Corporate Visions Survey Uncovers Whiteboards Are Only Used in Sales Conversations 13 Percent of the Time

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Fourth Quarter Survey Reveals PowerPoint Presentations Still Used in
Majority of Sales Conversations, Creating Challenges for Companies Looking
to Differentiate Their Story

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – January 8, 2013 – Corporate Visions, Inc., the
leading sales and marketing messaging company, today announced the results
of its fourth quarter industry survey on visual storytelling, which was
taken by more than 300 business-to-business (B2B) salespeople and marketers
around the globe. The findings reveal a lack of visual storytelling
techniques among marketing and sales teams, and specifically, that only 13
percent of salespeople use an interactive writing surface such as a
whiteboard to support their customer conversations.

To determine what role whiteboard selling techniques play in marketing and
sales teams who work in complex B2B selling environments, Corporate Visions
presented questions about the use of whiteboards, how they are created, by
whom and why they are used. Notable findings from the Q4 survey include:

• Whiteboards are barely used – Respondents noted they use whiteboarding
just 13 percent of the time to tell a visual story as part of sales
conversations. The other tools mentioned most often were PowerPoint (33
percent), phone (26 percent) and in-person conversations (27 percent), which
employ little to no visual components. This means salespeople are losing out
on the opportunity to present ideas in a more engaging way, and to
differentiate their messages, conversations and presentations to customers
and prospects.

• Whiteboarding is not an on-purpose effort – Of those who actually report
using whiteboards, 51 percent say they create them ad-hoc or borrow them
from their peers. Only 24 percent are pre-built and approved as part of a
strategic marketing and sales support program. For whiteboarding to be
effective, marketing needs to develop the messages and tools alongside the
sales team to make sure everyone is delivering a consistent, high-quality
message. By pre-building whiteboards, salespeople are given the ability to
deliver a simple, repeatable story with confidence and create a
differentiated experience in the buying cycle.
• Whiteboards, when used effectively, can be leveraged in various ways –
Respondents who use whiteboards specified they are essential to the buying
cycle in a number of different ways, including:
o 25 percent – presenting/differentiating their solution from the
competition
o 17 percent – illustrating the business impact of their solution
o 8 percent – demand generation
o 6 percent – explaining the implementation process
By leveraging the power of visual storytelling, salespeople can help
illustrate their ideas in a simple, concrete way that will help them at
various key moments in the sales process.

In fact, recent research by Aberdeen Group found that 53 percent of
best-in-class companies identified creating more meaningful conversations as
a top priority for increasing and sustaining revenue in an uncertain
economy. Furthermore, the firm found conducting an interactive whiteboard
conversation (as opposed to a static presentation) leads to a 50 percent
higher lead conversion rate, 29 percent shorter time-to-productivity and 15
percent average shorter sales cycle – helping to combat the meaningful
conversation problem among businesses.

“It’s clear from the results of this survey that visual storytelling
techniques like whiteboarding are alarmingly underutilized by both marketing
and sales teams,” said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer,
Corporate Visions. “87 percent of today’s companies are using static
techniques, rather than having intimate and visually interactive
conversations, which is what whiteboarding allows companies to do. Marketing
and sales teams need to work together to create pre-built whiteboards that
are going to differentiate themselves in the sales cycle, which in turn,
will help them close more deals.”

For more details on the survey findings, view this infographic and watch
this short video.

About Corporate Visions, Inc.
Corporate Visions, Inc. helps global business-to-business companies create
more sales opportunities, overcome the status quo, and win more deals by
improving the conversations sales representatives have with customers.
Companies engage Corporate Visions in three key areas:

• Developing differentiated messages that concentrate on customer needs;
• Deploying tools that support critical steps in the buying cycle and that
salespeople will actually use; and
• Delivering sales skills training that teaches salespeople how to tell
their story in a way that is impactful, engaging and memorable.

Corporate Visions helps clients such as ADP, Dell, Dow Jones, GE and Oracle
align marketing and sales with a repeatable methodology for creating
unified, sales-ready messages that lead to winning conversations with
customers. For more information about Corporate Visions visit
www.corporatevisions.com or call 775-831-1322 or 800-360-SELL.

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