Archive for the ‘Sales Presentation’ Category

SALES KICK-OFF SEASON: THE SECOND SECRET TO SALES KICK-OFF EVENTS

Friday, January 13th, 2017 by Matt<

With Christmas now a far off memory and work well and truly back underway, Eyeful’s sales kick-off season continues to offer insight and advice for anyone organising such a huge event.

Sales Kick-Off events aren’t the easiest things to arrange, they can extremely expensive to set up, you need to take your people off the road and of course there’s a whole heap of opportunity at risk if it all goes, well, a little bit flat.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to your sales presentation design and messaging, Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton now shares the second of his 5 Key Secrets To Successful Sales Kick-Offs…

If you or someone you know are involved in your company’s sales kick-off, then please do check out our dedicated sales kick-off page… You’ll find lots more information and advice, and you can even download Eyeful’s Expert Formula To Sales Kick-Off Events too… which is a really useful guide when planning these type of events.

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…

THE EYEFUL PRESENTATIONS PODCAST – SALES PRESENTATIONS SPECIAL

Thursday, July 14th, 2016 by Matt<

Sales Presentation design and messaging is something we get asked for help with more than any other type of presentation. It’s obvious why, they are counted by sales presenters as their most valued piece of collateral and they are vital to the final result of sales meetings…

Which is why we’ve dedicated an entire podcast to sales presentation advice…

Running Order

0m 58s Article Review: The New Rules of Sales Presentations (& why you must change)

4m 13s Simon reveals where to start when it comes to making a good sales presentation…

5m 07s Discover Eyeful’s Presentation Landscape concept…

7m 50s Article Review: 99 Problems But A Pitch Aint One

9m 55s Eyeful Presentation Placemats…

10m 44s Article Review: Infographics – The Saviour of Sales Presentations… or just a step in the right direction?

14m 08s How Eyeful equip our own sales people for prospect meetings

16m 56s How sales managers can arm their team with a Sales Toolkit

Find out more about The Sales Lab here and reserve your place online…

Or please do call us on +44 (0)1455 826 390 and one of our expert presentation consultants will be more than happy to tell you all about the kind of Sales Presentations we create and how we could help you achieve your sales goals…

EURO 2016 – IT’S NOT ABOUT THE JOURNEY, IT’S ABOUT THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

Friday, June 10th, 2016 by Simon Morton<

Much has been made of my lack of football knowledge by friends in and outside of work.  I manage to bluff my way through the occasional pub conversation with a well-timed “What about that Jamie Vardy, eh?”…but that’s about as far as it goes.

Yet, like millions across Europe, I’m finding myself getting pulled along with the excitement of Euro 2016 as we prepare for the big kick off in Paris this evening (pun intended).  For reasons I don’t fully understand, most of the home nations are in play so there is a palpable sense of anticipation wherever you happen to be at the moment (sorry Scotland).

I completely understand – the Euros are a very big deal in football terms and the culmination of a lot of hard work, stress and anxiety for both team and fans alike (yes, even if one of the ‘obstacles’ in your way was San Marino).  Simply qualifying and having the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities on this stage is a big deal…and certainly not a given:

Yet all the hard work, injury worries, ‘kiss and tell’ tabloid stories and the stress that each team has battled thus far has just been a journey to today.  As each team takes to the pitch, they will no doubt take time to reflect on the hard work put in to date but also recognise that when they cross that white line, their Moment of Truth has arrived.  Fans, journalists, critics, family and the players themselves will put all the stresses and strains of the journey behind them and judge success or failure on what happens in the next 90 minutes on the pitch.

It’s their Moment of Truth.

We talk a lot about the Moment of Truth in business presentations.  In much the same way as a high profile football tournament, all the hard work, long days and sleepless nights aren’t worth a jot if you don’t perform on the day.  Similarly, you and your presentation message will have it’s own set of ‘supporters’ within your business – stakeholders who want to see you succeed.

The Moment of Truth doesn’t allow time for excuses – this is about delivering results for you…and your supporters.

Getting the result you deserve is about being prepared, confident and focused on the prize.  In football terms, this might be getting through to the next round.  In business, it might be winning the pitch, securing funding or selling a new idea into your business.

No matter what the end result, it all boils down to the Moment of Truth.

So if England run out on the pitch tomorrow night looking tired, confused and with no clear plan in place, I for one will be disappointed.  More importantly, my football fanatic friends (the real supporters) will be devastated.  Similarly, if you fail to deliver a clear, engaging and valuable presentation, your audience will disengage and your supporters will be left frustrated and disheartened (and all your combined hard work will have gone to waste).

The impact of failing to deliver at the Moment of Truth is seismic.  Don’t go into your next presentation half-hearted – when that happens, nobody wins.

Good luck at your next Moment of Truth, Oh, and enjoy the football!

