When selling your product or service, it helps to have some structure and clarity before speaking with a prospect. Although many salespeople tend to rely on experience and intuition to close deals, having a prepared presentation can often be the better choice. However, building a captivating pitch is easier said than done. Your sales presentation will entice leads to become customers, so is yours working as hard as it should? Here are some great sales presentation ideas to help you get the most from your next meeting.
What is a Sales Presentation?
At its core, a sales presentation is a pitch that you are making to a potential client. There are no strict rules regarding the format of your presentation, but it should include the following elements:
- The Problem – Your prospect has an issue that needs solving.
- The Solution – A way for your prospect to solve that problem.
- The Journey – Illustrate how your company can help the prospect reach a solution.
- The Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – Why should the prospect deal with you and not a competitor?
One of the biggest reasons why sales presentations fall flat is that reps do not always know what works. Here are some of the top techniques to help you close more deals. Before making another appointment, master these tactics:
Top Sales Presentations Ideas and Techniques
Send a Slide Deck Before Calling
Typically, salespeople will use a slide deck to keep the presentation on target. Each slide has valuable information, and it ensures that the meeting progresses efficiently.
Unfortunately, getting into great detail on individual slides is time-consuming. The best sales presentations are often 10 to 15 minutes, making it hard for your prospect to absorb information.
So, why not send the deck to your lead before the meeting? While this sales presentation idea might seem a bit counterintuitive, it makes a lot of sense. Not only can the prospect get a sense of what you will be discussing beforehand, but it is easier for them to understand what you are offering.
The most common complaint with this tactic is, “what’s the point of meeting if I’m going to send the whole deck?” Truthfully, if you do not know the value of seeing your prospect and discussing these elements face-to-face, your sales will likely not improve anyway.
Address the Customer’s Problem Specifically
One issue that many sales presentations have is that they feature a lot of canned talking points. While it is useful to have an idea of what you’re going to say, a presentation is not a lecture. It should be a conversation between you and a potential client.
The best way to hold your prospect’s attention is to focus on the specific problem that the business is having. Rather than giving a laundry list of features and benefits, zero in on one or two pain points and develop a pitch around them.
Here is where sending the deck beforehand can come in handy. You can ask your prospect which pieces stood out the most and how they pertain to a specific problem. That way, you can cut any unnecessary parts and stay focused on what matters to them.
Tell a Story, Putting Your Customer as the Main Character
Humans are naturally drawn to stories — it is why the entertainment business continues to thrive and grow. You can make your sales presentation ideas far more engaging by turning them into storytime.
One surefire method to accomplish this goal is to tell a story about someone identical to your prospect. If you have clients who have experienced similar problems, talk about what they faced and how your brand helped.
Ideally, the story will focus on your prospect specifically, so try to find out as much information about the prospect’s business as beforehand. You can also ask questions during the presentation and create a story from there, which will help your prospect connect to your business and see the value of your product.
Lead Your Prospect to Your UVP
In many sales presentations, reps will start by talking about all of the differentiators of their brand. While this move seems smart, it can be distracting because your prospects only care about the benefits that apply to their specific situations.
So, a better method is to walk the prospect down a path where your unique value proposition is the result. Start by identifying critical pain points and then discuss how your lead deals with them right now. Finally, close by illustrating how your product can create a much easier and more efficient solution.
Offer Insight and Experience
Your sales reps are experts about your brand and products. As experts, they can offer valuable insight and knowledge that may not be evident to your prospect. Have your sales team thought about times when they have helped other clients and what they learned from those experiences?
That insight can be powerful and captivating when delivered during a sales presentation. Your prospects may not know as much, so educating them can help them make an informed decision. Even if your reps don’t close the deal, they will come across as an authentic expert in the field, building brand awareness and trust.
Talk Like the Person You are Presenting To
Another problem that many companies have with sales presentations is that they make the same pitch to everyone, rather than customizing it to fit an individual’s preference. For example, presenting to an executive is far different than talking with an IT person.
For B2B companies, this tactic is a must since there are often multiple decision-makers who have to sign off on a deal. Don’t bore supervisors with technical information and specs. Instead, focus on how the product will increase productivity and satisfaction among users. Figure out which benefits will appeal to your audience the most and leverage them.
Start at the End
In many cases, a sales presentation is a logical progression — a step by step approach to making a sale. While this strategy makes sense on paper, it does not always deliver results in practice.
