As a loyal user of PowerPoint and other traditional presentation tools, you may not be aware that these tools are hurting your B2B sales. PowerPoint limitations often don’t come to your knowledge unless you see your salespeople failing at pitch meetings or your sales revenue plummeting drastically.Audiences are no longer what they used to be a few years back as they have undergone a significant behavioral change. They are saturated and always distracted by the constant barrage of news, messages, and information online, and prefer to discover solutions to their problems on their own. They wouldn’t care to pay attention if you don’t engage them.
Compared to the highly professional and knowledge-based zoomable user interfaces (ZUIs), PowerPoint falls shy of the enjoyable and gripping power of these modern-day tools-- something that negatively influences your brand perception. The tool is certainly failing you in the area of information transfer to your audience, making the presentation boring not only for them but also for your salespeople!
Adding to the disadvantages of PowerPoint, this traditional presentation tool can be a major drain on your money, time and other resources, sometimes costing you the deal and relationship with the big fish you have always been looking for.
Key reasons why traditional presentation tools fail to engage your audience fully
Many B2B sales professionals are switching to sophisticated and advanced PowerPoint alternatives as traditional presentation tools are no longer able to engross audiences in an already attention-scare world. Here are a few reasons why these tools are failing to tick the engagement criterion:
- Dull and monotonous content
This is the era of 4K videos, animations, 3D graphics, VR and other rich media content, and your audiences are already well-exposed to them on their hand-held devices. Unfortunately, there’s a stark dearth of these innovations in the design of traditional presentation tools.
Lack of visual richness is one of the most prominent disadvantages of PowerPoint. Visual aids, which are 43 percent more persuasive, often act as the decisive factor in sales pitches. But sadly, traditional tools like PowerPoint will only make your audience want to hurry through the slides at the earliest due to the sheer dullness of the content.
Given their fickle attention, viewing a presentation with text-heavy slides without any visual aids can easily cause your audience to lose interest in your team within a few minutes. As such, all your preparations and investments to the sales pitch go in vain if your slides fail to hook your audience.
- Difficult to fine-tune presentations to audience’s requirements
B2B buyers today are more aware than what they used to be. They self-discover their problems and perform extensive research to find potential solutions much prior to the sales pitch. They expect that your in-person meeting with regards to your offerings will solve their business problems.
With the proliferation of vertical industries, product offerings, and geographical distributions and the resultant explosion of presentation slides, aligning presentations with your audience’s needs with traditional presentation tools is a big challenge for salespeople.
Adding to the problem is the lack of a centralized slide library management feature in tools like PowerPoint-- something that kills your sales performance. Your sales team will have to recreate the presentation, thereby losing valuable time and energy in the process. This is enough for them to scream, “I hate PowerPoint!”
- No control over brand, messaging and regulatory compliance
If you are a brand marketer, you must know that consistency holds the key to success. Traditional presentation tools, however, may not be your best companion because of their mutability, which can paint a confusing and better-to-ignore image of your brand.
There is a league of marketers out there who feel that lack of control over various attributes of their brand is one of the biggest PowerPoint limitations; anyone can resize the logos, change color schemes and tamper with the messaging. PowerPoint does not provide a Track Changes reviewing option like MS Word. To do so, you have to go through quite a cumbersome process, which you can check out here.
At worse, you might miss out a regulatory disclaimer-- something that can make your legally vulnerable. This lack of consistency and control also weakens your brand positioning and calls for time-consuming presentation reviews, which further brings down your sales performance.
- Confusing user experience for the remote audience
As organizations go global, remote working option is becoming the order of the day in the business world. Almost every face-to-face sales meeting will have attendees working remotely and is conducted over screen-sharing online meeting tools (there are innumerable of them out there).
More often than not, there is a noticeable time lag between what in-person and remote audiences are viewing, especially with high-quality videos and animations. You may be viewing one fragment of the content, but your remote audience could be still stuck at the previous one.
The unsystematic user interface of traditional presentation tools, however, makes it quite difficult for your remote audiences to keep track of the conversation. When the discussion becomes confusing and out-of-context, what else can you expect them to do other than disengaging themselves?
- ·No way to measure the effectiveness of a presentation
The ultimate aim of your sales presentation is to nurture buyers. Your sales team should know whether your prospects viewed or distributed their presentations or not. But this isn’t an easy possibility in the case of traditional presentation tools.
Marketing and sales teams often complain about the disempowering nature of traditional presentation tools; they do not provide any data about usage, shares, and performance of the slides. Almost everyone seems to be shooting in the dark.
As such, the lack of presentation analytics is one of the biggest disadvantages of PowerPoint and traditional presentation tools, particularly in a business world where data drives almost every decision and action.
In conclusion, it won’t be wrong to say that traditional presentation tools were meant for the erstwhile business environments where communication was text-oriented and not much data-driven. They are now outmoded as present-day audiences covet rich media interactive content. Continuing your pitches with these age-old tools can severely damage your business reputation and drag your sales performance down.