Invoice Binch is an working associate at international, technology-focused funding agency Battery Ventures. He beforehand was the chief income officer of Pendo, a Battery portfolio firm.
As a income chief at giant and small expertise firms, I’ve spent the final 15 years attending a number of quarterly board conferences.
These conferences take numerous hours to arrange for and may create a number of stress. The prep and the follow might be draining, and, extra importantly, distracting out of your every day grind.
That is all vital as a result of the board assembly is such a high-stakes occasion. As a sensible mentor as soon as advised me, nobody ever will get a promotion from a board assembly, however individuals positive do get fired afterward.
So for those who’re chargeable for driving income development at your organization, how do you make your portion of those conferences as partaking and impactful as attainable? I’ve acquired some hard-earned recommendation on that entrance, in addition to strategies for 5 must-have board slides — custom-made for leaders at B2B, software-as-a-service firms — that may allow you to give a fantastic presentation and protect your sanity.
Measurement issues — and so does consistency
I’ve been a part of firm board conferences the place the deck was 30 slides, and I’ve additionally been in conferences the place decks can be greater than 150 slides. You’ll must gauge what stage of element is true on your group, however my basic rule is to chop your slides till it hurts the narrative of the deck.
You also needs to attempt for consistency. You’ll wish to ship the identical units of metrics and particulars in every quarterly assembly in order that administrators and executives could make apples-to-apples comparisons of key information.
One caveat: The world is evolving and the thought of “cohort information” is flourishing. As companies evolve and new fashions like consumption- or payment-based pricing develop into extra frequent, chances are you’ll want to regulate sure metrics over time, notably if you’re a B2B SaaS firm.
Ship the products
From the supply standpoint, I’ll share a few concepts.
The primary is pretty well-known: Don’t current slides; current the story. Board members are expert at skinny slicing by way of information and composing their questions forward of time. Don’t really feel the necessity to current each nuance round your information — get to the purpose.
The opposite piece of recommendation right here is to look forward. First-time attendees at board conferences typically lean towards giving a have a look at the previous, which might be not the place you have to be focusing most of your vitality. Learn by way of your presentation and see how a lot focuses on the longer term versus the previous.
Nearly all of your deck ought to paint an image of what you’re going to do, not what’s occurred. The board has acquired a board flash from the CEO proper after the quarter closed and has now learn the deck. What you’re right here to do is share the changes you’re making to steer the enterprise ahead.
Lastly: Create an appendix. This enables your content material — new initiatives, modifications to go-to-market methods and product subjects — to remain front-and-center and never get slowed down by an excessive amount of information. However having an appendix nonetheless permits the board to view extra detailed, quarter-over-quarter modifications.
Give attention to these 5, must-have slides
I historically construct my “speak time” round 5 revenue-focused slides throughout a board presentation. Some variations of those slides have been in my board decks for the previous decade. These are data-rich slides, so once more, put together to debate the story they’re telling and never the info.
For instance, your board members will discover in case your gross sales velocity is rushing up and your common promoting worth is trending down. They’ll see that in your numbers, so you have to clarify why that’s taking place.
Slide #1: Headline reel
After the duvet web page and agenda, I feel each deck ought to begin with the headline reel: the important thing outcomes of what you achieved final quarter. No matter whether or not your quarter was good or dangerous, don’t make the board search by way of the deck to search out the main points.