Few things are harder to sit through than a bad sales presentation. No matter what the industry is, the sell is usually a variation of the same formula: The rep stands at the head of a conference table, dryly reciting the script of why his/her product or service is mandatory.
Maybe he or she has even compiled slides in Power Point as a visual aid (by “visual aid” mostly we mean text on the screen). Meanwhile your stomach’s growling, you’re fighting the itch to check your phone, and you stopped paying attention five minutes ago … what is this person selling again?
Needless to say, no sale ensues.
What some companies do not realize is that it does not have to be this way. These days, sales presentations can be a dynamic, two-way street. The lecturer-audience model has been turned inside out, and replaced with an interactive, media-rich experience.
And it’s all thanks to tablets
Reportedly, over 90% of sales organizations have invested in tablets, and more than 70% have seen positive ROI.
While even the slickest tablet presentations can’t compete with growling bellies, your sales team should consider the benefits of using tablets in order to increase interest and, most importantly, close more deals.
1. Mixed media
Anyone who’s used a tablet – or any mobile device – understands its potential. You can always use them for surfing the web and watching important cat videos on the go, but if manipulated correctly, you can also harness their potential for your business.
In a sales presentation, the possibilities are seemingly limitless. Rather than inundating your audience with statistics or relying on informative paper brochures, you can bring up a video to make your point. Maybe your leads will be more persuaded by a quick testimonial from your C.E.O. or other satisfied customers.
Additionally, the interactive screen of a tablet can provide greater visual detail. If you have a complex product, all you have to do is pinch, zoom, and rotate in order to show it off up close, enabling your audience to understand it better.
The media capabilities of a tablet also have broader implications as well. Using platforms like Showpad, you can display interactive, annotated PDF docs, which can then be repurposed and incorporated into your company’s online content strategy.
Really good sales reps make their pitches feel off-the-cuff. But at the end of the day, they are essentially actors who need to stay on brand and not deviate from the calculated, tested formula of their company’s sales pitch. At least, that’s how it used to be.
With the use of tablets, there is no longer one right way to present (which is a good thing). A rep can customize his information for the lead sitting in front of him. True, personalization isn’t a new sales tactic per se, but tablets can help you emphasize the most relevant information, while minimizing the things that matter less.
This non-linear way of presenting can be great when you’re pressed for time. It’s not totally uncommon for appointments to get shuffled around or even halved due to urgent, last-minute scheduling. Luckily, you no longer have to rush through your presentation. Instead, you can pull up a menu on your tablet, and let your audience decide the order of topics.
This approach requires reps to think on their feet more. They will have to be very familiar with the relationships between topics, and how to jump back and forth out of order. But the benefit is a more engaged customer, and hopefully a sale.
3. Make it tactile
Tablets for business presentations still possess a novelty factor. When a rep shows up not with a laptop or projector, but with a slick tablet, people sit up and take notice. Right off the bat, you will make a good first impression.
However, it is important to feel out your audience, and do your homework. If the company to which you are presenting is tech-savvy or innovative, consider showing off the tablet’s capabilities a little more. Your audience will appreciate it.
On the other hand, for a more traditional business that is used to standard presentations (even if they are bored by them), tread lightly at first. Seamlessly integrate it into your talk, but don’t lean too heavily on it. In fact, that is a good rule of thumb no matter your audience.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a tablet is its interactivity. If possible, pass it around to people. Let them scroll and look more closely at the content that interests them most. It is a great way to involve them and drive engagement. But do not use it as a crutch. Hand it over with guidance and explanation. A rep who passes out the device and quietly waits while people figure out what to do with it will kill the sale.
Furthermore, in the instance of a more traditional company, remember to ask before sending it around the room. Forcing the tablet into a person’s hands who does not know what to do with it might intimidate him or her.
4. Integrate all parts of the sale
While tablets can create a great presentation, they are also useful for integrating other important elements needed to complete a sale. Interactive visual displays will hook your leads, but when it comes to the actual process of getting them to sign on the dotted (digital) line, the devices need extra power to make the process smooth and painless.
As you might have guessed, there is almost always an app for that. With the right interface (and of course, a good internet connection), tablets can also manage various account details in real time in CRM (Customer Relationship Management), ensuring that the deal meets everyone’s standards.
Excellis Interactive, a tech company that devises streamlined mobile strategies for businesses, seized an opportunity presented by sales tablets. For a client specializing in medical devices, Excellis created one app for its reps that allowed them to schedule meetings, check inventory, sign contracts and more.
With a tablet, you can avoid prolonging the sale by checking different apps or calling the office to confirm details, and see for yourself while you are still in the meeting.
Using a tablet correctly can certainly earn you sales, but many companies enjoy other money-saving benefits as well. Traditional presentations called for handouts or large brochures for every person in the room. It might have helped the audience to follow along, but printing all of that paper was undoubtedly costly for any company.
Additionally, sales reps whom had to present to large groups schlepped boxes and boxes of documents around, which probably did not help their enthusiasm for the pitch.
Summing it up
With a tablet, you dramatically reduce the amount of labor involved with preparation. Of course, now important documents can simply be emailed in real time during the presentation, or as follow up after the meeting.
Furthermore, the customized nature of a tablet means you can make the pitch as short or as long as is needed. For big sales, you will most likely want to stick to longer presentations in order to spell out benefits and comb over statistics (all in an interactive manner, of course). But for smaller scale transactions in which you put the customer in the driver’s seat, and let him or her more or less determine the course of the presentation, you may end up persuading them in shorter windows of time than before.
(Lead image: Depositphotos)