Typically, a sales presentation is understood as a simple pitch, a demo, or a list of facts and figures. A good sales presentation is one that incorporates all of these elements while also being more than the sum of its parts.
A sales presentation is that sensitive, impactful activity that, if it is done at the right time in your sales process, it will get your sales prospect’s attention, make them eager about your product or services, and make their buying decision in favor of you.
As a sales professional, you will find yourself presenting live in countless scenarios ranging from introducing your product or services at a trade show to upselling your product or services to a client visiting your store. This article is for all you sales professionals out there. The topics it will cover are:
- What is a Sales Presentation?
- Sales Presentation Techniques
- Storytelling and Sales Presentation
- What Should You Bring to Your Sales Presentation?
- Tips for Nailing Your Sales Presentation
- Sales Presentation Examples
- Sales Presentation Template to Present Like a Pro
- How Can Deskera Help Your Business with Sales?
- Key Takeaways
- Related Articles
What is a Sales Presentation?
An effective sales presentation is one that tells a compelling story, highlights your value proposition, and aligns with your audience’s needs and desires. It ends with a strong call-to-action and leads your prospects to your differentiators rather than leading with them.
A sales presentation is not always the same thing as a sales pitch. This is because while a sales pitch is what your team of sales professionals does all day long on a one-to-one basis on the phone or in person, a sales presentation, in contrast, is a more complicated sales pitch where your sales team is trying to close a more lucrative deal through meetings and demos.
Preparing your sales presentation hence requires an investment of time and effort and needs to be well planned in order to convert your leads into customers, increase sales and therefore increase revenue. Considering the responsibilities, hopes, and pressure that a sales presentation carries, even a salesperson who is great at cold calling and sales pitches can become a victim of workplace stress.
Sales Presentation Techniques
A sales presentation is an art as well as a science. It is an art because it requires you to handle each situation and client creatively- adapting to the environment and molding it so that you can achieve your goals. It is also a science because it does come with some techniques and strategies, which, when incorporated, is sure to bring you higher success rates. The various sales presentation techniques that you can use are:
Send the Presentation Desk to Your Buyer Before Your Call
The benefit of this would be that if your prospect finds the deck compelling, then they would want to get into all the nitty-gritty details about it even after knowing its main content. This will help you in showing them how the solution you are offering is the best for their problem, the extra benefits that they will be able to get from it, and solve any queries that they might have. This will save everyone’s time, and your customer would move down the sales pipeline faster.
However, if your buyer has not gone through the deck before your call, they will just ask you to start from the beginning. Furthermore, sending the presentation deck to your buyer will show them how valued they are by your business and hence increase customer retention and customer satisfaction.
The best way to ensure sales and, therefore, gross profits is by making your buyers realize what the problem is and what the solution for the same can be. The solution is where your products or services will come in. The best way to do so is by telling a story to your buyer in which they are the main character. The storytelling will serve all the above-mentioned purposes and also give you a buyer who has a strong sense of customer loyalty that will only get stronger when you are able to ensure their “voice of the customer.”
Do Not Skip to Point B. Talk About Point A.
Here, point A is the problem, whereas point B is the solution. When you directly skip to the positive outcomes of a solution, you lose out on the benefits that you would have derived by talking about point A. This is because point A is the problem that your buyer will constantly face unless they bring some change to it.
By talking about their problems repeatedly, you would be using the key sales psychology of how consumers are more likely to prefer loss aversion activities than benefiting activities. Combined with loss aversion tendency would be the sense of urgency that would further secure their purchase with you. Only after they are with you on the urgency stage, talk about the positive outcomes from the solution you are offering. Only now would your solution be truly appreciated hence bringing you your positive cash flow.
Do Not Lead with Differentiators, Lead to Them
The key to having your buyers appreciate your differentiators-i.e. the unique features of your products or services, is by leading them to it, rather than starting your sales presentation with them. In order to do so, you will have to start by explaining to your buyers the problem that they are facing, the opportunity that they have missed, and then surrounding it with a sense of urgency.
Only when your buyer is clear along these lines should you introduce them to your differentiators. This way, your differentiator will land exactly where it is supposed to, hence taking you one step closer to completing your sales cycle successfully.
Reveal the Outcome First
Presentations have a tendency to follow logical sequencing. While this makes sense in the academic setting, in the world of sales and customers, where your customers would definitely be busy, you will lose them midway through your sales presentation.
Therefore, start your sales presentation with the final outcome that you are expecting or predicting. The conversation will grow naturally from there. Another sales presentation tactic underlying this is that the best product demos start with the topics that your buyer has highlighted on the discovery call.
