Communication misalignment between sales and marketing is a ubiquitous problem that can ultimately cost B2B companies 10% of revenue or more per year. The lost revenue arises from:
- Marketing content that is never used
- Poor lead conversion
- Reduced sales productivity
The tension results from marketing and sales approaching the process from different viewpoints. While marketing tends toward a long-term broad focus, sales is often tasked with closing leads with very specific requirements.
The problem with building presentations
The misalignment often starts when building/assembling presentations for customer meetings.
Prior to a meeting, the sales team often edit and refine official marketing presentations such that they are tailored to the customer’s needs. The process is time consuming and seemingly always completed under duress. As a result, finding the right slide in a sea of presentations in the company intranet is frustrating and sometimes not feasible.
As a result, sales often refer to unofficial presentations from past meetings – largely because they are easier to find. However, over time the slides become out-of-date with old information and inconsistent branding, ultimately impacting the ability to close the sale.
How slide libraries drive alignment
To effectively solve misalignment during presentation assembly, provide marketing with a solution to expose specific slides and give sales incredibly easy access to these slides – slide libraries do exactly this.
A slide library solution allows users to access slides on an individual basis. Rather than rummaging through decks to find the one slide they need, slide library solutions either extract slides from a content source or allow users to create a library. Further, search results are visual, allowing users to quickly discern which best meets their needs. Often times, the search function and slide retrieval is built into PowerPoint, making it easy to adopt.
Rather than always publishing entire presentations, creating a library of individual slides gives marketing a chance to build specific on-message slides that meet sales needs across their different leads.
For sales, the tool allows them to find marketing-approved slides with incredible ease. Essentially, the process is simplified such that it’s the easiest way to find slides (even easier than searching through their hard drive).
Advanced slide library solutions even check sales’ slides to ensure users have the latest version. If out-of-date, users can review and update slides with a click. Such solutions can provide marketing with analytics on what slides are accessed most often, helping close the feedback loop. Some even allow sales teams to suggest updates to slides that marketing can review and accept.
Slide library solutions ensure consistent messaging and improved productivity:
- Provide buyers with the right content each step of the sales process
- Drive cohesive messaging and branding across all communication
- Spend less time building presentations and more time selling
How you can implement a slide library
When first starting, trying to assemble a ‘master’ deck with all your core slides and make sure it’s available to the entire sales team. While a simple method, this allows you to test approach without significant investment.
Next, check if a solution already exists in-house. SharePoint used to support a slide library, but it was discontinued starting with SharePoint 2013. Alternatively, we provide a 3rd party solution called TeamSlide. TeamSlide integrates with a number of content systems including SharePoint and Google Drive, allowing you to quickly make large amounts of content searchable on slide level.