THREE THINGS PRESENTERS SHOULD AVOID AT ALL COSTS

Friday, February 19th, 2016 by Matt<

You might have heard the recent news that Eyeful have joined forces with Microsoft…

“Microsoft decided to join forces with a UK company with a global remit to improve the quality of business presentations, Eyeful Presentations (that’ll be us, then). It makes perfect sense – the creators of the world’s most popular presentation tool working alongside the people who quite literally, wrote the book on the formula behind powerful presentations, The Presentation Lab.”

We work with some of the biggest brands in the world most days, creating business presentations for them that deliver serious results. But this relationship is a little different – Microsoft didn’t want us to just create them a PowerPoint presentation design, they wanted to dip into all our years of experience and into the expert thinking that has gone into our modular presentation training

They wanted to serialise some serious presentation expertise for the people who need it most – the millions of business presenters and presentation designers out there who use PowerPoint and all the other Microsoft tools on a daily basis.

One subject that came to the surface during the creation of this video series, was the fact that there are a few common pitfalls that hamper many presenters and should be avoided at all costs!

The Presentation Paradox

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Or more simply put, a lack of respect for the presentation opportunity.

This is about where businesses invest in all the areas before the presentation, hiring their people, marketing budgets – all the time, effort and money that goes into getting the opportunity to present booked in the diary.

Then when it comes to the crunch time, they either invest little effort (or completely the wrong effort) into the presentation itself. It all spells a missed opportunity due to simply not recognising and respecting the value of the opportunity itself.

Avoid being a part of a Presentation Paradox.

Presentation Myths To Avoid

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PowerPoint is the child of the devil and it’s PowerPoint’s fault all my presentations are rubbish.

Erm… our research suggests if a person can only make a rubbish PowerPoint, they can generally only make a rubbish Prezi…

My PowerPoint is the presentation, not me.

A PowerPoint without a presenter is like a movie on mute…

My presentation looks good, so it’s good right?

Wrong.

The 10, 20, 30 Rule (Max 10 slides, talk for no more than 20 mins, use a font size of 30).

Does this actually make sense to anyone?

Quick Fixes To Avoid

Make every slide a full image with little to no text.

Creating your presentation by grabbing slides from other people’s decks.

Using someone else’s presentation, or worse still using a generic company presentation and hope that it works for your specific audience or goal.

There are lots of myths, lots of quick fixes out there on the internet, lots of programmes and apps to try and make the presentation creation process quicker and easier.

But to make a successful presentation that really works, really engages with your audience and is effective in getting results – then there is no hiding from the fact that work is required – not necessarily harder work, but definitely smarter work…

So if you would like to work smarter when it comes to presentations, check out the Microsoft and Eyeful Video Series as there is literally no better place to start.

Satya Nadella & The iPhone – Seeing Is Believing

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 by Simon Morton<

A week or so ago, I had the honour of being asked to speak at Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference in London.  Future Decoded is a huge deal – a total of 10,000 attendees over two days soaking up the latest thinking about the future of business, society, leadership, technology and more.

As you’d expect from such an event, Microsoft had rolled out a series of high profile and rather marvellous keynote speakers from the world of business, sport and technology.  The big name on the list was Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft – like I said, they pulled out all the stops on the event.

Satya & iPhone

I was intrigued to see Satya in action.  I’d seen him interviewed, read a fair bit about and by him but never seen him present.

As on TV, he comes across as a gentle, quietly spoken, considered presenter on stage …and if I was being hyper-critical, a tiny bit dull.  Now this might be a little unfair – after all, the vast majority of the audience were fellow techies and seemed pretty happy with proceedings – but there was a distinct lack of impact for the first 10 minutes.

I was beginning to wonder if after all the build up, this keynote might become a little, um, tedious.

And then something changed…

Satya started to demonstrate the (extremely cool) developments Microsoft have been beavering away at.  Not on some fancy set up with clever camera angles and carefully stage managed equipment.  Nope – on a phone (an iPhone of all things) to kick things off.

Not only did the mood in the audience change from slightly twitchy to truly engaged but Satya suddenly came to life too.  He was impressively comfortable in the various demos (there was no doubt that he’d put the rehearsal hours) but he also let his excitement and glee shine through.

He stopped being the cautious and considered tech CEO and morphed into someone who was bursting with pride and who couldn’t wait to share this cool new stuff with the audience.  It was brilliant…

At the end of Satya’s keynote, I was left pondering the metamorphosis I’d just witnessed.  To me, it was yet another example of the power of the demo.

I’ve long ranted about how this form of presentation seemed to be dying a slow death and that sales teams were missing a trick…and one of the most powerful and well respected business people of our time proved it again.

Demos aren’t hokey or something to be avoided – when delivered with confidence, passion and knowledge, they are the perfect platform for presenters to shine and for audiences to engage.

So ask yourself – are you relying on slideware too much?  Would a demo of your software/hardware/widget benefit the audience?  If so, you know what to do (and it has nothing to do with PowerPoint, Prezi or Keynote).

