Using AI to Create Winning Sales Presentations
Ask any salesperson about the importance of winning sales presentations. Most—if not all—will agree that an engaging presentation is often the key to closing a deal. At the very least, it will jumpstart a conversation with a prospect. When a sales pitch answers each of the client’s questions to a T, all that’s left is to sign on the dotted line.
Of course, anybody can put together text, images and even audio or video on slideshow software and call the result a “presentation.” However, sales teams only have a limited number of hours daily to meet and pitch to clients. In many cases, even busier clients can only provide sales reps with a small window to meet. As a result, they’re often under the gun to create the perfect sales presentation in record time. This is the fundamental reality of great sales pitches. Clients love something custom-made that looks, sounds and feels tailored just for them. But like any timeless masterpiece, it takes time to complete.
Can Artificial Intelligence Help Create Winning Sales Presentations?
Instead of taking shortcuts, why not look for ways to improve your sales presentations’ effectiveness and content quality? Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently making waves by offering a faster and more cost-efficient way to create content. Known as generative AI, this game-changing technology is busy disrupting conventional industry practices.
The Challenges of Traditional Presentation Creation
But why do presentations tend to take so long? Creating original content is one of the biggest reasons. Sales and marketing teams charged with personalized copy can run out of ideas or fall victim to writer’s block at some point. The same goes for graphic artists and designers crafting visuals to support the text. Then add to that some prep time for research—both for the topic and the target audience.
For many sales departments, time often isn’t a luxury they can enjoy. Clients are often busy, so there’s usually a need to rush things—cue the popularity of the elevator pitch! It’s not uncommon for on-the-go clients to ask for more information or even an impromptu pitch. Unfortunately, sales teams may be caught with their pants down when asked for a presentation. Here are some of the main reasons for this:
We’ve already established that creating presentations requires time, especially those targeted to specific audiences. Further, it can be a lengthy process to adequately research the topic and your target market. And coming up with original content is particularly challenging when facing a deadline.
What if the salesperson in charge of the account doesn’t have the necessary level of expertise? Instead of just opening the laptop to stitch together some older presentations and make quick edits, they’ll need to ask their managers for help. Not just with the edits themselves, but with the presentation software too.
A rushed presentation will often as not lead to three things. The first two involve either missing items or, alternatively, having unnecessary content or information. In the final, worst-case scenario, however, you could be left with a sloppy presentation that’s uninspiring, disengaging and boring.
Retrofitting older sales presentations can offer some sort of relief, but only if the sales team in charge knows what they’re doing. Consider the nightmare situation below.
The Danger of Reusing Presentations
While recycling original content may do the trick when there’s a looming deadline, rather don’t do go down this road unless there’s absolutely no choice. When Nike presented a pitch to Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors in 2013, the latter had yet to win a championship or show his true potential as the NBA’s ultimate shooter. For some reason, the people assigned to put the pitch together decided to reuse an earlier pitch they’d done for another NBA star, Kevin Durant. The result was even worse than you’d imagine—to the extent that a slide in the PowerPoint showed Durant’s name instead of Curry’s. Added to this, a member of the presentation team mispronounced Curry’s first name as “Steph-on.”
Long story short, the Curry family lost interest in the rest of the presentation. They subsequently signed with Nike rival Under Armour for nearly twice Nike’s offer of $2.5 million. A year later, Curry signed a nine-year extension worth $215 million. By 2016, Steph single-handedly raised Under Armour revenues by 28% in a single quarter.
The Problem With Sales (and Other Types of) Presentations
Let’s take away the time constraints for a moment and consider how typical employees deal with presentations. For many, being asked to present in front of their co-workers is about equivalent to volunteering for a root canal. They won’t willingly subject themselves to it unless absolutely necessary.
As a result, many office presentations end up feeling somewhat uninspired. Each slide displays way too much text; images are often the product of a haphazard Google search and download, either proudly displaying the watermark of the image bank they were copied from, or look too zoomed out. Then there’s the unfortunate pairing of mismatched, multicolor fonts with a bevy of slow animations.
American statistician Edward Tufte noted that typical slideshow presentations seemed to bring out the worst in both groups. “PowerPoint allows speakers to pretend that they are giving a real talk, and audiences to pretend that they are listening,” he wrote. It also doesn’t help that most presenters prefer reading the contents of each slide verbatim. By the third slide, both the presenters and the entire audience are likely ready to call it a day. If they’d just emailed or printed copies of the presentation and given these to the audience beforehand, nobody would’ve had to waste their time!
How AI Helps You Create Engaging Sales Presentations
Thankfully, generative AI may have solved the multiple issues of time, expertise and engagement. Whereas traditional AI focuses on analyzing data in order to generate insights, generative AI takes machine learning a step forward. Based on the information it continues to take in and learn, generative AI programs create custom new content based on inputs.
