Are Your Sales Team’s Slides Mismatched?

By Heather Baldwin

If you were to line up the first PowerPoint slide of the most recent sales presentation given by each of your sales reps, what would you see? Would you find a consistent look, feel and tone across the entire line? Or would it look like a series of slides from several different companies? At many organizations, it’s the latter. That’s because when reps are left to create their own presentations, the result is often that their slides are inconsistent from one rep to another – which means your company is putting a muddied message into the marketplace.

Until recently, this kind of inconsistency was a problem at Carlson Marketing (, a global marketing services provider. “Reps would put their own messages in and do some different things with brands and logos,” recalls Joan Bettinger, Carlson Marketing’s manager, marketing. For instance, sometimes the logo was too big, or it was in the wrong place, or, more critically, their information was outdated because it had been copied from old slides.

Carlson’s solution: Pragmatech software. Personalization technology such as that offered by Pragmatech lets companies consolidate current sales and marketing information into one location. Sales reps can create presentations using that information and be confident it is accurate and up-to-date. At the same time, organizations can be confident they are putting a single, consistent message into the marketplace.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution by any means. Carlson Marketing prides itself on its “one-to-one” client conversations and emphasizes customized, personalized presentations as part of those conversations. Therefore, behind the scenes, Bettinger’s team is collecting information, rewriting it for a particular industry or customer and entering it into the Pragmatech database. When a Carlson rep is preparing to give a presentation, he can go into the database, click on the tab that’s appropriate for his audience’s industry and see a list of various trends and industry issues. He then clicks on the points he wants to include in his presentation, clicks another button, and voila – the slide is assembled.

“The beauty of the Pragmatech system is that the end result is either a PowerPoint or Word document,” says Bettinger. “Those are two formats sales reps are already familiar with, so they can go into the file after they create it and change some words or add a slide or customize it further.”

Carlson Marketing began beta-testing the Pragmatech system in November and Bettinger says she’s been getting very positive feedback. It is too early to measure the results, she says, but sales reps have been telling her the system is “saving them a lot of time. They’re happy the content is in one place so they don’t have to search around. And they like knowing that they’ll click a button and find the most current information.”

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