Interactive Presentations: Why Are Customer Trends and Challenges So Important?

Stuart Janicki
10 April 2018

Let’s consider the purpose of a sales presentation. Your customer (hopefully) has a particular requirement for a product or service, and you (most likely) have the right solution to meet these requirements. The presentation you’re about to give them will hopefully persuade them that you are the right partner for them.

But is talking about your products and services enough? In today’s business world it’s not enough to simply have the right product or service, that should be a given. Buyers have changed, your competition has intensified, you’re probably faced with multiple decision makers (some of which won’t ever be present at your meetings) and customer face growing internal pressure to deliver ever greater results at lower costs. Instead, you have to go beyond selling your product or service and show that you’re the right fit for them, that you understand their needs and that you can add value and create future opportunities for the business.

Now consider your sales presentation – how tailored is the messaging to that particular customer, how many slides are dedicated to your customer versus your product and how do you show that you understand their needs?

The chances are you’re reading this because you want to make sure that your sales teams are having profitable conversations with your customers and that your presentation resonates with the customer.

In order to talk to customers in a way that’s relevant to them, keeping up with and being aware of the latest trends and challenges in their industry is absolutely vital.

This is especially important when meeting new potential customers. Why? Because it’s important to establish credibility with a customer and be seen as a thought leader to show you understand them, their business, the sector they work in and other factors that may impact them.

Ultimately, you’re showing them that by understanding their world, you’re able to suggest how your products or services can actually benefit and create new opportunities for them in a meaningful and relevant way.

If you’re not 100% sure of how to reflect these trends in an interactive presentation, you may be wondering where to start. That’s why below, we’ve highlighted the importance of customer trends and challenges, as well as the steps you can take to incorporate them into an interactive presentation to create a powerful narrative.

Addressing trends and challenges in your presentation

It’s important to establish credibility early in a presentation, so you should be looking to talk about trends and challenges up front.

There’s always a temptation in a presentation to dive straight into detail about who you are, your history, your clients and so on, but if you’re going into detail first thing then you’ve probably missed an opportunity to establish credibility and clearly, you haven’t placed the customer at the centre of the story.

There’s no harm in having a quick introduction to who you are – a small elevator pitch or opening statement is usually appropriate, but remember who is in the audience – not every stakeholder is able to digest lots of company and product information straight away.

Keep any introductions short and sweet – as per this example for eXPD8/Tradewins

The importance of trends and challenges early in a presentation is that it’s a great way to get into a dialogue with the customer (rather than present AT them). You can get the customer to open up and discuss those issues that impact them most, making sure you can steer the conversation and presentation towards the messages that are most relevant to them.

Customer challenges and trends can be addressed with a simple interactive visual as per this presentation for Fedr8

If you can start your presentation by looking at those top-level trends and issues you can discuss how their industry as a whole is impacted and then ask specifically which of them the customer is most concerned about. If you can have industry statistics that can add gravitas to your message then all the better for establishing credibility and thought leadership.

By engaging the customer in a conversation around these challenges you’d be surprised how people will open up and impart valuable insights into their business which you can then use to steer the conversation and the rest of the presentation to specifically address those issues making for a very personalised presentation.

It’s also a good chance to address specific stakeholders and different departments about any issues they are facing (each customer role will probably have their own concerns), which further helps to establish credibility as you are engaging with everyone in the room and personalising the conversation to them.

For Isotrak, we created this challenges dashboard which enables them to discuss multiple business challenges and talk to different stakeholders (click to enlarge)

 In this video Stuart talks through the process we went through ith Fujitsu to create an interactive presentation and how we specifically addressed the trends and challenges section. 

TIP: The easiest way to create the structure and narrative flow of a presentation is to use a slidemap and content storyboard, which we go into detail about in this blog 

How an interactive presentation agency can help

As an interactive agency, customer trends and challenges are one of the first things we address with our clients. Any good agency should be able to talk these through with you; sometimes you might be able to identify and talk about these challenges, and sometimes an agency will help you start from scratch.

When it comes to the interactive presentation itself, they can build the challenges and trends into any number of different visuals such as an interactive dashboard, a townscape, office building, or anything that resonates with and is relevant to the customer.

↑ Issues can also be shown using visual storytelling to easily show a scenario a customer might encounter (Example: Citrix)

Our client, Fujitsu wanted to ensure that their cybersecurity solutions (which is a complex and intangible topic) resonated with customers in a tangible way. We sat down and discussed the issues regarding cybersecurity and what was important to the customers.

We built the trends and challenges into a ‘Secure Thinking’ city – which represents the customer’s world where these issues regarding cybersecurity actually take place. Each one of these challenges was interactive, enabling the presenter to drill down for further information if the customer needs to talk about it.

Interactive PowerPoint Presentation for Fujitsu - Cyber Security

By drilling down into each challenge, the presenter was able to engage in a conversation with the customer and begin to establish where Fujitsu’s cybersecurity solutions would benefit and add value.

In summary

We hope this blog has shed a bit more light on why customer trends and challenges are so vital when putting together interactive presentations.

If you’re still not sure how best to develop an interactive presentation that addresses your customers’ trends and challenges, an interactive agency should be able to help – even if it’s only to provide free, impartial advice.

Do you have any specific questions? We’d encourage you to get in touch, so don’t be afraid to contact us – we promise to reply with something helpful!

Stuart Janicki
Head of Customer Experience
 
If you’ve got an idea and want to chat it through then just get in touch. Or give us a call 🤙 on 0117 329 1712.
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