Thursday, April 4, 2013

Situation Slides - Three Options for Delivery

In Great Demo! Workshops we teach the idea of using a Situation Slide to start demo meetings, especially for Technical Proof demos, with Situation Slides generated and presented using PowerPoint or Keynote.  A number of Workshop participants ask if this is the only way to present Situation Slide information or are there other options? 

There are (at least) three methods of delivery that practitioners use today:

-          As a slide presented using PowerPoint or Keynote
-          Presented verbally
-          Using a whiteboard or flipchart

Using PowerPoint or Keynote, some practitioners use the “controlled vocabulary” version of the slide:

Job Title/Industry:          VP Sales, Mid-size Software
Critical Business Issue:   Achieve/exceed quarterly and annual quota
Problems/Reasons:        Poor insight into pipeline/forecast
Specific Capabilities:      Rapid view of actuals, status, problems
Delta:                                $2M incremental revenue; recover 2.5 FTE
Critical Date:                    Implementation by June 1, 2013 to be ready for 2nd half forecasting session

More experienced practitioners remove the Job Title/Industry line (since the customer typically knows who he/she is…!) and translate the “controlled vocabulary” labels to words or word phrases that the customer might typically use, for example:

Challenge:                          Achieve/exceed quarterly and annual quota
Issues:                                 Poor insight into pipeline/forecast
Requirements:                  Rapid view of actuals, status, problems
Value:                                  $2M incremental revenue; recover 2.5 FTE
Timeline:                            Implementation by June 1, 2013 to be ready for 2nd half forecasting session

This same information can be presented verbally, without the need for a “formal” slide.  This can be particularly useful and compelling when the demo is intimate, with one or a very few players – and it also shows that the sales team has internalized the customer’s situation.

A third option is to use a whiteboard or flipchart and present the information verbally while writing a few key words on the whiteboard/flipchart to highlight the most important aspects of the customer’s situation.  This has proven to be particularly successful – and compelling – as it appears to be ad hoc (even if the sales team has carefully planned what they want to say and write…)!  Even better, these few key words tend to stay visible during the course of the, reinforcing the problem, solution and value.

Any other modes of delivery that people have tried?

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