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 [download page] 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.