When developing content for salespeople to use in the field, follow these simple rules.
1. Customer first, seller second, organization third.
Efficiency matters, but not more than effectiveness. The goal is to engage the customer with a tool that the seller actually uses. I’ve seen organizations fail by prioritizing their own needs over those of the customer and seller. If the tool works, then figure out ways to make it scale.
2. Interactivity goes a long way.
iOS 11 made iPads even more business-friendly, with new split-screen options and drag-and-drop capability. When a salesperson can hand an iPad to the customer and include them in the sales process, everyone wins. Platforms like Scrollmotion, Bigtincan and Adobe Experience Manager make interactive content accessible to salespeople without requiring an internet connection. Each has its place, and in some cases there's room for more than one.
3. Pictures are better than words.
Show rather than tell wherever possible. According to Harvard Business Review, one reason salespeople fail to close is that the customer doesn’t understand how the product helps their business. Visuals deliver information quickly and effectively, particularly in environments where the customer is easily distracted. Some products are harder to show than others, particularly in healthcare, financial services and telecommunications. Here's how to address.
4. Keep things simple.
Cluttered screens are hard for salespeople to deliver and, more important, for customers to absorb. Miller’s Law, put forth by Princeton psychologist George Miller in the 1950s, established that humans can retain five to nine pieces of information in short-term memory. Translation: Once you put more than five bullets on a PowerPoint slide, you’re wasting your time.
5. Use the right tool for the right purposes.
Responsive web design makes the same content deliverable on phones, tablets and desktops, but each format has strengths and weaknesses. Phones are a great way for organizations to reach customers and employees on the go, but they can’t compete with tablets as a way to deliver 1:1 sales presentations. PowerPoints on laptops force the customer into passive mode, stifling interaction and engagement.