Not only should your product demo mirror all the topics highlighted by your buyer, but it should also follow the same prioritized sequence as they want. This is called solution mapping- which will up your sales presentation game by a lot.
Having a Conversational Presentation
One of the best ways to have increasing sales and therefore increased net sales is by making sure that your sales presentation is an engaging two-way conversation between two people. A two-way dialogue will make the sales pitch more natural, with equal listening happening on both sides- yours and the buyer’s. This real and connected conversation involves the right questions with the right answers, followed by a higher probability of sales taking place.
Following the 9-Minute Rule
To close your deals, you should follow the 9-minute rule for your sales presentation. This rule tells of how the human brain stops registering information properly from the 9th minute, hence making it important to change the channels in your buyer’s brain by either changing who is talking in the presentation, or in the video, or in the demo. This will reset the time back to zero, giving you more time to carry forward the next part of your presentation.
Using Relevant Social Proof
When talking with your potential clients, you should know the correct timing for giving social proof. Too soon, and you will lose your client. Additionally, you should also know which social proof would be relevant to give.
For example, if your example involves big brands like Google, it will leave your potential clients impressed but also make them feel that your product or services are not the right fit for them. To prevent this, your social proof should be from the buyer’s tribe. A buyer’s tribe is one with which they share pain points, challenges, and needs.
Even if you tell a different tribe’s story, the pain point should match with your prospect. By sharing these stories, you are making your prospects imagine themselves in the customer’s story and see a solution or a benefit for themselves.
One of the other ways you can give social proof is through social selling on your social media- helping to build a bridge between your company and its leads. After efficient lead management, these would become potential clients who need a sales presentation.
Use Customer Stories, Not ROI Calculators
As a customer, one processes information in 2 ways- logically and emotionally. If, while doing your sales presentation, you introduce ROI, then you are awakening the logical, analytical brain of your customer. This will make them more likely to argue with your assumptions.
However, if you resort to telling a story in which the customers are able to imagine themselves (hence leading to self-discovery) and have a before and after scenario for the product or service used to make them realize the value offered by your product or service, then this emotional connection is more likely to get them to make a buying decision in your favor.
Talking About Price After Establishing Value
It is crucial that as a salesperson, you know when to talk about pricing in your sales presentation. When setting the agenda for the call with your prospect, make sure you tell them when to expect a discussion on pricing. This discussion should be scheduled by you after you have shown them the value of your product or services, as only then would they agree to the pricing offered by you without you losing a deal. Also, by doing so, you would be better able to handle sales objections.
Using Your Competitor’s Strength in Your Favor
One of the most common sales presentation tactics involves using your competitor’s weakness and showing your product or service’s strength in exchange. This, however, leaves you vulnerable to attack and debate. The other smarter sales presentation technique involves learning and using your competitor’s strength to prove why their product or service is a poor fit for you.
For instance, when in 1985 the marketing of Burger King and McDonald's was head to head, Burger King used McDonald’s marketing attribution and strength- being a kids friendly place as its weakness by saying, at Burger King, it is the place for adults and real burgers, not just fun food. Burger King’s choice of brand awareness and brand positioning statement made it a winner in this marketing competition.
Talk About Your Competitors Early On
While doing your sales presentation, it is important that you talk about your competitors from the beginning rather than ignoring them completely, only to bring them up later in the conversation. This way, you would be able to influence your prospect’s opinions before they get solidified. Once they are influenced in your favor, they are more likely to stay the same, giving you higher net profits.
Storytelling and Sales Presentation
As humans, we have a deep relationship with stories. They move us, teach us, and in the context of sales, they persuade us. This is why storytelling is the secret to a successful sales presentation. If you want to win your customers, start with a story that is relevant to them and their problems, especially of an existing customer who faced the same problem as them.
Such a story would lead to your prospects remembering the key points from your sales presentation as well as about your product or services. Thus, this section of the article will help you in building your sales presentation around a story that will grab your prospect’s attention and encourage them to invest in the solution you are offering.
Start With a Problem and a Deadline
Instead of talking directly about the solution you are offering to your prospects, you should start by talking about the problem and the challenges your solution was designed to solve. Your sales presentation should revolve around the value you are offering to your prospect.
When using storytelling, your product or service can become the hero, whereas their pain point can become the villain. It should focus on the change (something that improves their business or life) rather than on the pain point. Additionally, create a sense of urgency around the story- such that if they do not take action now, they will miss an opportunity. Also, involve the consequences in the story that would arise if the prospect does not change.
