UK companies are not properly prepared to win new business pitches, a new survey of marketing professionals has found. Not only do many companies not employ any in-house staff who specialise in designing presentation slides, a large majority do not provide formal pitch training for their staff.
Manchester-based presentation design agency Buffalo 7, which carried out the research, found that 61 percent of respondents said their companies did not employ any staff with slide-deck design expertise. The survey found, however, that 60 percent of respondents wished their companies did have such expertise in-house, with 62 percent believing that this would help their companies to win more pitches. A remarkable 75 percent of respondents, meanwhile, indicated that their companies do not provide any formal training for delivering pitches.
The survey also found that 76 percent of respondents’ companies have pitched for business in the last 12 months, but that 54 percent are losing half or more of the pitches they contest. The commercial impact of this is evidenced in previous research from advertising bodies the IPA and ISBA, through their pitching best practice collaboration the Good Pitch, which found that the cost of pitching can be significantly more than perceived, with many companies therefore potentially losing far more money than they realise as a result of being ill-prepared for pitching.
Despite the other findings, 68 percent of respondents to the Buffalo 7 survey said they enjoyed presenting. Unsurprisingly, a huge 90 percent use Microsoft PowerPoint. The survey of 296 people was carried out at the Prolific North Live and Marketing Week Live exhibitions.
Lyndon Nicholson, CEO of Buffalo 7, said: “Pitches are a key part of the business acquisition process and yet companies are not investing to prepare for them as they do for other marketing or sales activities. There is no doubt that companies are losing pitches, business and money by turning up with badly designed slide-decks and staff who are not properly trained.”
Traci Dunne, Consultancy Manager at ISBA, said: “The Buffalo 7 survey into pitching habits suggests that many companies are unprepared for what we know can be a very costly part of winning business. This is an area related to our own research on Pitch Alternatives that launches later this month, which will identify trends and patterns to help both clients and agencies make better pitching decisions.”
Buffalo 7 helps clients such as UEFA Champions League, Samsung, Facebook, PlayStation and Red Bull win more new business pitches with visually arresting slides and effective messaging.
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