Sales presentations may appear to be a straightforward pitch, a demo, or a list of facts and data, but a strong presentation is more than the sum of its parts. It captures your prospects’ attention, builds enthusiasm, and leads them toward making a purchase choice if done correctly and at the perfect time in your sales process.
This RisePath article guides you on how to present like a pro.
What exactly is a sales presentation?
A sales presentation is not always the same as a sales pitch, despite the fact that the language varies from company to company.
A sales pitch is what your sales force conducts every day with clients, whether on the phone or in person. It’s usually one-on-one, and they’re quite at ease with it.
A sales presentation (while still a sales pitch) is a bigger deal, both metaphorically and literally. It’s a more complex version of a sales pitch that typically occurs when your sales team is attempting to close a larger contract. It’s not just a phone conversation; it usually involves a meeting and a demonstration.
For a presentation, you’ll need to allocate additional time because you’ll need to account for prep time and testing. In many circumstances, more than one individual from your firm will deliver the presentation, necessitating collaboration with other members of your team.
Even for a seasoned salesperson who spends their days cold calling and pitching over the phone, giving a presentation to a group of senior decision-makers and executives can be nerve-wracking.
Your sales presentation and storytelling
People enjoy hearing stories, especially if they are related to their own experiences and difficulties.
When trying to persuade a prospect to become a customer, data, facts, and figures can help, but they have more impact if you can frame them in a sympathetic way. If you share a narrative about an existing customer who has had similar issues as your prospect and back it up with compelling statistics, they are more likely to pay attention and want to learn more.
Humans have a strong connection to stories. Stories have the power to move, teach, and persuade us. Stories stick with us longer than anything else.
Because stories are so memorable, they’re a good tool for creating a sales presentation outline because they assist prospects to grasp and recall the presentation’s and your product’s main themes.
Explaining a display ad on the internet, for example, can be compared to a billboard on the side of a building. Clients are frequently confused by sellers’ use of jargon. They may believe that this helps them appear more knowledgeable, but it’s not a good selling strategy.
People buy what they comprehend. Assist them in comprehending!
Begin with a challenge (and a deadline)
Your presentation should begin with the solution you’re presenting to your prospects, but not with it.
Instead, start with the problem your product was created to answer, as well as the problems you’re helping your clients overcome.
“Value Selling is critical,” says a business development manager. “Knowing your buyer and tailoring their journey to what you can do for them is critical.”
The problem, their pains, and your solution should all be told through a story; a story that illustrates the specific challenges that your clients experience.
You may even develop a scenario in which your product is the hero, assisting the buyer in defeating a villain: their pain point.
Your tale should focus on transformation rather than their pain problem, and it should be targeted at the prospects in the room. For instance, a shift in their business, industry, or technology — something that affects and enhances how they do business.
Instill a sense of urgency in your product: It’s a solution to their problem, but they risk missing out if they don’t act quickly. Tell a tale about what might happen if your prospect doesn’t alter their mind, highlighting the implications of inaction.
Begin discussing the solution.
You’ve laid out the problem, and if you’ve done your job correctly, your audience is nodding in agreement. Now is the time to start discussing the solution.
That doesn’t imply you should dive right into your product’s features and benefits just now.
A strong sales presentation, rather than presenting your goods, paints a picture of what life could be like for a consumer if they start doing things differently. How will their businesses or lives be improved? What will happen to their world? What’s more, how will they cut costs while increasing revenue?
Then you can begin discussing your solution and the features that will enable this brave new world. You can do this in several ways:
- Place your features in opposition to the old method of doing things.
- Present those characteristics as “superpowers” that will help your prospect solve their difficulties.
- Compare those characteristics to those offered by competitors.
- Combine some or all of the ideas above.
What should you bring to your sales presentation?
What should you bring to a presentation now that we’ve explored the story aspects of a sales presentation?
The majority of sales presentations take place in person and contain visual elements such as a sales deck, handouts, or, in rare cases, a live demonstration of the real products (think of the stereotypical door-to-door vacuum salesperson, spilling dirt on the floor just to vacuum it all up.)
The presentation on PowerPoint
A slide deck is typically included in most sales presentations to help convey facts, figures, and statistics that support your presentation and help your prospects accept your solution.
