, presentations are representations of your company. Businesses would never allow inaccurate information to be used on company websites or press releases, so why tolerate it in presentations?

By investing in presentation management, an organization is guaranteeing that it is using its absolute best assets to efficiently fuel sales activity and marketing ability to the fullest. By introducing a cohesive presentation management platform, businesses are employing an effective solution across the entire company, ultimately promoting a productive work environment while ensuring the best assets are being presented and allowing employees to focus on what’s most important—growing the business!

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