The technical roadshow can be a great way to build excitement for your product(s) with potential customers, build your brand and engage with the researchers and other professionals whose feedback is most valuable to you. Use these tips to make the most out of the time and effort this requires to make this work for you.
Maximize the Impact of Your Technical Roadshow with These Tips:
- Frequency – Schedule one or two roadshows per month. Most academic departments and even some biotech firms have regularly scheduled ‘Journal Clubs’ or ‘Brown Bag’ lunches where speakers are invited to share their work. These are ideal venues for your technical presentation. Give each of your sales team members the opportunity to schedule these.
- Content – The goal of these presentations should be to excite your audience about the science. Interested attendees will seek to learn more about your company, your technology and your products afterwards (sometimes even during the Q&A session). Keep the sales stuff out of the presentation other than perhaps a slide that briefly describes your products and focus on how your product has impacted the field.
- The Presenter – The presentation should be given by a scientist traveling with the sales person who scheduled the event. Make sure that the science and business side are kept separated by having the sales person introduce your speaker and take all questions regarding business (pricing, scheduling demos, etc.) Nothing turns a scientific crowd off faster than a sales pitch masquerading as a technical talk. The other benefit of having two people at these events is that the sales person can provide valuable feedback on how well the presentation is being received and where improvements might be made to increase impact. On the other hand, the speaker can assess how well the audience is interacting with the sales person and provide them with equally valuable feedback for how to better connect with potential customers.
- Duration – Keep the presentation concise and focused. The presentation should be about 20 slides long and take about 25 – 30 minutes max when you are rehearsing it without interruption. This will allow for enough time for questions during and after the presentation. Your goal here is to engage with your audience and the more questions the better. The comments and questions from your audience are a goldmine of information on how well your technology is perceived, what might be trends in the field that you should be following and even what your next product iteration might be. (Another reason why it is good to have two people at these events is that they can take notes of all of these insights)
Preparing and delivering a compelling and effective technical roadshow program is not trivial. There is a lot of work required to not only get your slide-deck right but also making the event itself work well (measured by lots of questions from your audiences and ultimately lots of strong sales leads). Stick with it, it gets easier over time and you might even find yourself enjoying this!