Certainly if you are presenting on your own and it’s your personal and your company’s reputation at stake (not to mention a potential sale), you are going to prepare your pitch very carefully.
When it comes to presenting as a team, preparation becomes even more important. To ensure that you come across as professional and relevant, do not forget these four foundational sales presentation training tips:
1. Select a Team Leader.
The first step is to select a team leader. This may be the sales team manager, but it might also be an internal expert or the sales lead on a particular account. What matters is that the leader be someone who knows, or will research, thoroughly the customer’s business, their needs, various styles of the decision makers and the competitive landscape. S/he then must be able to communicate this knowledge to all members of the team. There cannot be too much time spent in preparation; the more you know about your prospect, the more likely you are to understand the optimum solution to their business problems.
The leader will also be responsible for evaluatingthe strengths of each team member and then assigningtheir roles and topics for the presentation. The overall design, flow and timing of the presentation are the team leader’s responsibility. S/he should have the authority to call together members of the team to practice their pieces and see that all are doing their homework as needed. As team leader, you are the effort’s chief organizer and, as such, need to pull all the presentation elements together into a cohesive whole. You are the one to establish the theme that will tie the presentation together and give it the focus it needs for maximal impact.
Once your team is on stage, what will make the best impression? This is where coordination comes in.
- There should be smooth transitions from one presenter to the next.
- Those who are waiting their turn should be attentive and respectful.
- The introductions should be brief but informative.
- There should be a logical sequence from one speaker to the next and, hopefully, a change of style from one presenter to the next to maintain audience interest.
As team leader, you should be the opener and the closer. Since you are the person most closely associated with the account, you are in the best position to answer or refer audience questions and to guide the discussion to a positive conclusion.
3. Walk in their Shoes
Perhaps the most effective technique as you plan a team presentation is to imagine yourself in your prospect’s shoes.
- What will the audience be looking for?
- What are their needs?
- How will you be evaluated?
- How does your presentation fit into how their performance is measured?
4. Evaluate Your Team
Then think about your team.
- Does each member appear professional?
- From the point of view of their expertise, does each deserve a place on the team?
And finally, as you give the team their “marching orders,” don’t forget to encourage them to try to…