In the world of financial product sales, the quality of your pitchbooks can either make or break you. In order for salespeople to deliver great presentations, it’s important to have an effective pitchbook strategy that runs like a well-oiled machine. If your strategy isn’t refined, you run the risk of sending out sloppy presentations that can damage your brand image, or worse, result in non-compliance.
The pitchbook creation and updating process can be daunting. You may have hundreds or even thousands of slide deck variations and managing all of this content isn’t easy. You need a strategy for managing all of this content, but where should you start?
The first and most important step in outlining a successful pitchbook strategy is to determine each department’s unique needs.
It is vitally important for every department involved in the development of a pitchbook initiative to feel supported by the system put in place.
Over the years, our team has been involved in many pitchbook solution implementations. Here is our advice to each department in terms of what to look for in order to maximize the value of their pitchbook program:
Pitchbook Strategy For The Marketing Department
The marketing team is the organization typically responsible for producing and maintaining pitchbook materials. Beyond updating the charts and tables they must also craft the messaging, the branding, and the story which will be combined to make the material effective in the field.
From the standpoint of the marketing department, an effective pitchbook strategy should allow this team to focus on messaging and strategy. Maintenance of materials or servicing of special requests should ideally be a minor part of their job. To be more specific:
- Data-driven slides self-maintain
- Usage statistics tracked to continuously optimize the materials
- Statistics and reporting are automatic
- The availability of materials strictly controlled by compliance approvals and calendar events
- Variations in branding and design supported as a process, not as exceptions
- The marketing organization feels that maintenance of the material is not a huge burden or resource drain
The marketing organization should take an inventory of all tasks that fall outside of the messaging and strategy realm and see how they can streamline them. This way, the team will have more time to devote to higher-value tasks as opposed to updating slides and responding to ad-hoc requests for custom pitchbooks.
Pitchbook Strategy For The Sales Organization
As the principal users of the presentation materials, the sales organization will share many of the goals that the marketing department has for the quality of the material, but factors related to timing, availability, and customization are a high priority for this group.
As far as the sales team is concerned, a pitchbook strategy should:
- Provide a single, easily accessible and searchable library of up-to-date materials
- Integrate with any existing sales automation and/or CRM system (so that they aren’t logging on to different systems to do different things all day)
- Support self-serve and real-time gathering of materials
- Allow customizations to support client-specific messaging and strategy
- Support reuse of past presentation configurations, but with the most up-to-date content and data.
- Sync to any preferred device, such as an iPad.
At the end of the day, the sales team should feel well-served and enabled by the system. As a result, they should see the quality of their pitches improve and more sales landed as a result.
Related Case Study: Global Asset Manager Succeeds with Compliant Pitchbook Automation
Compliance and Legal Groups
The compliance department can be the most difficult to get on board with a pitchbook strategy initiative. This isn’t particularly puzzling, since this group may stand to receive the most specific benefits in terms of risk management.
When it comes to compliance, an ideal pitchbook solution should support embedded business rules related to compliance concerns regarding:
- Standardized material
- Centrally-approved messages
- Accurate, time-appropriate data and related applicable disclosures
- Auditable material and usage history
- Available material controlled by sales rep, channel and audience
For compliance teams to feel confident about a pitchbook strategy, it must support the ability to review repeated items once and then replace them everywhere.
Every key stakeholder from marketing, sales, and compliance departments must be fully vested in developing a winning pitchbook strategy. So, these teams must outline their requirements in a manner similar to the above. Once this critical step has taken place, a conversation can begin about how to accomplish these goals with manual and automated processes. Then, you’ll be on your way to an effective sales enablement strategy that will allow your firm to get more pitchbooks in front of more clients.