A good friend of mine is the top sales enablement executive in a well-known, high-performing Fortune 100 Company. In past conversations, he's shared his beliefs that his sales people:
- Rarely deliver presentations
- Already know how to present
- When they do present, they are good at it
Travel with your reps and test your assumptions
I recently talked with my friend after he'd spent six months traveling in the field with many of his account teams. These customer visits turned each of his three above assumptions upside down.
In every meeting, there were mission critical presentation opportunities that were either poorly executed or, even worse, avoided.
He said that his experience will change how he's going to invest his sales enablement resources and dollars in the future, in order to ensure that his salesforce knows not only how to present, but is darn good at it.
Know when to shift gears
Every sales leader I know would agree that a winning customer meeting should look and feel like a conversation—most of the meeting, in fact, should be a customer-driven dialogue.
But make no mistake; there are key “moments of presentation” during these conversations that can determine the success or failure of the meeting. The best sales people know when they need to shift gears and jump into presentation mode, and they do it well.
Practice like you want your team to play
These “moments of presentation” require a very specialized “ready now” skill set in order to differentiate your company and its solutions from your competitors.
At my core, I’m an old hockey player—I’ve played and I’ve coached. One lesson I learned early on is that if it isn’t taught and drilled in practice, it’s never going to happen on the ice under game pressure.
And I’ve learned that what’s true for a hockey team is equally true for the sales teams I’ve led—if you want them to be “presentation ready” in front of your customers, the skills need to be taught and drilled repeatedly in practice.
Mandel helps sales organizations build and improve their ability to engage in influential conversations. Learn about our Influencing Skills Training or schedule a free consultation to discuss your team's gaps and goals.
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Find out why memorizing is a terrible idea and what you should do instead to prepare for your next presentation.
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