While you don’t have to use PowerPoint, you should present your sales pitch deck using a slide application (like Google Slides) so that it’s visible to everyone in the room and easy to navigate from slide to slide with a single click.
A few crucial elements can be found in the top sales decks:
- A fantastic cover image or first slide. Your cover slide, like the tale that opens your presentation, should attract your audience’s attention.
- Information and essential points. Your presentation will be supported by charts, graphs, infographics, quotes, and other data.
- Customer testimonials and case studies. Social proof comes in the form of quotes and success stories from or information about previous customers, preferably in the same industry as your prospects.
- Personalized content. While it may be tempting to utilise the same information for each presentation, you should tailor each one to the audience. Use your prospect’s brand colours, research statistics related to their market or business, or return to a previous conversation.
- The last slide includes the next stages. Your final slide should be a clear call to action, with one or two actions for your prospects to take.
A word on text in your sales deck: Keep it basic and light on the language. Your prospects don’t want to be forced to read a wall of text.
Finally, make sure your sales deck design includes a font (and font size) that everyone listening to your presentation can read.
The final product
Nothing beats seeing a product in action to sell it.
So, how are you going to promote your product?
Determine how you can make your product portable.
You may have to adapt because not all products are easy to demo.
- Consider the ideal environment for a demo using a physical product. What would best represent the product?
- If you’re selling a digital product, be sure you have the technology to demonstrate what it can do (and check beforehand that the tech works). Have your prospects download the app if it’s a mobile app.
- If it’s a platform, a projector might be the best way to demonstrate it.
Some solutions, such as those that are too large to bring in or that are location-specific, may require a video as part of the presentation.
You may need to distribute information to the prospects in the room, depending on the nature of your solution.
This might be anything as simple as contact information or sales brochures, or it could be something included in the presentation, such as a QR code that allows users to download the demo to their phones.
Make sure the information is straightforward and won’t overwhelm them. Any handouts should be distributed at the end of the presentation. After all, you want the people in the room to listen to you rather than read what you just said.
If you’re giving a presentation, you’re probably not doing it alone. You might be accompanied by another salesman or two to the presentation.
It’s critical to plan ahead of time, whether you’re travelling single or with a group. Here are some preparation recommendations for sales presentations.
- Practise, practise, practise. If your presentation includes a lot of moving pieces, you’ll need to get the timing perfect. Go over everything to make sure your time is correct so you can ace the meeting.
- Check that everything works. You don’t want to show up to a meeting with a flawed PowerPoint presentation or a damaged sample—or discover that there isn’t a whiteboard available when one is required for your demonstration. Make every effort to ensure that everything goes according to plan.
- Assign roles to everyone. This is only for those who are presenting as a group. Will separate sales representatives talk in each section? Will one representative provide the presentation while the others manage the sales deck and demo? Plan ahead of time who will do what and say what.
Personalizing your sales presentation
It’s tempting to create the best sales deck template and use it over and over to pitch a certain subset of your target audience, but remember that in sales, personalisation is key.
You know that prospects are more interested in buying if your pitches are personalised to them during lead generation, prospecting, and sales calls. It’s the same with sales presentations, especially if you’re dealing with a unique client.
Assume your product is a CRM designed for sales teams, but a human resources department has expressed interest in using it to build a recruiting pipeline.
During the presentation, you wouldn’t utilise a sales deck with sales-related examples to pitch it.
Instead, you’d conduct research into HR issues, request that your product department construct a template or demo geared toward recruiting and base your sales deck on that.
Various industries face various difficulties and possibilities. If you want to sell to them, you must address them, which requires research, planning, and customization of your value proposition and key bullet points.
Make sure you take care of these three aspects when crafting the ultimate sales presentation pitch.
- Ask the correct questions ahead of time to get a better understanding of the client’s needs, particularly their shortcomings.
- Learn everything there is to know about your product.
- Practise, practise, and practise some more.
Asking the correct questions before sculpting your sales presentation pitch helps you to personalise it precisely to the client’s demands in order to assist them in meeting their specific business objectives.
Knowing everything there is to know about your product guarantees that you know it inside and out, leaving no stone behind in the event that you are asked any difficult questions. Finally, practising aloud is essential. If necessary, record yourself to identify any issues.
You’ll notice tense ticks and words that you repeat over and over. You’ll receive every sale once you’ve ironed these out.