Are Your Sales Reps Telling a Consistent Story About Your Brand?
I know firsthand that one of the challenges of managing a widely dispersed sales team is ensuring that everyone is speaking with a unified voice. With so many people extolling the virtues of a brand, it’s easy for different interpretations and personal biases to find their way into the conversation.
That muddies the message and can confuse your audience. And the last thing you want is for a prospect in, say Detroit to walk away with a completely different impression of your product or service than a prospect in Boston. That’s why talking about your business -- your value proposition, the specifics of your offerings -- in a consistent manner is crucial.
You want to maintain brand consistency in all your materials, across all channels. The look, feel, tone of how you speak should be the same no matter who is telling the story. For this reason, ensuring your entire team is well-versed in the approved corporate messaging and empowered to take this message to the market in a most compelling way should be a top priority.
Unified Storytelling Speaks Volumes
Think about how your sales team currently tells your brand story. Do reps in New England use the same language as reps in California? Does everyone represent your brand in a clear and impactful way? Does the sales presentation convey the energy of your brand? Are your prospects excited about the opportunity to work with you?
In my experience, getting sales aligned with the company line, and helping them get out the word in a persuasive, cohesive manner, is easier with the right tools. Back in the day, you could get away with a simple PowerPoint. I know I did. I spent many a late night creating slides I hoped would resonate with my potential customers.
But, these days that approach is considered old school. Today’s buyers are more sophisticated and they expect a more polished pitch. So give them one.
Before writing this blog, I looked at a number of popular sales presentation tools to give me a point of reference. I work for a company that creates immersive, interactive touchscreen presentations and I was curious to see what tech we’re competing against.
While I did find some cool software that can add extra punch to a sales presentation -- apps you can use to create interactive slideshows; software that lets you weave in elements like narration and background music -- these are still essentially amped up PowerPoints.
Touch Raises the Bar
Touchscreen technology, or touch tech, delivers a totally different experience. With it, you can elevate your team’s presentations, making them more informative, more engaging and more memorable. All while maintaining a consistent voice no matter who is telling your story.
Touch tech allows you to:
Maintain control over corporate messaging. Practically every time I speak with someone accountable for brand standards, I’m asked for suggestions for maintaining the consistency of their messaging. Brand managers are concerned that individuals sales reps might ad lib the company’s approved sales content to accommodate their personal communication style or their thoughts on what they predict their client will respond to.
A touch-tech presentation can deliver control because it includes only current, corporate-blessed content. And, the presentation can be quickly updated whenever the marketing department has new information or strategic direction, so the presentation responds to evolving customer needs.
Provide flexibility. Last month I had a call from Tom, a sales manager at a large manufacturing company. He’s been getting a lot of flak from his sales teams, which have been complaining that the company’s standard PowerPoints don’t fit the way the reps present. They are cumbersome and awkward. The reps pointed out that every conversation with a prospect is unique and that each prospect is focused only on issues relevant to his or her particular company, so trying to navigate around a standard PowerPoint to solve diverse customer issues makes little sense.
This is another area where touch is a superior solution. A touch presentation includes extensive content to enable sales can tell a compelling story. What makes it different from a PowerPoint, Prezi or slideshow-style presentation is the fact that the information doesn’t need to be accessed in a linear fashion. Instead, a rep can skip around and present only the most relevant content.
Express your brand’s essence. Just last week I spoke with a marketing director for a building materials company. Lisa was frustrated by a challenge her sales team was facing. She explained that prospects wanted to be able to see what the products -- flooring, doors, etc. -- would look like in a particular environment, say a corporate office lobby, before making a purchasing decision.
The light bulb went on because touch tech easily solves that problem. For instance, ViewPoint helps users envision a final installation by allowing them to manipulate and customize product details, like color, size, perspective, even surroundings. This gives a very good sense of the product in the appropriate environment. Even if you offer something intangible, say cloud computing software, a touch presentation brings it to life and makes it easy for buyers to imagine it.
If you get the sense that I think touch tech is pretty cool, you’re right. If you’d like to check it out for yourself and explore how touch might work for your company -- or want to discuss anything remotely hockey related -- drop me a quick note and I’ll get back to you ASAP.