Having looked at the most useless sales pitch slide of all — the “common differentiators” — in a previous post https://blogs.gartner.com/rolf-jester/?p=39, let’s continue with #2. The regularity with which these ineffective slides appear is alarming. It’s as though their creators all went to the same school of bad sales presentations.
Probably the second most frequent one is The Ubiquitous Partner Logo slide. It lurks in almost all sales presentations. You’ve seen them. And you’ve heard the words: “These are our partners. No-one can do it all alone.” It’s true of course, but a cliché. The slide consists of logos of well-known technology companies, typically from six or so to about ten.
The weird thing is that, across so many IT providers in our industry, the identified “partners” are often the same ones, or at least a set selected from the same dozen or so famous IT brands. Is there a repository somewhere on the web where people copy this ubiquitous set of partner logos? Right next to the “common differentiators” template, no doubt.
More importantly, the presenter typically makes no attempt to explain what “partner” means in this context. It’s one of the much abused term in our industry and can mean many things, or sometimes nothing. “Partners” can play various roles. Some are resellers, and they may add value in various ways, or not. Some are service providers delivering specialized services important to the total solution. Some may be providers of add-on products. In many cases they are nothing more than suppliers to the company that is presenting. Big deal.
What buyers need is an explanation of why the partners matter. What exactly does this partner do, together with you, to deliver me a good outcome? Why should I care? What’s the value that is created?
If a sales presenter can answer those questions, then there might be value in such a slide. But it would have to be customized for the specific audience. Clearly the same partners aren’t relevant to all customers. Sales pitch slides that don’t help to tell your story in a way that’s relevant to the specific audience are useless. Each step of the presentation should be aimed at moving your audience towards your specific purpose.
Your stories about sales presentations are of interest if you’d like to share them.
These blog posts will continue to discuss the business of IT Services, especially selling and marketing.
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