Archive for the ‘Sales Enablement’ Category

SALES KICK-OFF SEASON: ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH BUCK FOR YOUR BANG?

Friday, January 6th, 2017 by Matt<

This month at Eyeful, this presentation design company is all about one thing… SALES KICK-OFF EVENTS.

These rather huge proceedings are arguably the biggest deal in the sales director’s calendar (after the end of year figures) and Eyeful want to make sure yours doesn’t just go with a bang, but leads to a buck too… or to put it slightly more professionally; gets you a significant return on your rather heavy investment.

We know these events happen all year round, but for many large businesses January is the traditional time for kick-off events.

So, we’ve been hard at work, Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton has helped lots of businesses over the last 12 years in creating really successful sales kick-off’s and he’s pulled together his best 5 pieces of advice for sales kick-off event organisers…

If someone in your business is currently working hard (and probably very late too) then be a friend and do them a favour by pointing them at our dedicated sales kick-off page

WHAT EVERY STARBUCKS TELLS US ABOUT THE STATE OF SALES PRESENTATIONS

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Simon Morton<

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‘Coffee is for closers’ is a film quote that many sales professionals will recognise with a wry smile. No matter how high up the sales totem pole you may sit, it’s become a universal reference point for the rough and tumble of sales and a way of demonstrating that this career path is not for the faint hearted.

In the world of sales presentations, it’s taken on a second meaning. Caffeine hits and sales presentations have, for the wrong reasons, become synonymous. How? Because every morning in every coffee shop in every major city across the globe, there are legions of sales people furiously tweaking PowerPoint presentation design’s moments before their sales pitch. Manic, caffeine fuelled changes to presentations (updating prospect names and logos, adding new slides, deleting old slides and, on occasion, reordering the whole caboodle at the very last minute) are commonplace.

It has to stop. And it has to stop for two reasons.

The first is a purely selfish one – as a sales professional, you’ve put too much into this to let it fail for the sake of a slapdash approach at the final hurdle. Every sales opportunity is the culmination of a hell of a lot of work and investment. From the purgatory of cold calling, late nights evaluating the opportunity (and competition), expensive marketing campaigns, investment in advanced PowerPoint training and professional development and, lest we forget, the pain of dragging yourself out of bed at 5am to ensure you get to the prospect’s office in time. No matter how you calculate it, businesses and their sales people invest a huge amount of effort and money in order to get in front of the prospect in the first place. Yet despite this, Starbucks are filled to the gunnels with sales professionals, Americano in hand, making changes to their most important sales tool MINUTES before going into the meeting.

This phenomenon is so common that we’ve given it a name – the Presentation Paradox.

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The second reason is one of commercial reality. Like it or not, the quality of your sales presentation will have a major impact on your success. So turning up to a meeting with something that bears all the hallmarks of a woefully generic and unconsidered presentation puts you and your business on the backfoot before you’ve even got into the rapport stage.

The tell-tell signs are all too familiar: slide upon slide stuffed with overly detailed content (just in case the prospect asks a question about an obscure feature of product), more focus on your business than theirs (unnecessary pictures of your HQ, a world map with pins stuck in it to show where you have offices and meaningless revenue and EBITDA charts) and a distinct lack of any clear message.

In short, the sales presentation is no longer about meeting the needs of your audience and as such adds little or no value.

This is a crying shame. Sales presentations should be viewed as a ‘moment of truth’ – the opportunity to take an interested prospect and turn them into a valuable and loyal customer. A tipping point between a wasted journey and a success. Get your sales presentation design and messaging right and the future looks bright…mess it up and all that investment (including the coffee) goes out of the window.

And now for the really scary part…

None of what I’ve just shared will come as a surprise to any sales professional. In their heart of hearts, they know they’ve fallen into the same traps time and time again. Yet the issues persist. And if you don’t believe me, pop along to your nearest coffee shop around 9am on any weekday morning.

So how do you address the issue? Well for sure, the cure isn’t making sales people better at PowerPoint. It’s also not about releasing yet another version of the sales presentation to them (chances are that this would be bastardised within days as well).

It’s about changing behaviour and getting sales people to recognise the privilege of presenting.