Generative AI isn’t limited to text content in different languages. It can also generate new images, audio and even computer code. For sales teams, the technology is able to produce highly-customized sales pitches—quickly and completely. Instead of having your team on standby to design a sample, draft the copy and source images and videos, a generative AI platform can take over immediately. That said, it still requires human intervention to provide the specific input needed to execute a request for content generation.
Generative AI won’t just supply you with the components needed to craft sales presentations. Its analytics tools can also provide the ideal format, design, strategy and flow. If AI can supply all these for your presentation, imagine how much time, effort and resources your organization will save?
But Are They Any Good?
For artificial intelligence applications, the quality of input often leads to a similar quality of output. By having the platform continually learn about your team’s uniqueness, it will be able to produce better content. But instead of just going with its initial output, it’s worth running the content again so that the AI can keep making improvements. Over time, it should learn enough about your team’s objectives, workflow and styles to work within these parameters.
How Generative AI Can Help
Generative AI helps develop content and a lot more to create winning sales presentations. Let’s look into each output in more detail below.
Create Unique Images
For years, marketing teams had to make do with stock photos from various online providers as their primary source of images. Acquiring photos, illustrations, video or audio from image banks costs relatively less than maintaining an in-house media library. However, unless you purchase exclusive rights, you risk using the same images as your rivals. While this option is available, it’s not practical or cost-effective to keep buying original images for all your sales and marketing materials.
Alternatively, you could enlist the help of AI image generators. They take in your instructions and analyze your existing content to generate original, photo-realistic images. For an added touch, AI image generators will also incorporate your branding guidelines, colors and design rules. This allows you to quickly come up with engaging and highly-relevant images that fully complement your text content.
Instead of commissioning an agency to supply the needed images, an AI generator can produce images nearly instantly. The entire team saves valuable time by avoiding the need to undergo multiple design stages in providing visual support to sales presentations.
Generate Text Content
Writing presentation copy for specific audiences is frequently a challenging task for marketing teams or their support agencies. Copywriters and editors who wrote for previous campaigns might find it harder to keep writing new material. Conversely, for newbies to the team, it could be harder to come up with a story angle considering their lack of experience with the process. Moreover, both groups might also have to contend with writer’s block—that sad affliction where you’ll struggle just to compose a sentence … never mind an assignment!
AI text generators usually come in the form of a chatbot program, like Ingage’s WriteIQ, where users can input commands. The platform looks into its comprehensive database of information in order to generate original text that answers a question or command. The more specific the request, the better the AI text generator’s output. Whether you need ideas, an outline or an entire block of text, they’ll be up to the task. In addition, its machine-learning features allow the platform to continue optimizing its output. Similar to image generators, these AI programs can also incorporate your preferred corporate tone, voice, perspective and style.
Analyze Important Data
Data analytics sees AI doing what it does best. Generative AI looks into a company’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, going through individual customer profiles, purchase histories and even customer service transactions to gain significant insights. The program then makes recommendations on how best to reach customers in respect of time and channel. Here, purchase history records also go toward developing custom incentive programs, helping to nudge clients to increase average order values (AOVs) or upsell or cross-sell offers.
Analytics also plays a critical role in improving content for sales presentations. With prescriptive analytics, platforms are able to track the responses of viewers to online presentations. The program measures the length of time people spend on each slide as well as their content engagement levels. This then allows content creators to determine which areas of the sales presentations captivated viewers and which ones need more work. Prescriptive analytics can also generate concrete suggestions on how best to optimize content engagement. In many cases, it can execute the improvement itself.
Receive Automated Suggestions
Remember Clippy, the erstwhile digital assistant for Microsoft who eventually became meme material? Let’s give credit to the animated tool for trying to help, even as the “It looks like you're writing a letter” message lost its appeal really fast. Clippy is the precursor to automated assistants that show up when users are performing the usual sales presentation tasks, such as writing copy, designing layouts or adding digital media. In advanced versions, generative AI can even offer suggestions on how to further improve the slideshow, including advice on time limits, tone and technical jargon.
Generative AI also provides additional services through its self-learning mechanism. For instance, it automatically detects and corrects typos, rewrites passive sentences into active ones, or rewords those that are too lengthy. For teams tasked with creating sales presentations on the fly, these tools are transformative when it comes to reducing the time needed for editing or proofreading. Removing these minor blemishes on otherwise great sales presentations serves to enhance content and attract more viewers. Once that’s taken care of, everybody can continue focusing on the rest of the presentation.
