Marketing Creates Lousy Sales Presentations

Guest post By Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter"

Too many marketing departments are still living in the 1990s with how they feel salespeople should be making presentations. Marketing departments are notorious for making slick presentations that do nothing but extol the virtues of how wonderful their company is.  I call these “capabilities presentations.” Really they should be called “look at me – I think I’m perfect” presentations.

The reason they are lousy is because all they do is waste time and make people angry.

Why should any customer have to sit through a lousy presentation that does nothing but share stupid facts and information about the vendor – especially when it is nothing but old news?   The main reason it’s old news to the customer is because they’ve already had a chance to see the very same information on the internet.

Today’s customer does not wake up in the morning looking forward to having their time wasted by salespeople.   Customers have far more important things to worry about. One of the easiest ways customers are cutting down on the amount of time they spend with salespeople is by using the internet before they even meet with the salesperson.

Customers are using the internet to gather the information they want to know, including specific facts and general knowledge. The reason customers do this is because they feel it’s a better use of their time.  (This alone is a sad comment about the perception customers have of salespeople, but that’s an entirely separate issue.)

If the customer is knowledgeable before the salesperson meets with them, then there’s no reason to waste anyone’s time with the boring presentation from marketing.

I’m not saying salespeople should assume the customer knows everything. On the contrary, the salesperson needs to now verify  everything.  It’s for this reason I’m a strong advocate of what I refer to as the “modular presentation.”

The modular presentation is comprised of many small presentations, with the premise that any single piece can be used by itself. The value of the modular style is it allows complete flexibility on the part of the  salesperson. They’re able to focus on the parts the customer needs to hear, not on what they already know.

To make the modular style of presentation work, the salesperson must be highly skilled at being flexible in asking the customer questions and listening for their responses.  In addition, for the modular style to work, the marketing department needs to be willing to let go and allow the salesperson to know what is best.

This in and of itself is the hardest part of the move, but in the end, it is essential. Failure to move away from the “capabilities presentation” and to the modular style will only result in upset salespeople, upset customers and lost sales.   The choice then is really quite simple.  Either marketing is going to remain in control or sales is going to have the flexibility they need to close sales and maximize profits.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability.  For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit You can also follow him on, and

Reprinting of this article is welcomed as long as the following is included:

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,”, © 2011