Presentation Sales Tool PointDrive Aims to End Attachments

The need for salespeople to send email attachments could come to an end with PointDrive, a newly launched product in the presentation space. Instead of sending off multiple attachments to a client, a sales representative sends a Web link that contains all relevant assets. The streamlined sales tool, which was officially unveiled at the DEMO Conference last week, will be offered for free through the end of the year. After that, there will be two versions: A less-robust free version and a paid PointDrive pro version.

PointDrive CEO and co-founder Bill Burnett got the idea from his years as a sales representative. His company offered custom high-end displays to clients. After a meeting, he would offer a custom mix of attachments. They were cumbersome to assemble, and the ad hoc attachments made it a "struggle to tell a story to a customer," he describes. Plus, "I didn't know if they looked at the content," he remembers.

Using PointDrive, salespeople can create custom presentations that include a number of documents, including a deck, videos, and image attachments. People can sign in through LinkedIn, and the product is compatible with Dropbox, Microsoft Office, Adobe, Vimeo, and YouTube, with Google Drive coming in the first quarter of 2014.

A compelling visual look is key. "Email was not designed to differentiate between a message meant to have an impact, when you're trying to persuade someone, and a quick simple email to a colleague," Burnett says. PointDrive also has responsive design that optimizes for viewing on mobile devices and tablets.

Once the presentation has been finalized, the creator emails the link to the prospective customer in lieu of attachments. As the recipients browse through the presentation, the sales rep can see exactly what's been viewed and when.

Burnett describes PointDrive as designed for "one-to-one relationships," where a representative is usually creating a presentation responding to a specific request. Beta users reported the viewing insights helped them better gauge how close the customer was to buying. "As a salesperson you're able to follow up and think about it and analyze it in ways you weren't before," Burnett notes.

During the closed beta period, Burnett saw value not only for sales professionals, but also those in public relations, marketing, and small businesses. College students used PointDrive to send off resumes and portfolios.

Burnett says the company plans to offer the pro version for $10 a month or $99 a year in 2014.

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