Talking About the Solution
Once you have highlighted the problem or the challenges, it is time to talk about the product or services that you are offering. These should not be talked about in terms of their features, but rather in terms of how life would become easier and better for your prospect by using your product or service. It should also highlight how they would be able to reduce their account payable and increase their account receivables.
Only after that, start talking about your product or services features and benefits along these lines:
- Positioning your features against the old way of doing things
- Presenting those features as the superpowers that will solve your prospect’s problems and challenges
- Comparing those features with those of the competitor’s
And using a combination of some or all of the above sales presentation techniques.
What Should You Bring to Your Sales Presentation?
A sales presentation is perceived to be a daunting task, and the only way to deal with such a task is by being prepared and organized. This is why this section of the article would be discussing all the necessities that you should bring to your sales presentation. They are:
Sales presentation tends to include a sales deck to help deliver facts, figures, and statistics that will back your sales presentation and convince your prospects to accept the solution you are offering. To present your sales deck, you can use presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint presentation or google slides or Canva presentation, or any digital slides that you feel are a good match to your product or service. Some of the key elements of such a presentation should be:
- A great cover image or opening slide that grabs your audience’s attention.
- Data and key points are represented through charts, graphs, quotes. These can even include metrics like ACV and ARR or other such relevant KPIs.
- Testimonials and case studies from other customers. This shows the proactive customer service you offer, the voice of customers that you secure, how you consider the customer feedback, and how reliable your products, services, and business is.
- Personalize your presentation for each meeting- based on prospect’s brand color or with data specific to their market and industry or with an earlier exchange
- Last slide- which should have a call to action- directs your prospects on what they need to do now.
One of the main things you need to take care of here is not to overwhelm your slides with texts- they should rather have quick skimmable text, with supporting visuals as visuals register more in the human brain. This will also prevent information overload for your prospect.
The best way to sell a product is by your potential customers seeing them live in action. Product demonstrations hence have always been a vital part of every sales plan- wherever applicable. However, not every product would be perfectly portable. To give a demo for such products would become trickier. Here are some tips you can follow:
- In the case of a physical product, think of the perfect environment for the product’s demo that would show it at its best and do it.
- In the case of a digital product, have technology in hand to show what your product can do. For example, if it is a mobile app- make your prospects download and try it; if it is a website, show it through a projector.
- Lastly, in case your product is not portable- either because it is location-specific or because it is too big to carry around, you will have to use video for your product demo in the sales presentation.
Based on the nature of your solution and how you are doing your sales presentation, you might have to give handouts to your audience. Your handout can have a QR code from which to download the app or contact information, or sales literature. Your handouts should be simple and to the point and should be given at the end of the presentation so that while you are presenting, they are listening to you and not going through the information you gave them on the handouts.
If you are doing a sales presentation, it is quite likely that you are going as a team with two or more sales representatives. Some of the tips you can all follow for the preparation for your sales presentation are:
- Practice- To get the timing right, especially if your presentation has a lot of moving parts.
- Make sure everything is working- so as to avoid going to the meeting with a faulty presentation or a broken sample
- Decide everyone’s roles- so as to avoid on-the-spot confusion and chaos.
Tips for Nailing Your Sales Presentation
Some of the tips that you should incorporate during your sales presentation to nail it are:
Confident Body Language
Sales presentations often happen in person, which is why strong, relaxed, and confident body language is essential to make it seem like you know that you are going to close this deal. How you feel about your presentation is how your prospect is going to feel. Some of the things to take care of here are-
- Making and maintaining eye contact as this shows people how invested you are in what you are doing.
- Stand up straight with your shoulders pulled back. This will also have the added benefit of making you feel better than when your shoulders are hunched.
- Keep your chin up, looking straight and making eye contact rather than looking at the floor or randomly around the room.
- Have a good, firm handshake that will result in a good first impression.
Engaging Your Audience
Sales presentations are more likely to last for long, however the same is not true about your audience’s attention span. To keep them engaged throughout the duration of your sales presentation, you should consider the following:
- The two most important parts of any presentation are the beginning and the end, and hence this is where you should use your strongest material.
- Start your presentation with a brief introduction about yourself and then lead it with either a compelling story as discussed above or with a compelling demo.
- Your product features can make up the middle of your presentation as your prospects might have already researched them, and this part is less likely to be remembered well.
- Finish strong by mentioning how your product solved a problem.
Throughout your sales presentation, you can use humor if it comes naturally to you, matches your brand voice and your buyer personas. Humor will become a good way to connect with your prospects, make everyone relaxed in the room and make the presentation memorable. Lastly, because you are doing a sales presentation and not a sales pitch, it also gives you an opportunity to show off your product and make it memorable.