One way to alleviate this problem is to start at the end. To paraphrase an old saying, don’t focus on the labor pains; just talk about the baby. Open your pitch by discussing how happy your prospects will be once they have been onboarded to using your product. Do not talk about the details or steps it will take to get there until they ask. By focusing on the results first, you can alleviate any hesitation from learning about how to make it happen.
Ask More Questions
If your reps are talking most of the time, they are likely not engaging with the prospect. Instead, it is far better to ask questions and have the client lead the presentation in the right direction. Just because your team has rehearsed a specific flow, it does not mean that it will work every time. By asking questions, reps can eliminate any unnecessary information and focus on the client’s particular needs.
Keep it Short
Although a sales presentation is not always the same as a pitch, it should be closer to a pitch than a seminar. Ideally, everything should take about 10 or 15 minutes, depending on how many questions the prospect asks.
Overall, you do not want to waste time in a sales presentation. While it might seem encouraging if a prospect has many questions or wants to keep going, what happens if they don’t buy? Keeping the meeting short not only helps reps trim the fat, but it keeps your prospects focused as well.
Use Customers Rather Than Statistics to Sell
On the surface, charts and statistics about your product or brand may seem like a good sales presentation idea. If you have any high-profile clients, you likely want to highlight them in the presentation to illustrate your company’s value.
Unfortunately, this approach rarely works, and it may drive your close rate down because stats are hard for prospects to connect with easily. Instead, focus on one client and share how your business helped them. Here is where your storytelling skills can come in handy.
Discuss Value First, Then Price
One of the first questions that prospects ask is how much something will cost. While that is undoubtedly a valid question, it can ignore many of your presentation’s best elements.
When answering this question, discuss the value that your prospect will receive. Perhaps they will save thousands of dollars in productivity costs. Maybe they will have more satisfaction with your product than a competitor’s. By framing the answer around value, not dollars, it is much easier to get a prospect to close.
There is a golden rule that everyone follows, even subconsciously — if the value is great enough, the cost will always be worth it. Consider how many times you have bought something you “couldn’t afford” because it offered sufficient value.
Leverage Competitor’s Strengths, Not Weaknesses
Realistically, any prospect you meet with is going to be familiar with your top competitors. In most cases, they have done some research to compare what you have to offer. In fact, they may have already experienced a sales pitch from someone else.
All too often, reps will focus on a competitor’s weakness because it is easy to do. Your product is built better than theirs, or you have better customer service than they do. While this strategy can be useful, it opens your business up to scrutiny.
Instead, leverage your competitor’s strengths to show how you are different. The competition is more affordable, but their products break down faster, so the prospect will spend more in the long run. Competitors may have a streamlined onboarding process, but they don’t offer the same attention to detail.
By reframing the conversation, it is much easier for your prospect to understand your brand’s value. Overall, you are illustrating that, while they are good, your company is the better choice.
Other Ways to Make the Best Sales Presentation
Here are some general rules to follow when meeting potential clients:
Be Friendly and Conversational
Sales is all about relationships. If your presentation is cold and lifeless, your prospects will not want to do business. Rather than trying to be eloquent, it is better to be a bit more casual. The atmosphere should be relaxed and laid-back while maintaining an air of professionalism. This way, your prospects will be more agreeable and less combative.
People tend to talk around a problem, particularly if it is a sensitive topic (i.e., cost). However, in a sales presentation, it is far better to be upfront and honest about everything. Being direct not only makes you seem more authoritative, but it also helps trim waste.
Learn As Much About Your Prospect Beforehand
Overall, the best tactic is to customize your presentation to each prospect. However, you cannot do that if you do not know much about them. You do not need a life story, but some pertinent details can help you curate information and anticipate questions. If you can be well-informed before meeting, that will ensure a smooth conversation.
Make it Fun and Engaging
Finally, your sales presentation should not be boring. Do not talk in a monotone voice, and do not just use a slideshow to deliver information. Instead, making it an experience. Use props, magic tricks, jokes — anything to capture your audience’s attention. Not only will some fun and liveliness put your prospects at ease, but it will make your pitch far more memorable. Even better, you can tap into their emotions for a stronger connection.
Bottom Line: How to Make a Sales Presentation That Works
Since there are so many sales presentation ideas available, it can seem overwhelming to incorporate everything into a single meeting. The best way to ensure that your methods work is to try them out. Rehearse different options and see which ones get the best responses. From there, you can curate the top tactics.
Another way to ensure that you have the best sales presentation is to create multiple versions based on customer personas. Ideally, you should have data available to tell you which features mean the most to different users. From there, you can build a better pitch.