Presentation lessons from Sam Allardyce

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 by Simon Morton<

Being a Premier League football manager is tough.

The egos, the press, the fans…they all seem to conspire to make your life hell.  The last thing you need is your presentation adding to the woes…which is exactly where ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce, current manager of Sunderland, found himself a few years ago.

Imagine the scene a few years ago.  In the wake of a tough World Cup campaign, Big Sam had been given the opportunity to go for the top job – England Manager.

This is the stuff of childhood dreams, allowing him to wave goodbye to the heady heights of managing Bolton Wanderers and taking his beloved national side to glory.

So he did what ever aspiring manager would do, spending hours, days, weeks creating the best blinking PowerPoint deck you could imagine.

“”I wanted to do a real knock-your-socks-off interview for the FA, so I put together a PowerPoint which looked at every single detail.

“There was nothing missing. Nobody but nobody was going to beat it”

A big PowerPoint file from a big man for a big opportunity.  Well done Sam…or maybe not.

Only problem was that the Football Association (the much loved FA) didn’t have a projector or any means of showing off Sam’s PowerPoint masterpiece.  They couldn’t even print it off.

Oh dear.  The rest is history with the dream job going to Steve Mclaren (albeit briefly).

Lessons learned:

  • If you rely on technology to tell your story, you’re fighting with one hand behind your back before you’ve even started. (ref. Eyeful Training)
  • Always have an alternative option or 2 up your sleeve (ref. Blended Presenting)
  • Think about your audience and their expectations first (ref. Audience Heatmapping)

I think that’s enough ref’s for now…Sam is not a big fan.

5 Ways To Con Your Boss (Into Giving Better Presentations)

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 by Matt<

Con, trick, ploy, scam…

These are all words that we don’t necessarily associate with positive connotations!

But, even though they mean doing something pretty bad, is it still wrong, if your intentions are good?

My 18 month old son Jack has a thing at the moment about having his teeth brushed. He hates it, the very sight of a tooth brush and there is a Jack shaped hole in the nearest wall.

So this morning I had an idea, I put the toothpaste onto the toothbrush and kept it out of sight, I opened the stairgate and sat on the top stair and shouted over to Jack who was exploring everything but his toys in our master bedroom, “Hey look Jack, the stairgate’s open!” knowing that the thought of escape down stair mountain would interest him greatly.

Over he came and as he traversed down the first step, I sat him next to me, put my arm around him and thought “Gotchya!” I then, much to his dismay, brushed his teeth.

For 20 long seconds Jack did not like his dad, he had been tricked and conned. But, I felt no guilt! All parents have to do this sometimes, we have to use dishonest tactics to achieve something for the greater good.

Maybe we could/should be applying the same tactics at work!?

The chances are that you have a boss or a colleague who gives terrible presentations?

Going up to them and saying, “excuse me Bob, but the presentation you just gave was truly awful, the audience didn’t know what you were on about, your slides looked awful and on the whole you’ve made the company look really, really unprofessional.”

That’s going to go down about as well as me handing Jack the toothbrush, sure your boss needs to know the ugly truth and change things, just as much as my son’s teeth need brushing.

Taking either approach gets you a similar result, a toothbrush (or a stapler) hurdling through the air, as feet are stamped and tears are shed…

For me, a couple of minutes later and Jack will give me a cuddle and make friends. I can’t promise your boss will be soothed in the same sort of timeframe, nor if you will still have a job!

You see sometimes there is no rational reasoning with people and the only option is to con them…

So how do you subtly con your colleague into giving better presentations?

Con 1 – Leave the Eyeful website open on their computer on the Who We Do It For page and give them a peak at the stunning presentations we create in your industry…

Con 2 – Sneak a copy of the Presentation Lab into their briefcase the next time they go on a trip so that they can learn the formula behind powerful presentations…

Con 3 – Send their PowerPoint presentation to Eyeful for a completely free Health Check and leave the detailed feedback report anonymously on their desk, this will highlight where they’re going wrong and what they can do to improve it…

Con 4 – Book your team in for a lunch and learn presentation training session, our Think – Act – Deliver course is currently available for free! Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton will deliver 90 minutes of pure presentation training that will inspire, re-energise and get your team thinking about presentations in a whole new way.

Con 5 – Subscribe your boss to the Eyeful Blog! Weekly new blogs full of ideas, innovation and the odd bit of humour will get your boss inspired when it comes to creating better presentations.

So there you have it 5 (gratis) ideas on how you can con your boss towards giving better and more professional presentations.

Going behind their back, being sneaky and a bit naughty can feel quite wrong – but also quite good, if you’re so inclined!

But just remember why you are doing it! Yes, conning someone is wrong, but if your intentions are noble, then surely this can only be a good thing!

You are simply, quite subtly leading your boss towards becoming a better presenter who gives better presentations and therefor gets better results. Meaning your team, your department or your company in general will be more successful. And like my son having clean teeth, that’s no bad thing…

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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.