So, your sales staff is still relying exclusively on slides. Dave is struggling with the new slide deck from corporate (the one that doesn’t target his market.) Mary is grappling with new graphic guidelines that prevent her from making adaptations. What’s the solution?

What’s the best way to engage your audience? Whiteboard stories shift selling into high gear. A simple story, told with pictures and words while the audience watches radically boosts sales presentations.

But what can you do if your staff is addicted to using slides? A good first step in fixing presentation problems in any business is to evaluate what’s going on right now.

Even if there are no obvious failures and bumps, investigating current practices can help you understand pitfalls—and opportunities.

What are the benefits you would expect from investigating presentation practices and implementing actions based in your findings? Here’s a few. Go ahead…put big check marks next to these outcomes:

• Improved presentation practices
• Less stress about client presentations
• Reduced overtime and weekend hours
• Greater levels of staff satisfaction
• Increased collaboration among peers
• Shorter sales cycles
• Higher sales
• Increased client satisfaction

An investigation into presentation practices can produce benefits such as the ones above. However, it is important to investigate correctly and take action based on results.

Follow this 7-step model to get going in the right direction.

1. Investigate Current Practices
It’s hard to know what to fix…until you know exactly what is happening today. Do this with informal interviews, side-by-side observation and staff brainstorming sessions.

While you are investigating, you may also want to conduct a survey. A survey offers powerful ways to find out what’s really going on—in part because anonymous feedback encourages people to tell the truth.

If you are using a survey, be sure to compile and share the results. Otherwise you may fuel griping and negative atmosphere.

2. Determine Why Sellers Rely Exclusively On Slides
As tempting as it is to believe you know why sales staff rely exclusively on slides…don’t rely on your intuition. Ask. Find out.

It may be reasons you have not considered such as: time constaints, legal issues, boss preferences or client insistence.

Find out why sellers are opting for a slide-only approach.

3. Identify Opportunities To Whiteboard
Look for fresh ways to share information. A popular way to do this is: find the toughest part of the sale. This bit is often hard because there is confusion, cloudiness and tons of data.

A whiteboard conversation simplifies complex topics. Plus, there’s an added benefit. When you solve the snarly bit of a sales process, sellers will take notice.

4. Model Results With A Top Performer
Instead of pushing whiteboard training…model results. Most sellers admire the top performer. They secretly wish they could do, speak and achieve the same results.

If your top performer is winning deals with a marker in his or her hand…guess what the rest of the team wants to do?

5. Offer Non Mandatory Training
Offer training in whiteboard selling skills—on a first-come, first served basis. In all the organizations we’ve worked in, we’ve seen that non-mandatory training fills up faster and attendees are highly motivated.

People will fight for the chance to be there—instead of moaning and groaning about ‘having to go to training.’
6. Track Results Of Whiteboard Sellers
With targeted training, you are in a great position. It’s time to track results. This won’t be hard. Sellers who use new communication techniques and win results, will spread the word.

Track emails. Track sales numbers. Track loyalty. Track sales cycle time. Put results in terms that matter to your sellers. Hint: speak about ‘pocket book’ issues. While organizational goals and numbers are important to the business—bottom line commissions and sales bonuses are critical to sellers.

7. Pull Instead Of Push
Whiteboard interactions are so powerful because they invite conversation—instead of creating passive presentations. In this strategic approach, you’re doing the same thing. You’re inviting or pulling.

At every step of the way, pull rather than push. Pull out insights. Pull out reasons why. Pull at desire to emulate the top performer. Pull at the competitive urge to get peak results.

With this strategic approach, you’ll create a powerful organization of whiteboard sellers—and you’ll have a great time in the process.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: