How to Create a Sales Presentation Your Clients Will Love
Creating and presenting sales presentations might not be the favorite task of many talented sales people out here. We’ve created this simple but detailed guide that focuses on eight sales presentation tips.
Creating and presenting sales presentations might not be the favorite task of many talented sales people out here.
The reason is that an effective sales pitch is basically one that manages to help you seal the deal and make the sale, which might make some people feel uncomfortable in terms of their presentation skills.
We’ve created this simple but detailed guide that focuses on the following eight sales presentation tips:
- Create a compelling presentation
- Keep your presentation short
- Use your presentation to tell a story
- Present your potential clients with solutions
- Include social proof
- Address your prospects’ objections
- Differentiate yourself from competitors
- Discuss your next steps.
We’ve confident these can help you structure an effective sales presentation.
Let’s get right into it.
Tip #1: Create a Visually Appealing Presentation
The first sales presentation tip is to create a visually appealing presentation.
That means that you should take good care of the visual aspect of your presentation.
Because eye-catching and compelling presentations will get the prospect’s attention and, in the case of a sales presentation, their attention is extremely important to closing the deal.
In other words, you need to make sure that your audience is paying attention to what you’re saying.
I know that creating an aesthetically pleasing presentation can be demanding but there’s a few tips that can help you get there and make it more likely you’ll achieve the goals of your sales pitch.
My first tip would be to make sure that you’re making it as stylistically consistent as possible.
This basically means that you should be using colors that go with each other and you’re minimizing the number of colors you use.
Two to three colors is ideal - especially if you’re going for extra bright and eye catching colors!
Have a look at the sales presentation slides below:
As you can see, the slides I’m showing you follow a slightly more creative approach where more than three colors have been used.
However, the tones match perfectly with the background and there’s definitely stylistic consistency across all five slides.
Stylistic consistency also relates to the different fonts you might be using.
In other words, make sure you have a main font across all slides and consider using a second font for comments, tips, or whenever you might think it’s appropriate to differentiate text.
We’ll be talking about the overall length of your presentation in the next tip, but for now I’m simply going to say that you should keep text to a minimum across all your slides.
No one is going to read long sentences and no one likes to hear someone else reading long sentences out loud off a slide.
However, if you wish to dedicate a slide or two to presenting your main points, feel free to do so.
Just make sure you don’t elaborate on your points by using text, but you do so by discussing your main points in real time.
A good sales presentation that’s easy on the eye as well as helps the audience remain focused and follow the flow of your thoughts is a presentation that includes visuals.
Some very popular and effective types of visuals can be:
- Charts and graphs
Let’s see how infographics that incorporate engaging stats and graphs might look:
If you haven’t already tried to create an infographic, make sure you give it a try in your next sales presentation.
It can really help you make the content of your presentation more engaging as well as make the overall sales process more pleasant and fun.
In terms of creating a visually appealing presentation, my final tip would be to try to speed up the process so you can focus on the content of your pitch or proposal while making sure that you’re keeping the quality high.
This can be done by using customizable presentation templates.
Using such templates will save you valuable time.
Additionally, if you’re not a designer and feel uncomfortable with your stylistic choices, pre-made templates can give you some peace of mind and help you feel more confident about the stylistic result of your presentation.
Presenting a highly quality and beautifully made presentation can help make the whole presentation more appealing and interesting for the eyes of your prospects.
Author’s Note: Apart from making your presentation beautiful and eye catching, make sure there aren’t any typos or other errors in there - you could use a grammar checker tool to do so.
It might sound an unimportant thing, but you want your audience to pay attention to what you’re saying without being distracted by grammar errors.
Tip #2: Keep Your Presentation Short
We’ve talked about the importance of making your presentation compelling.
Let’s now discuss another key point of giving a successful sales presentation.
Apart from the interesting and well made visuals and slides, which definitely help maintain a high level of engagement, keeping your presentation short is another thing you should do as a sales rep.
Whether you’re giving a virtual presentation or a physical one, you should always keep in mind that it’s essential to keep your audience away from being bored.
Also, try to be considerate of the fact that your prospects’ might have to attend a number of sales meetings or perform other activities on the same day.
A short presentation is less likely to lead the audience to feel tired and overwhelmed by the amount of time and information.
Additionally, the human attention span is decreasing, which means that the people doing the presenting now have less time to grab attention and pass on our messages to our audience.
How short should a presentation be in relation to the short human attention span?
TIME magazine states the following:
Image Source: TIME
Which is less than nine seconds.
The magazine presented a study by Microsoft which examined the effects of today’s digitalized daily routines to the human attention span.
Make sure you keep that in mind when preparing your presentation.
I’m not telling you to give a nine second presentation.
That would be impossible and ineffective.
Simply try to work with short and understandable sentences, making interesting links between your points.
And then, there’s also the under ten minutes presentation rule.
Image Source: Linkedin
The rule comes from a Gong.io study.
What they did that led them to the numbers shown above is the following:
They recorded audio and video of over 120,000 online sales meetings and made an analysis using AI.
The results showed that all meetings that ended up being successful were the ones that had - on average - a 9.1-minute presentation.
In other words, presentations that lasted for less than ten minutes were the ones that led to a closed deal.
On the other hand, presentations that were slightly longer than ten minutes - more specifically lasted around eleven minutes - led to lost deals.
It might sound intimidating, the fact that a minute or so can be an obstacle in making the sale, but try to see the positive thing here.
That is, now you know that short presentations and sales decks are more effective because they take into consideration the attention span of your prospects, who are the decision makers that will either be convinced about the benefits of your product or not.
Tip #3: Tell a Story
Trust me when I say that a successful sales presentation needs a story.
The reason is that a well structured and interesting story is more likely to lead to a positive buying decision by your prospects.
By telling a story, I mean that it’d be very effective for the impact of your presentation if you could make sure that you’re providing your prospects with a scenario that has a beginning, middle, and end.
In other words, a story that is presented in such a way that not only asks questions but also answers them, based on an understandable case study that your audience can relate to.
To put it simply, what you should consider doing, if you want to make sure that your sales presentation tells an engaging story that backs up your argument on why they should choose your sales strategy, is to present them case studies.
For example, say you’re running a digital loyalty rewards tool.
Hypothetically speaking, you may want to refer to the time when your sales team gave a successful pitch to a company and managed to sell one of your customer loyalty programs.
In a similar case, you could try to not only talk about closing the deal but also give some information on the impressive results that your tool brought to that company in terms of growth.
Why not base part of your presentation on that example and the highlights of that loyalty program, and elaborate on points that’ll be of relevance to your prospect’s needs?
Or, say that you’re a business that specializes in promotional products and merchandise.
It’d be fantastic if you could structure your presentation based on a case study of a company that is using corporate gifts to improve and maintain client relationships.
In general, my advice would be that you give yourself some time to do a presentation outline, as shown below:
A merge of facts and story would be ideal.
Also, the reason I’m advising you to tell a story is not only because it’ll make it more likely for you to be pleasant, stand up, and have more chance of closing the deal, but also because I think that it can help you stay focused and keep track of where you’re at in terms of the relevant information you might want to include.
In a few words, a story will help you memorize your points easier.
Tip #4: Don’t Sell… Present Solutions
My fourth tip is to present solutions rather than trying to be overly promotional.
Trying to sell isn’t enough and isn't going to be effective.
Instead, you should try to present clear solutions to your prospect's problems and make sure you show that you have what they need to cover their needs.
Addressing your prospects' pain points - these are recurring or hard to solve problems they might be facing - will make the decision-making process easier for them.
To facilitate the process of presenting your solutions, you might want to consider using the so-called Before-After-Bridge formula.
A little more information about it:
Image Source: Deepstash
Let’s break this down by using an example.
For the sake of this illustration, say that you own a live chat tool and you’re pitching it to an eCommerce company that faces recurring customer service challenges and low sales numbers.
Here’s the steps you could take:
Make sure you describe and explain the problem(s).
Analyze your thoughts by diving deep into the main pain points of a problematic situation.
For example, you could elaborate on these two issues:
- Customer service slowness which might lead to customer disappointment
- Decrease in sales despite the high number of website visitors
Start talking about a hypothetical situation where the problems mentioned above are not happening anymore, thus leading to more sales and customer satisfaction.
In other words, discuss the benefits of not dealing successfully with the problems.
Present your solution; that’s your product.
However, as I already mentioned, avoid sounding overly promotional.
In other words, present your product as a solution but try not to focus on the product but on the value that such a solution could add to one’s company.
In terms of our example, try to pitch live chat tools as a way to deal effectively with customer service delays in terms of getting back to customer queries.
Additionally, show it as a fantastic way to include call to action (CTA) buttons in your website that will turn website visitors into customers.
I’m confident that avoiding talking about sales can be highly effective in a sales presentation - I know it sounds a bit weird but hope I’ve managed to get my point across!
Tip #5: Include Social Proof
Another tip I have for you is to make sure you include social proof in your sales presentation.
But first, what is social proof?
Social proof, a term introduced by psychologist and professor Robert Cialdini in his book Influence, refers to the people that look at the actions of others and trust them in making a decision, such as starting to use a service or buying a product.
In other words, it’s the social influence that might lead some people to make a buying decision because someone else has already used it, had a positive experience, and spread the word about it.
The following snapshot gives us valuable data on how deeply valued can be social proof:
Image Source: Convince and Convert
Most importantly, we see that recommendations by friends and family alongside online reviews are in the top five valued sources of information for people.
The reason I’m telling you all these is to show you that you might have a powerful ‘weapon’ in your hand that you should try to use.
That is, social proof.
Here’s some types of social proof you could consider using in your presentation:
- User testimonials
- Case studies
- Experts’ trust icons
- Social media shares
Here’s an example of customer testimonials that share their positive experience with ChamberofCommerce.com.
Such a snapshot could be used in a presentation slide.
Here’s an example of expert trust icons by email marketing platform Moosend.
Image Source: Moosend
A similar way of providing social proof by demonstrating experts’ icons by Saas marketing agency Accelerate.
Image Source: Accelerate.
Last but not least, one more example of successful social proof use by OTT platform Uscreen.
Image Source: Uscreen
We’ve now established what social proof is and how you could use it to demonstrate to your prospects that your product or service has already added value to other companies.
Tip #6: Address Your Prospect’s Objections
Tip #6 is a very important one.
It’s to address your prospect’s objections.
It’s very likely that you give your best self to structuring a fantastic sales presentation and pitch and then you hear something like:
“Yeah, but your prices are high.”
First, don’t panic.
Second, say it before you hear it.
It might sound counterintuitive, but you’ll see that it can be very beneficial for you if you could brainstorm on the prospect’s objections while - or before - you’re preparing your presentation.
My suggestion is that by being prepared for potential objections is something you can use to your advantage.
In other words, let’s say that you think that your prospect might make a negative comment about your prices.
Why not focus on that while pitching the sale and make sure you give a satisfying answer before they even get to the point of thinking about it?
This will not only allow you to be prepared for everything that could go wrong, it’ll also show your prospect that you’re a careful thinker who pays attention to everything and is not afraid of touching on such points.
Additionally, it can also help you look cool and confident about your product while showing that you are very much aware of potential objections.
I honestly think that such a tactic can be very useful for sales professionals.
However, don’t overdo it because you’re in danger of pointing out negative aspects of your products and you don’t want that.
You simply want to show that you’re thinking forward and paying attention to everything that you should.
Bottomline: address potential objections before your prospects ask about them and give them answers that’ll help them make a thoughtful decision.
Tip #7: Use Positioning to Differentiate Yourself
Here’s another tip that can help you give a great sales presentation.
Use positioning to differentiate yourself.
When it comes to positioning, I like to use the following presentation that highlights some of the most important aspects of the technique.
Image Source: Lumen
In other words, the process of positioning includes pointing out what you have to offer and how that’s different from what your competitors might have to offer.
Let’s see an example of how you can position yourself uniquely against all other possible options that the prospects might have.
The following example comes from content marketing agency MINUTTIA.
What the page above successfully does is, first, highlights the five main aspects of the agency’s services.
By the way, these are five aspects that could have relevance to many of your clients.
They then go on and break them down in a subtle way.
There’s no need to elaborate on the points and explain why you’re different using long sentences.
A sentence or two is enough if you want to mention the reasons why you’re different and are a better fit for your prospect.
Another example comes from link building software Respona.
Here’s an alternative type of a positioning statement.
Image Source: Respona
Although the page shown above isn’t a presentation slide, I’m using it to show you that if, let’s say, Respona wanted to pitch their product to a high profile content marketing agency, they could definitely use that type of information to position themselves as a fantastic alternative compared to a number of other vendors.
To put it simply, you could consider including a positioning slide in your sales presentation and give a bit more context about why they should choose you instead of your competitors.
Tip #8: Discuss Next Steps
My last tip to you would be to discuss your next steps.
After having presented your ideas, it’ll be very useful for the prospect to know how you’re going to approach their needs in the future.
In other words, what your working plan is going to be.
This’ll show the prospect that you’re thoughtful and well organized as well as have a concise idea of your strategy in the future.
Put another way, discussing your next steps can make it easier for the clients to decide on closing the deal with you.
Now Over to You
So there you have it.
A list of eight tips for killer sales presentations that can bring you closer to closing the deal.
Remember to create a visually appealing, short presentation that tells a story and present solutions.
Additionally, include social proof, differentiate yourself from the competition, and address your prospect’s objections before they even express them.
Last but not least, make sure you clearly communicate the next steps of your strategy. Good luck with your sales presentation!