Our response to this is The Sales Lab, a day dedicated to reengaging sales people with their presentation and ensuring that audience needs, not caffeine induced panic, come first. You can learn more about this open course here.

So if you’re reading this in a coffee shop and the person next to you is frantically tweaking a PowerPoint, please tactfully suggest they check out The Sales Lab. Not only will they appreciate it, but you can be sure their audiences will as well.

Enjoy your coffee…

Practical Advice For The Introvert Presenter

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 by Richard Tierney<

 

Like Eyeful’s own presentation guru Simon Morton, most experts in the world of presentations are authorities on this subject, because they are actually really very good at standing up and presenting – and I mean, really, really good.

How have they become so great?

It’s because they’ve always been good – perhaps starting from a young as the class performer, or as a star of dramatic productions to become years later, great sales people, the ones who get rise up in business because they are just so visible.

These people are extroverts. They love the spotlight and they are great performers when they get in it, you can see the difference in people who love to present how their persona shifts a gear when in front of an audience.

These people have had a life time of practice and are great role models, for the likes of me and maybe you too.

You see, I’m an introvert.

And like most introverts I’ve always shunned the limelight, I’m a backstage kind of guy.

But, having spent my working life around several great performers I have had a chance to learn the tricks of the performing greats and become an accomplished, confident presenter. Something many introverted people could only dream of.

When I present these days, no longer am I filled with dread.

How can you do it?

The secret is preparation. Lots of it.

This is only mimicking a process most extroverts go through, but they can do it in second, we introvert’s take much longer. My advice is to write out – in full – the words you are going to say.

RT at TEDImportantly this needs to be written in the way you speak, not in the way that you write.

It may seem a subtle distinction but to write out the words you are actually going to say is terribly important.

At this point, the age old advice that “It’s not good to read a script” springs to mind, but bear with me…

Once you’ve prepared your script you can rehearse., which seems to be another thing extroverts don’t seem to need to do.

Then prepare your supporting visuals and rehearse some more.

If you rehearse, you will learn your presentation and gradually you won’t need the script. You will become more relaxed and your confidence will shine through on the stage.

The more you follow this path, the happier and more confident and indeed better you will be at presenting.

Of course sometimes you don’t have the luxury of time, but the process still works – read more about that here .

Join me and let’s show that we introvert’s can shine when it’s our turn on the stage…

The First Step To A World Beating Presentation

Friday, September 25th, 2015 by Matt<

It’s such a terrible feeling when you’re stood in front of your audience and things just aren’t going well, you get that knot in your stomach, your palms go sweaty and from nowhere a stutter appears.

It’s so frustrating when you genuinely know your stuff, but for some unknown reason, you just can’t get your audience to understand that you are genuinely trying to help them. That’s one kind of awful presentation experience.

But there’s an even worse one…

Where the presentation goes great, but for some illogical reason the audience isn’t interested in following your call to action.

Where did you go so wrong?

Well, this is where Eyeful can help, we offer a completely free Presentation Healthcheck Service.

All you need to do is email us your presentation and one of our expert presentation consultants will give you a call back to get the full picture of what you’re trying to achieve.

They will then fully review your slides and figure out where your presentation isn’t working as well as it could and provide you with invaluable feedback to take your presentation to the next level.

The next level being where your presentation’s key messages flow effortlessly, visuals look impressive and you stand head and shoulders above your competition.

Getting your Presentation Healthchecked won’t cost you a dime, so what are you waiting for? Just send your presentation over and we’ll get to work on suggesting how to make it the very best it can be…

5 SIMPLE STEPS TO COMPLETELY HOOK YOUR ONLINE AUDIENCE

Monday, September 7th, 2015 by Matt<

When you’ve worked so damn hard getting an audience to your online presentation, seeing people disconnect 1 by 1 is soul destroying…

You need to face it, you’re up against the big guns…

Outlook is on their other screen and the lure of Facebook on their phone is dragging your audience’s attention away…

The only person that can change this is you – you need to give a presentation that keeps your audience intrigued, interested and engaged right the way through.

Eyeful can help you do this.

