Sales Presentations and Marketing Messages

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 , , 4 comments

marketing-messagesWhilst it’s clear that any sales-related presentation is broadly intended to achieve a commercial objective, many presenters fail to consider their presentation’s specific place and purpose within the overall sales cycle, an understanding of which can dramatically increase a presenter’s chances of a successful outcome. Fundamentally, many presenters don’t separate the unique challenges of marketing and sales – and in not doing so, hamper their chances of success.

Undoubtedly, producing the correct message for the given audience to assure the best possible outcome is one of the most difficult aspects of creating a great presentation. This article is intended to offer guidance on how to correctly identify whether a presentation is to support either the presenter’s marketing function or sales function – and therefore how to optimise the message and approach accordingly. Recognising the key differences between marketing and sales messages may also be useful to guide wider marketing campaigns, ensuring that these support sales, rather than undermine them.

Marketing as Lead Generation

Simply put, much of business-to-business marketing is a lead generation exercise. Then, sales people are used to close the deal, often with the support of a sales presentation.

Marketing messages should establish or generate interest. Marketing presentations may be given at trade shows, conferencesonline, or at product launches – typically, to large audiences. Marketing presentations, and wider marketing campaigns, should compel the audience to find out more, thereby moving from the marketing phase into the sales phase of the overall cycle.

If a marketing presentation or marketing campaign inspires the audience to contact the presenter with questions, such as “Could you?”, “Will you?” or “Do you?” then the presentation exercise has clearly succeeded. Once a company representative is sitting face-to-face with a single prospective customer, sales messages are more appropriate.

Marketing Undermining Sales Presentations?

In terms of the overall sales objective, it is potentially counter-productive for a presenter to reveal too much at the marketing stage. Marketing messages should be sufficiently compelling to encourage the audience to pursue the required call to action – e.g. to pick up the phone. Full product descriptions and feature lists revealed at the marketing stage can prevent further dialogue, by allowing prospects to assume that they know all there is to know about a company’s offering. Instead, by providing a sufficient level of relevant intrigue at the marketing phase, this acts as the basis for discussion during the sales phase, presenting an ideal sales opportunity.

For example, a business might choose to convey relevant successes that have been previously achieved for existing customers in a marketing message or presentation, whereas a full description of how this was achieved and also how this could be applicable might best be held back until the appropriate time to deliver a sales message.

Setting up Sales Presentations

The role of a marketing message is to convey the achievability of some core benefits in relation to the audience’s specific requirement, yet without explaining the exact means of delivering these. Consequently a well conceived and delivered marketing presentation, and indeed marketing campaign, should set up the sales opportunity. The sales presentation should deliver the relevant punchline that enables the audience to understand not only exactly what’s on offer but how it can help address their particular need.

If marketing deliver sales messages to all, sales presentations will seem unavoidably boring and repetitive – everything has been said already. As a presenter, it’s vital to understand which messages are sufficient to make the phone ring. If handled correctly, these messages also provide the ammunition for the commercial sales pitch to be delivered in answer to a prospect’s inevitable questions.

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The Ultimate Guide to Sales Presentations

4 Comments to Sales Presentations and Marketing Messages

  1. #1

    Ronan Kinahan (channel partner Ireland)

    9:41 pm, July 12th, 2009

    Terrific insight particularly for marketers as they often have difficulty separating the purpose behind marketing and then behind selling.

    Well done

  2. #2

    Joby Blume

    1:13 pm, July 13th, 2009

    Glad you like the article Ronan.

    The interplay between sales and marketing is sometimes confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Some companies find it hard to avoid putting all their sales messages into their marketing material; and others find it hard to avoid making their sales presentation just a projected version of their marketing material. Where companies manage to keep the two sets of messages distinct, aiming to achieve different things – then they tend to do well.

  3. #3

    Mickey Tarsis

    6:51 am, August 23rd, 2011

    Good post! The concepts as well as information are easily worthwhile learning. You certainly people useful information. Thanks for posting it!

  4. #4

    Jessica Pyne

    11:03 am, August 26th, 2011

    Thanks, Mickey – glad you found it useful.