Top 3 Problems of Sales Presentations

Author: John Honovich, Published on Nov 18, 2008

Sales presentations are critical yet are routinely ineffecitve. While an appropriate sales presentation can quickly and effectively convince a potential partner to do business, many sales presentations are wasteful. This report examines the top 3 problems I see in sales presentations and how to resolve them.

The problems:

  1. Show up and Throw Up
  2. Pitch Generalities
  3. Steamroll Objections

Show Up and Throw Up

The most unproductive way to start a meeting is to just start talking and delivering a standard pitch. If you are giving a presentation to a specific group or small number of people, it is critical to understand their issues. A generic presentation will waste people's time and, worse, generally fails to address the few issues that make or break the deal.

I always want to know:

  • How familar is the audience with the video surveillance? If they have never heard of it, that's one presentation. If they go to ISC West, that's another.
  • Has the audience attended a presentation from a competitor? Who? What did they think? Figure out what their concerns or interests were from that and adjust the presentation.
  • What type of system do they have currently? Who is the vendor? If their current system is incompatible with mine, I have to address (or perhaps DQ the opportunity).
  • What are the main security concerns? Are they dealing with insider threats? What type of crimes occur? Where do they most likely occur?

Not only do people feel better when you actively take an interest in their business, this gives you a far high ability to qualify and to persuade based on their actual experience. There's a whole cottage of books on this topic - questioned based selling.

Solution to showing up and throwing up - Spend the first 10 minutes asking questions (or if possible do a phone call ahead of time and ask these questions). Then tailor, your presentation or deck to those key issues that are most important to the audience.

Pitch Generalities

I am amazed at how frequently companies pitch their category rather than their product. For example, let's say you sell video analytics. Unless your audience has never heard of video analytics, it does not make much sense to talk about operators zoning out after 20 minutes of live video and how video analytics alerts you to threats without having to watch video, etc. This establishes no differentiation and wastes your audience's time. However you see this pattern in every segment. Sales people spend their time talking about abilities that all of their competitors support. This is what creates confusion and encourages users to think all products are the same.

Solution to pitching generalities - Focus on your specific differentiators, citing functionalities and capabilities that your competitors do not.  An example of this is how I define unique capabilities in my About page. By clearly and concisely identifying what's really unique and differentiating, the audience will be much more likely to remember and understand why they should choose you.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Problem 1: Most companies lack differentiators: A real problem with my recommendation is that there are dozens of companies in each segment. Inevitably, most companies have no meaningful differentiator. Their key difference is they have a sales call with you and the other vendors do not.  If you have no differentiators, then pitch generalities and buy dinner.

Problem 2: Most companies are poor at understanding their differentiators: I am surprised how frequently this happens but even really good companies tend to bury their key differentiators from the dozen of functionalies that everyone has.

Steamroll Objections

Most people receiving a presentation are reluctant to strongly object to what a speaker is saying. People generally do not want to be confrontational. Also, they generally lack expertise in the presenter's field so they are reluctant to challenge.

Ironically, most presenters are insensitive to the potential objections or concerns of a customer. With optimism for their offering and confidence in themselves, they tend not to hone in on potential concerns. It's almost comical how often presenters fail to realize that the audience was simply being polite and not strongly interested nor convinced.

This creates an inefficient and unproductive scenario where objections are brushed aside.

The reality is video surveillance is a long sales cycle. The concerns of most prospects do not go away. If anything, they tend to increase in time as the prospect gains more information and brings in other parties to review the system/product.

The solution to steamrolling objections - You need to uncover and handle objections as quickly as possible. If it's not a good fit, pass. If you can handle the objection, flush it out and explain to the prospect.

Disagree? Other problems that you see are important?

Related Reports

Rare Video Surveillance Fundraising - Verkada $15 Million on Apr 19, 2018
Fundraising in video surveillance (and the broader physical security market) has been poor recently. Highlights are few and far in between...
Worst Access Control 2018 on Apr 18, 2018
Three access control providers stood out as providing the most problems for integrators. In this report, we analyze the answers to: "In the...
Best and Worst ISC West 2018 on Apr 16, 2018
ISC West 2018 had strong attendance, modest overall new products, and a surge in Artificial Intelligence marketing. First, here are 20+...
Eocortex / Macroscop VMS Company Profile on Apr 09, 2018
Eocortex is the international brand of Russian VMS manufacturer Macroscop. Macroscop was founded in 2008, and the Eocortex name created in 2013. We...
VMS New Developments Spring 2018 (Avigilon, Exacqvision, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone, Network Optix) on Apr 04, 2018
What's new with VMS software? In this report, we examine new features and releases for Spring 2018 to track different areas of potential...
Favorite Video Analytic Manufacturers 2018 on Apr 02, 2018
Video analytics is one of the biggest trends in 2018, driven by marketing for Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. But what do integrators...
Destructive Video Analytics Hype Returns on Mar 27, 2018
It is not just Hikvision's false advertising campaign. With marketing money being pumped into deep learning, we are returning to the bad old...
Startup Image Intelligence 10X Accuracy Guarantee on Mar 26, 2018
An Australian startup, Image Intelligence, is targeting the biggest problem of video analytics, poor accuracy, with quite a claim: Is this...
Top 4 Biggest Problems Selling Access Control 2018 on Mar 23, 2018
We received 150+ responses from integrators when we asked them "What is the biggest problem you face when selling electronic access control?...
Security Robot Sales Struggle on Mar 21, 2018
2 year ago, PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman called security robots one of “the biggest game changers” in decades for security integrators. Just over...

Most Recent Industry Reports

The Yolo Bro And The Death of Journalism on Apr 24, 2018
There's an old quote: The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable Unfortunately, the opposite is more...
DMP Adds Ring Video Doorbell Integration on Apr 24, 2018
Video doorbells have become one of the hottest items for security systems. After several years with no doorbell, DMP has announced integration with...
Milestone 2017 Financials Examined on Apr 24, 2018
For ISC West 2018, Milestone released ... their financials, touting "strong revenue growth in 2017". However, there were discrepancies with the...
Chinese Manufacturer Kickstarter Campaign Huge Success (EverCam) on Apr 23, 2018
In a week, a Chinese manufacturer's expertly done Kickstarter campaign has received $1.4 million in pledges, an incredible amount for a video...
Favorite Biometrics 2018 on Apr 23, 2018
Biometrics are on the rise, or at least integrator opposition to them is declining, according to new IPVM integrator statistics.   Almost half of...
Dahua and Hikvision Win Over $1 Billion In Government-Backed Projects In Xinjiang on Apr 23, 2018
Dahua and Hikvision have won well over $1 billion worth of government-backed surveillance projects in China’s restive Xinjiang province since 2016,...
May 2018 Camera Course on Apr 20, 2018
Save $50 on early registration until this Thursday, the 26th. Register now (save $50) for the Spring 2018 Camera Course This is the only...
Global Real-Time Video Surveillance - EarthNow on Apr 20, 2018
A new company, EarthNow, with backing from Bill Gates, Airbus and more, is claiming that: Users will be able to see places on Earth with a delay...
Dedicated Vs Converged Access Control Networks (Statistics) on Apr 20, 2018
Running one's access control system on a converged network, with one's computers and phones, can save money. On the other hand, hand, doing so can...
April 2018 IP Networking Course on Apr 19, 2018
This is the last chance to register for our IP Networking course. Register now. NEW - 2 sessions per class, 'day' and 'night' to give you double...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact