• To Whiteboard or Not To Whiteboard

    Whiteboard selling tools are the latest craze. With good reason — they eliminate “death by PowerPoint” (or need for any supporting technology) and enable sellers to have more intimate, interactive conversations with their customers and prospects using nothing more than a writing surface and pen.

    Problem is, they’re popping up everywhere, and sellers are being inundated with new process and techniques.

    We’ve had the opportunity to create and/or work with dozens of whiteboards, ranging from business-focused high level conversations to the most technical of discussions. We’ve rolled out whiteboard tools to global organizations, and trained dozens of partners and sellers nationwide on how to use them. We’ve watched sellers both shine and struggle as they take on this new medium and determine when/how to successfully include it in their selling style.

    It’s a transition for them, and it’s hard work to learn a whiteboard and present it well. So, we owe it to them to make sure it’s on target, and to create it with the end goal in mind.

    We’ve identified commonalities across these whiteboards and categorized them into three groups:

    • Scoping whiteboards explore pains and challenges throughout client organizations. These are typically used at the early stages of a sale because they help drill down to specific issues a target may be facing.
    • Impact whiteboards demonstrate solution value across the organization to show how disparate groups or units could benefit from a more integrated solution.
    • Transformation whiteboards illustrate a new way of doing business based on the value of your solution. These could show maturity curves, timelines, or even benchmarks across competitors and the market.

    PROS (of well-designed whiteboards)

    • Creates interaction between seller/buyer
    • Carries a conversation from a business need to a solution response
    • Is natural, so sellers easily can present
    • Infuses differentiation, “sparklers” and proof points along the way
    • Builds consensus and logically carries buyer to next steps in the process

    CONS (of ineffective whiteboards)

    • Don’t clearly define points of interaction, so they become a drawn presentation
    • Don’t clearly identify when to be used in the selling process, such as using a technical whiteboard in an introductory conversation
    • Scripts language and flow that causes presenters to struggle Is not unique. If you remove one vendor name and add another, would you have the same whiteboard?
    • Does not actually do the intended goal: Gain approval from the audience to move to the next step in the buying process

    Eric Nitschke is VP of Client Services and Managing Director at Launch International.  Eric uses his experience at Launch International to deliver a best-practices approach to client management, sales enablement, thought leadership, whiteboarding and channel development and enablement.  To read all blogs published by Launch International click here.

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    To Whiteboard or Not To Whiteboard, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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