Join Eyeful’s MD and acclaimed author of The Presentation Lab, Simon Morton, as he shares the trade secrets, the science and the new approaches through the 5 SIMPLE STEPS TO COMPLETELY HOOK YOUR ONLINE AUDIENCE on Thursday 10th September 2015 at 11am BST…

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Learn how to apply new techniques for understanding & engaging your audience

Discover how to think beyond PowerPoint when preparing your online tools

Find out how to gauge the success of your online session against predetermined measures

All of this will inspire you to create online presentations that connect you with your audience and lead you to the results your hard work deserves.

To sign up for the webinar just click here

TECH SEASON – THE BEST TECH FOR YOUR SALES TEAM

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by Matt<

We continue Eyeful’s Tech Season this week and look at a scenario where you could use the presentation landscape to your advantage when planning and preparing for your presentation.

Scenario #3: A Sales Presentation To Be Distributed To An Entire On The Road Sales Team

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This is a common type of presentation and one that requires thinking ahead more than any other.

As always start at stage 4 and work backwards, put your audience at the forefront of you mind. Let’s imagine your team are sales representatives in company cars who attend small sales meetings with prospects in varying locations.

Usually in the prospects office, with 1 maybe 2 people whilst having a coffee. This puts us in the Informal segment.

Also, time is critical, the more important the prospect the less time you have, so this must be considered at the presentation creation stage.

Into stage 3, what piece of hardware are they going to use?

With a small office, a small audience and probably very limited time, your prospect isn’t going to appreciate waiting while a laptop and a projector are set up, before being taken through the bog standard company sales presentation.

It’s time to create and deliver smarter presentations.

A web presentation can be useful for access on the road, but be very careful not to rely on someone else’s internet connection and always, always have an offline back-up.

A smartphone is ok, if the screen is big enough. But on the whole they aren’t, even an iPhone 6+ with its gigantor screen is a bit on the small side compared to a full size iPad.

The best piece of tech here is the tablet, an iPad or Samsung Galaxy being the most popular devices.

Overall in the situation described, your sales teams two main weapons are their conversation skills and a tablet presentation that has interactive navigation.

I mentioned earlier that time in these type of meetings can be on the low side. So does your prospect really want to know every little detail about your company?

Well, they might, maybe they want to get into the nitty gritty of your products before finding out more about you ethos and reputation.

This is where interactive navigation is your best friend, forget the old fashioned click through presentations where you have to ask them to hang on a sec while you skip through all the ‘about us’ slides.

A menu with interactive navigation will allow the sales person to start the conversation, assess then and there where it’s going and tap effortlessly to the areas the prospect wants to talk about.

This gives the prospect an element of control and the sales person the flexibility and the power to go with it.

I really hope you’ve found this Tech Season scenario useful and that you can put the Presentation Landscape into good use on your presentations in the future.

If you need any help with anything though, you know where we are.

Are You Trying To Fax An Elephant?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 by Matt<

The Power of Story – The Content Battle

Here at Eyeful we know a bit about content. When we began in 2004 it seemed like every presentation included a picture of a Head Office and photos of the board members. We got to where we are today by being the first presentation company to ask why?

Once we’d persuaded people to cut out the unnecessary we started to get them focusing on what really mattered…

The breakthrough started with a simple premise – message and content reign supreme.

We stopped talking about slides and started telling stories.

There’s a reason that you recount the plot of a film when trying to remember an actors name – it’s the power of story.

Tapping into this power can allow you to draw prospects in and help them engage with your content.

It’s not touchy-feely mumbo-jumbo stuff we’re talking about; it’s the heart of Sales Enablement.

Connecting with prospects and communicating effectively with them is the difference between “interesting” and “where do I sign?”

Telling your story

A great story that no-one hears is no story at all.

Once your people know the ‘what’ of messaging it’s time to address the ‘how’.

The array of hardware, software, technology and methodology available to modern business storytellers is stupefying. Many companies invest heavily in technology to get their story across but unless the message, the tech and the audience are compatible you may as well be trying to fax an elephant.

While the vast majority (theoretical physicists excepted) will immediately see the absurdity of that statement, many Sales and Marketing functions will have been guilty of attempting similar feats.