Choose from Samples
Typical office productivity or presentation software will ask for your sample preferences when starting a new document. Consequently, you’ll get to choose from various designs, taking in casual, formal and everything in between. Generative AI managed to take this handy function one step ahead by incorporating design samples as part of the service. This means that instead of spending all your time deciding between using a common sample or not, the AI program lets you choose between an existing preset sample or creating one specifically for the presentation. Even better, the program will automatically apply the chosen sample’s layouts to each applicable slide.
Additional Notes on Generative AI Features for Sales Presentations
Using generative AI for important tasks such as sales presentations is fast becoming mainstream. The convenience, ease of use and nearly limitless options are more than enough to convince businesses and their sales teams to wholesale adopt the technology. After all, time saved in preparing presentations mean more time giving clients valuable Facetime.
However, note that generative AI depends on quality input in order to deliver quality output. Further, becoming entirely dependent on AI-generated output can make your sales presentation lose some of its human qualities—such as humor and empathy. As a result, your customers might not always warm up to a straight AI-powered presentations, the perception being that your message has lost its original personality.
Machine Learning is Continuous Learning
Generative AI works best when fed quality information. During its journey to perfecting your content, it can throw out conflicting or inaccurate statements. Most likely, these will stem from neglecting to safeguard what information goes into the machine learning system. As such, you’d better watch out for possible offensive content as the computer wouldn’t know better... at least for the time being.
One way to accelerate machine learning is by continuing to feed your AI platform only the best information. Moreover, you should also subject AI output to additional scrutiny before delivering the content to a third party. You can exploit this continuous learning mechanism to perfect your sales presentations before shipping them out to an expectant audience.
The bottom line? AI remains a means to an end and not an end in itself. That said, it’s a great tool for enhancing the user experience as well as improving customer experiences. AI is the vehicle that can get you to your destination faster. However, you’ll still need to be behind the wheel to ensure a safe and successful journey.
Ingage: AI Presentation at Its Finest
With sales presentations, nothing beats an interactive environment. Clicking on embedded media inside a presentation allows a viewer to see and hear another story unfolding within the story. Interactivity also allows viewers to follow their path in navigating the presentation. Instead of taking the conventional route from A to B, interactive presentations can take you anywhere else you want along the way.
Ingage is cloud-based interactive presentation software that specializes in telling the whole story. It enables you to leverage your entire repertoire of text, images, audio and video to create a compelling sales presentation. And with WriteIQ, an AI text generator, available directly through the Ingage app, it’s easier than ever to create exceptional presentations that sell.
Collaboration and Sharing
Collaboration is another one of Ingage’s strong suits. Its cloud-based system allows users to log in from anywhere with an internet connection. Moreover, Ingage enables teams to work on a single presentation simultaneously from a variety of locations. This means that each team member can contribute their particular area of expertise. It also means that teammates can check on each other’s work to make sure everything is up to scratch. And that’s before packing up and sending the presentation to the client!
Sharing Ingage presentations doesn’t mean your recipients will have to give up valuable disk space. Because Ingage stores documents in the cloud, the size of your sales presentations become irrelevant. Simply send an email to your client informing them that a presentation is waiting. They can access the presentation just by clicking on the link.
Powerful Analytics and Generative AI Features
What sets Ingage apart is its powerful analytics features. This includes monitoring your client's reactions to your presentation. Ingage tracks and measures the time spent by clients on each slide. Analytics determines which parts of the presentation they found most appealing. Conversely, it can also show which areas need to be improved.
Ingage’s AI-powered tools let users gather real-time feedback on their presentation content and style. Producing insights from analytics gives them a more in-depth understanding of their clients’ needs. This, in turn, provides the data needed to further refine and improve their presentations.
The analytics features are just the beginning of Ingage’s affinity with AI. The WriteIQ AI tool that’s available for Ingage subscribers with editing permissions allows users to generate AI-powered text to enhance their interactive presentations. Why spend more time than you have to when writing your presentation copy? WriteIQ can help you develop new copy or improve your existing stories almost instantly using a simple chat prompt.
Achieve Mastery in Sales Presentations with Ingage
When it comes to providing presentation help to home services and home improvement companies, you’ve got it made with Ingage. With its recent decision to join forces with sales presentation experts Creative Mind Concepts, expect more new and exciting features and samples to become available in the Ingage marketplace. Together, our combined experience working with top industry leaders can help lend you insights and tools to get your sales team rocking!
Better yet, see for yourself how Ingage can enhance your sales presentations. Share your business information, and we’ll be happy to arrange a free demonstration. You’ll get a firsthand look at how easy it is to add interactivity to your sales presentations. Furthermore, you’ll see for yourself how our powerful AI features can effectively tell you what your customers think about your presentations. To find out more, visit us at Ingage today!