SageCircle strategists review a number of presentations each month in the context of phone-based inquiries. First-time critiques often result in recommendations for significant revisions. This is because atypical sales or marketing presentation does not produce the sequential 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 products by the analyst.
For example, SageCircle conducted a presentation review with a new client. The AR team representative and the intended product spokesperson were on the phone. Upon review, the “deck” resembled a typical sales presentation and suggested changes met strong resistance. The spokesperson had very firm ideas on how his presentation had to be built. Many of his beliefs were rooted in years of successful selling, but were quite inappropriate for an analyst “deck.”
The impasse was resolved by stepping back from the immediacy of the presentation and focusing on the intended result – getting the analyst to agree with a set of perspectives held by the company. From the spokesperson’s selling background, he agreed that to achieve this result, the message had to be tailored to the audience. The spokesperson further admitted to a limited understanding of the industry analyst marketplace. The SageCircle strategist provided a mini-training session on who the analysts are, how the analysts work, what mediums analysts use to deliver their research and recommendations, and how analysts like to receive information. Once the spokesperson was educated about the analysts, he agreed to the recommended changes.
Two important items were highlighted: the need for basic executive or spokesperson training about the analysts and how to deal with them; and the process required for constructing appropriate analyst presentations.
- Create a mini-training module to use with spokespeople
- Establish a formal process for creating and then critiquing presentations to be used with analysts
- Develop the attitude that a stubborn spokesperson is not a hassle, but an opportunity
The Online SageContentTM Library has SageToolsTM, sample training content, and best practices for critiquing presentations that can be used as the basis for a formal process and mini-training module. Advisory clients can use phone-based inquiry to have strategists review presentations and conduct mini-training sessions for executives.
Bottom Line: Focus on intended results and incorporate your understanding of the analysts and the workings of the industry analyst marketplace when preparing an analyst presentation. This is especially key when confronted with a stubborn spokesperson who resists your suggestions for building an effective “deck.”
Question: How do you handle stubborn spokespeople who insist on using an inappropriate presentation for an analyst briefing?