Presenting to ten people on a tablet device, sitting a single prospect in front of a cinema sized screen and dimming the lights or wasting precious time battling uncooperative technology are all examples of how to get it wrong.

There are no bad ways of communicating but there are a thousand ways to communicate badly.

Somewhere in the depths of time a phrase was coined that should strike fear into the hearts of storytellers everywhere – ‘Death By PowerPoint’. This phrase has become shorthand for everything that is wrong in modern business communication and has implications that reach far beyond traditional slides delivered in traditional ways.
Every interaction you have with your prospects and customers is, in the purest sense, a presentation. You present your company, yourself and your product or service every time you interact. And once you realise that every part of your Sales Enablement process is another presentation you’re ready to start addressing the issues that can cloud your story and overshadow your message.

Knowing how to communicate effectively for the (seemingly) limitless combinations of audience/technology/environment/time combinations can seem daunting but is largely common sense and a skill that anyone can master. We call it Blended Presenting but in this context it can be thought of as the interactive and engaging aspect of Sales Enablement.

Regardless of the tools and technology used, they only need to achieve one thing – bringing your prospect and your story together.

If you need help doing this, then just contact the presentation experts.

The Winning Edge Feature Life After PowerPoint

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 by Matt<

Are you baffled by presentation technology or do you have a total over-reliance on using PowerPoint all of the time?

Well, let us un-muddy the water for you.

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has written an article on ‘Life After PowerPoint’ in the May/June edition of The Winning Edge magazine, where in a case study style piece, he carefully explains the situation one of our customers found themselves in…

“A quick review of the existing decks identified the issues – it was packed to the rafters with data, statistics and legal caveats that did little to build need or instil confidence in the solution for the prospect.”

“All of this would be troublesome on small ticket sales, but with an average order value of over
£2m – it was quickly becoming a major issue.”

Simon goes on to detail how we worked together to help the customer resolve this, using a combination of technology and aiPad Man blended approach – which lead to some great results…

“In terms of cold hard facts, average order values have started to move up and there is a sense that the ‘box shifting’ ethos of old has been swapped for a more value-added partnership.”

To get the full story of how Eyeful helped achieve these results, check out the latest issue of The Winning Edge, or click here to see a copy of the review on our website.

The Winning Edge is a member only magazine of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management. Here you can find lots of information with tips on sales and marketing and where you can sign up to receive the latest issues of The Winning Edge.

To find out what the best technological approach would be for your presentations, just drop us a line.

Story Season – How Does Story Impact On Presentations?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Matt<

We now join senior members of the Eyeful consultant and design teams and continue through Eyeful Story Season with a look at how they believe story can impact on presentations.

Gain insight into if ‘once upon a time’ is an outdated concept, if a strong design can hide a weak story and hear a potential story structure that you could use when combining story and presentations.

Over to the Eyeful team…

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In the next edition of Story Season the team talks about their favourite presentation examples that used story to effectively deliver the clients messages.

We’ll also include clips of the presentations to give you a little extra inspiration and so you can really see how story has been worked into real and successful presentations.

Stay tuned for this or if you’d like to speak to an expert directly, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

The Presentation Lab gets a Winning Edge

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 by Matt<


Since the release of ‘The Presentation Lab’, we have received some great feedback and it’s always nice to hear lovely things said about the book (even though it still makes Simon blush like a proud Dad!)

However, when Journalist, Marc Beishon, from the magazine Winning Edge put pen to paper it was not just a quick 30 seconds saying how great the book is, blowing Eyeful’s trumpet and pointing you to your nearest bookstore. Marc has written a great article so, if you’ve been sitting on the fence, wondering whether or not to get the book, then hopefully this will help you decide.

Here is just a snippet from Marc’s in depth review;

Morton homes on what is undoubtedly the core business of today’s ‘presentations’ — how to construct engaging messaging using storytelling and conversational styles that suit the audience and situation you are dealing with at a particular time, which more commonly now are not ‘formal’ situations at all.

It also talks about the changing world of sales, interactive engagement and sales enablement.

If your appetite is duly wetted, you can find the full article in Winning Edge magazine which is part of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management. ISMM provide lots of information and tips on sales and marketing

Or simply click here to view the article on our website…