Presentations that your customer’s management team makes to analysts and the investment community are, arguably, even better than reading the 'Letter to Shareholders' in terms of a quick, timely source for gaining customer insights.
In fact, they may become the first place you look in researching your customers and preparing for an executive engagement.
Why management presentations are so useful
1. Highly current information – unlike annual reports and regulatory filings, which have a short shelf life, management presentations are typically very current. In fact, companies often pull them from their websites within a relatively short period of time to avoid risks or exposure associated with changing market conditions and the company’s evolving strategic direction.
2. Presented in the executives’ own words – management presentations enable you to learn what’s happening within your account directly from the executives you may be targeting to meet with as well as other key officers. The information allows you to clearly identify customer initiatives that will help you build business alignment with your solution.
Using the information for your advantage
Having this kind of background on an account before making your first call puts you at an advantage. You’ll be able to demonstrate you’ve done your homework and thereby establish credibility. You’ll also be able to begin linking your solutions to the company’s issues and priorities – the ones that executive officers have identified as meaningful and top-of-mind.
Where to access the information
First, check your customer’s website. The presentations that companies make to analysts and investment communities on a quarterly basis can typically be found in the investor relations area. Additional online resources include Reuters.com and Yahoo! Finance, where you can access conference calls by entering a company’s stock ticker symbol.
Executive selling tip: Subscribe to an e-mail alert service. Many companies offer this as part of their investor relations effort. You’ll know right away when new information that may identify a selling opportunity is made available.
One-stop for valuable insight
Management presentations offer "one-stop shopping" for obtaining timely account information that can give you the insight you need to establish credibility and identify opportunities. You may find they’re the best overall source for identifying current customer business issues and priorities.
What’s been your experience?