Sales Presentation Examples
Like we discussed above, the sales presentation is an art and a science, and there are some companies who have done exceedingly well in their sales presentations. We will be talking about some of them in this section of the article.
The highlight of leadnomics’s sales presentation is that they were able to showcase their brand identity during it. To do so, their internet marketing agency hired a designer to create a sales deck that reflects leadnomic’s brand positioning statement through its sleek, techie designs. This meant that while the prospects got to learn about leadnomics and what it has to offer, they also came to know what it stands for as a brand. Such a sales presentation is sure to bring about positive brand awareness.
The Original Comfy
This product was made and pitched by Brian and Michael Speciale on Shark Tank in 2017. They did not have any numbers or inventory, just a big fleecy blanket/hoodie and a video of it being worn everywhere- from a beach to a couch. Their presentation got them an offer of $50,000 for 30% from Barbara Corcoran. When asked about it, she said they had a good product and utmost confidence in it. This highlights how important confidence is while doing your sales presentation.
Single Music used icons and visuals throughout its sales deck to communicate its message. Additionally, the information that it added was worth the length of the sales deck that they had gone with- i.e., 28 slides. Through its sales deck, it showed how it allows the artists to monetize their Spotify account, showcased its diverse artist roster, its milestones, and even its key features.
In a sales deck that Richter made around 2019, it started with an introduction of the problem, followed by a value proposition and then by the solution. They provided an overview of what they have provided to their customers, who their clients are, and what results has their customer base seen. This particular sales deck hence covers all that a sales presentation should cover. Another of its highlights was also how it organized its graphics and logos in an organized and uncluttered manner.
Sales Presentation Template to Present Like a Pro
After all that we discussed, it is time to nail your sales presentation with this guide- containing the slides you need to make and tips on how to make them. Click here to get your sales presentation guide and template to present like a pro.
How Can Deskera Help Your Business with Sales?
Deskera is that cloud software that is equipped with meeting all your business needs. When it comes to sales, it is Deskera CRM and Deskera CRM+ that you want to rely upon especially. Deskera CRM helps in importing and managing all your contacts from one place, letting you integrate your emails with its dashboard. You can even automate email marketing, get reminders for sending invoices and set up your schedule.
Through its dashboard, it will also help you track your deals, monitor sales, and even different KPIs like marketing KPIs. One of the added benefits of Deskera CRM is that it has made the digitization of customer service easier. Additionally, because you can plan your entire team’s work on this software, it increases efficiency and helps in managing workplace stress.
When it comes to Deskera CRM+, it helps in lead management by allowing to build funnels to convert visitors to leads to paying customers. To do so, you can either select any of the high conversion funnel templates or create from scratch.
Funnels should be created for every marketing campaign like social media marketing, landing pages, performance marketing, and content marketing to test their effectiveness. The funnel dashboard will also help you in measuring the performance KPIs.
Additionally, you would also be able to automate daily tasks like drip email campaigns, where you would also be able to choose from email marketing templates, choose a target segment, and then track their performance across it.
Through Deskera CRM+, you would be able to segment your leads such that later they get personalized campaigns based on their segment. Such a personalized approach would also help in increasing customer retention, encourage returning customers, and even increase customer loyalty.
So, with deals being closed faster and more efficiently, your financial statement’s health will improve as well- hence bringing forward a bright future for your business.
While it is safer to keep your sales presentation simple and predictable by keeping it about a sales deck and a speech, such a sales presentation would not be a showstopper.
For your sales presentation to make its impact and result in favorable buying decisions- your sales presentation needs to be unique and unforgettable. To ensure this,
- Have a confident body language
- Engage your audience
Use varied combinations of sales presentation techniques based on what suits your audience and business the best. The techniques you can choose from are:
- Send the Presentation Desk to Your Buyer Before Your Call
- Invoking Self-Discovery
- Do Not Skip to Point B. Talk About Point A.
- Do Not Lead with Differentiators, Lead to Them
- Reveal the Outcome First
- Having a Conversational Presentation
- Following the 9-Minute Rule
- Using Relevant Social Proof
- Use Customer Stories, Not ROI Calculators
- Talking About Price After Establishing Value
- Using Your Competitor’s Strength in Your Favour
- Talk About Your Competitors Early On
When using these techniques, always remember to engage in storytelling. As humans, we have a deeper connection to and understanding of stories. When carried out nicely, this will keep your prospects engaged and make them do business with you. Also, make a point of taking questions and follow-ups after your sales presentation.
What helps in this entire process are the insights as provided by the Deskera CRM and Deskera CRM+ dashboard that helps you understand your prospects better.