Most AR managers review a number of presentations each month, typically in conference calls or meetings with spokespeople. First-time critiques often result in recommendations for significant revisions because best practices for constructing the typical sales or marketing presentation do not produce the best flow or information content required for an effective analyst briefing. Unfortunately, when a sales presentation is used with an analyst, it frequently results in a negative perception of the company and its solutions by the analyst.
Some of the common errors are listed below.
- Starting with the solution rather than the problem. The best sales approach starts by showing the value of solving a problem. However, analysts often complain that vendors spend too much time setting up the scene and giving background, and too little time explaining what the solution actually does.
- Using the vendor's vocabulary, rather than the analyst's framework. Analysts work in models, so spokespeople need to gear each presentation to the analyst's model, rather than a generic sales presentation of the solution.
- If the analyst follows a narrower segment than your solution, then match your comments to their narrow focus. If you speak to a broad sales deck, analysts will go negative -- either they will assume you can't target the right analysts, or they will think you don't know what they focus on.
- Don't follow a script. Analysts want to feel vendors are open with them. Following the sales slides deck closely makes analysts feel that you are not confident speaking on other topics, and makes them feel that you are controlling the conversation too tightly.