Companies are good at creating a lot of noise. Marketing departments easily gain attention, but the organization often falls short when it comes to the part that matters: converting interest into results. The problem, of course, is putting too much focus on the beginning of the funnel and not enough towards the end. Like a film trailer showing the best clips, it’s no use grabbing attention if you don’t end up selling a ticket.

Most of us are familiar with the process: the top of the funnel gets the most attention and energy, but this effort diminishes as a customer moves toward conversion. Returning to our film trailer analogy, it’s easy to see why companies need to change it up. Just one view isn’t enough. As a film lover, you might spot the trailer, an advert on a bus, an interview with an actor, and a review in a newspaper before you actually enter the cinema. In fact, when it comes to business, recent studies show the most vulnerable part of the process is between evaluation and decision, which for many companies is the sales pitch.

85 per cent of businesses recognise content creation as the most important contributing factor in the success of a sales pitch. Creating high-quality content is vital to success, as it helps to achieve a key goal in any pitch: engagement with the audience. But at the same time, those who recognise a lack of engagement as the primary obstacle to growth missed their sales goals 63 per cent of the time. There is clearly a disconnect between the acknowledgement of the importance of high-quality materials and their creation. This is especially problematic, as 35 per cent of businesses state that they use a presentation over three-quarters of the time they have meetings.

Creating Impressions That Lead To Conversions

The potential to engage new customers here is huge, but so are the potential pitfalls. The key piece of advice on making your content and presentations more engaging is this: give your audience more credit and start getting them involved.

Engagement, collaboration and interactivity are key to creating a lasting impression. Over half of those involved in customer pitching (57 per cent) found that creating engaging presentations lead to year on year growth. One of the simplest ways to liven up your presentation, and therefore boost growth rates, is by focusing on conversational presenting.

The idea of conversational presenting is based on adapting your presentation to the audience you’re speaking too. Allow your audience to guide your presentation, and it will increase engagement, encourage information retention, and ultimately drive conversions. Ask the audience what they want to talk about and let your presentation be guided by that.

By showing respect for their time, intelligence, and individual requirements, and engaging in conversation, you become a collaborator. Someone their business is already working with, rather than someone who is simply selling them a product or service. This is particularly true towards the end of the sales funnel, as you shift perception away from the idea of a sales team and towards the idea of already being a collaborative team.

Tools To Set You Up For Success

The tools we choose to use when communicating with prospects have a quantifiable effect on results. For example; in real-world business scenarios, research from Harvard University has found that presentations which involve zoomable user interfaces (ZUIs) are more persuasive and engaging, and receive more positive responses from their audience.

Sales teams need three key things when they enter a room: the right attitude toward the audience, the right strategy for communication and tools that will truly boost their presentations.

There are clear issues with the current state of the sales process. A drive for content creation, lead generation, and – ultimately – sales conversions needs to go hand in hand with a recognition of the customer’s intelligence and the value of their time. Embracing new tools and techniques, those that have been proven to really effect results, can breathe new life into presentations.

Presentations shouldn’t mean flicking through static slides and going for the hard sell. Open your eyes to the ROI blindspot, your ears to conversational presenting, your audience to greater engagement, and your business to greater sales success.