- Are people using these types of presentations to communicate product (or service)?
- features or benefits?
- If so, where?
- On their website?
- As sales collateral?
- How deep is the content?
- Are they used as "leave behinds" to recap a detailed sales discussion?
- Could they replace that discussion altogether?
Are sales teams too reliant on these types of presentations to the extent that such presentations have replaced (quality) interpersonal discussions?
The above concerns are well known, especially through associations with sales folks in small(er) corporations.
Canned, passive presentations should be used carefully and sparingly. Of particular concern becoms their use--or even consideration--as "replacements" for detailed sales discussions altogether. Just think how much one checks out of a supposedly interpersonal discussion when the presenter shoes up with a 60-slide deck.
For passive interaction, 1-2 pager notes are able to communicate the necessary product feature/content. One can even model these notes as "product datasheets." These could be published through emails / websites / events. PPTs have a great impact during interpersonal meetings since they help manage the flow and structure of the discussions. Also, PPT presentations help people in audience to take down key points in their notes.
In a way, PPT presentations have come to embody the communication assassinator of corporate America. And, that's when they are accompanied by a verbal script. Passive PPTs are even more removed and impersonal. The next step on that slippery slope is miming. A prospect has to be pretty darn desperate to actually flip or click through an unaided PPT presentation. These days, sellers seem to default to PPT presentations when approaching a prospect because "everybody does it that way." Prospects, on the other hand, seem to be immediately turned off by the mere appearance of a PPT because, well, "everybody does it that way." While these PPTs sometimes work as a suitable leave behind in a competitive pitch, there are clearly more interesting and more effective mediums, such as a Flash presentation or just a real, live conversation.