Can Your Team Present? - Coaching is the Key

By Tony Kevin

I was talking to one of our Regional VPs the other day and he was complaining that he couldn’t get his team to give his standard sales presentation. He had created (and was delivering) a very effective presentation that his clients were responding to nicely. His plan was to have each sales person know how to deliver his presentation. He recorded the presentation and sent it to each of them but they still were very mechanical in how they delivered it.

At this point, I asked him, “Want to know why they’re not doing as well as you are with the presentation?” He said, “Sure!”

I told him the team was struggling because it was HIS PRESENTATION. He built the story over 20 years of his own professional experience. He was using his personal stories, ones that only he experienced over hundreds of customer meetings. It simply wasn’t natural for his sales team to tell the story his way because they weren’t with him in those hundreds of meetings.

The real challenge was for him to help them find their own stories and incorporate those stories with the company’s value presentations. That way the customer will respond to their credibility not his. His response was, “I’m not very good at that.”

I was disappointed.

Our jobs as Sales Leaders are to hire, develop and grow great sales people, and achieve our numbers. In order to do that, we need to scale our efforts. In order to do that, we must help our teams build their own credibility. Not just bring in the VP to do the presentation.   The customers need to trust the sales person, not their sales VP.

Coaching for Great Presentations:

Here are some tips for you to help your sales people develop their own great presentations:

1       You Present – Start of by presenting your presentation to them first. Make sure throughout the presentation to explain your approach and tell them the background to the stories you use. After that, present it in front of one or two customers with your sales person. By this point, the wheels will be turning in your reps head. They will start to connect the dots.

2      Help Them Find their Stories – The next step is to help your sales reps find their own stories and align them with your company’s value. Ask your reps to explain some of the best sales wins they’ve had, or challenging customer situations they’ve been a part of solving. Once the stories emerge, help the rep correlate them to the types of things your company does.

3      Make them Practice – Everyone knows that great presenters are great because they practice. First have them present on one of your team meetings. Keep it to 20 minutes, no interruptions. Then get them out in front of the customer telling their stories.

Compelling Personal Stories + Your Company’s Value + Practice = Successful Team