While visual content is proving its worth in areas ranging from e-commerce sites to Facebook posts, visual components are often lacking in B2B sales conversations, finds Corporate Visions in its latest industry survey of B2B salespeople and marketers from around the world. Asking respondents what visual aides they use in their presentations, the survey found that a majority eschew them entirely, relying on in-person (27%) and phone (26%) conversations. The PowerPoint (33%) presentation is relatively widely used, but only 13% use an interactive writing surface such as a whiteboard.
While the focus of the Corporate Visions survey is on the use of whiteboards, it is interesting to note that traditional phone and in-person conversations still dominate, likely because of their efficacy. Studies from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research and the Content Marketing Institute have shown that face-to-face contact is extremely effective in B2B marketing and sales.
It’s also worth noting that phone and in-person conversations don’t necessarily preclude the existence of a visual component. Even so, the results make clear that more advanced visual aides, such as whiteboards, are still not widespread. In fact, of those 13% using whiteboarding, the majority create them ad-hoc or borrow them, rather than pre-building them and having them approved as a portion of their sales strategy.
Among those using whiteboards, benefits cited include presenting and differentiating their solution from the competition (25%), illustrating the business impact of their solution (17%), demand generation (8%), and explaining the implementation process (6%).
About the Data: The Corporate Visions survey was fielded in Q4 2012 and received responses from more than 300 B2B salespeople and marketers.-MarketingCharts