AUSTIN, Texas, June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Competition is everywhere—in sports, in academics and especially in business. Companies often find themselves matched up against their competitors, presenting proposals to land the big deal with a winner-takes-all outcome. In these defining situations where every detail matters, many companies are finding effective visual aids can play a major role in communicating their value proposition and winning over those flagship clients.
Marque Teegardin found himself in this type of competition last fall as his company, Mirantis Inc., contended for a multi-million dollar opportunity to help automobile manufacturer Volkswagen setup a private cloud for the delivery of its future internet-connected vehicle applications. Despite competing against larger and longer-established companies, Mirantis had emerged as one of the two finalists for the project and was invited to present to 150 IT executives at Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.
As Sr. VP of worldwide sales, Teegardin was leading his team through the final preparations for the presentation when he decided their self-produced PowerPoint felt underwhelming given the significance of the opportunity. He decided to reach out to Puffingston—a presentation design company in Austin, Texas—to help him enhance their visuals and better showcase the Mirantis brand and capabilities.
"For previous presentations, we were your classic PowerPoint or Google Slides shop. Nothing special—just boring, bulletized slides like most companies. It was time for a change, and this deal presented an opportunity to do it better," said Teegardin.
Puffingston recommended Prezi—a dynamic presentation platform with spatial movement capabilities—and worked with Mirantis to create a design mirroring the gearshift of Volkswagen vehicles, with the sections of content flowing from the first gear to the fifth.
"Mirantis wanted to demonstrate the interconnected potential of its relationship with Volkswagen," said Luke Goetting, president at Puffingston. "Our design served as a metaphor for how the Mirantis technology could help drive VW into the future of automobile manufacturing."
Upon arriving in Germany, the Mirantis team learned they would be delivering their presentation first with their "arch rival" competitors presenting to the same audience only minutes afterward. Both companies gave their presentations and according to Teegardin, the difference between the two visual aids was immediately recognizable.
"We presented our message via a custom-built Prezi and our competitor delivered a traditional boring PowerPoint presentation with too many words and bullets," said Teegardin. He felt the presentation helped Mirantis firmly establish its credibility—which his team validated by outperforming its competitor in a series of 63 pilot tests based around VW's technical requirements.
At the end of this competition, there was a clear winner: in April 2016, Volkswagen announced it had chosen Mirantis as its technology partner to develop the "next generation cloud" powering VW's future connected and self-driving cars.
"Deals are won by building trust and credibility and our delivery of the Prezi-based story showed we were serious, passionate and creative," concluded Teegardin. "The quality of the overall meeting demonstrated tremendous credibility, which ultimately built the trust we needed to win the deal."
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