Any great salesperson will have a sales deck. Many companies enlist the help of their marketing or sales support teams to put these together. However, if you don’t have this luxury, then you may find yourself looking at a blank Powerpoint document with building dread.
No one ever fully knows what’s going to close a sale. In fact, you shouldn’t rely on someone else’s thoughts on what will work. Instead, be open and think outside of the box. In doing so, you can draw on other creative ideas if a particular planned pitch doesn’t seem to be working. Every client is different, and any good salesperson will be able to adapt a moment’s notice.
Whatever materials you have prepared should positively enhance your sales process. Don’t make it complicated. Keep it simple. Here are five ways you can improve your sales presentations.
1. Presenting vs. Email
Ask yourself, how many of your sales decks you present in person or via screen share? Then compare that to how many you shoot over to your client as an attachment in an email.
Ultimately, you should have two versions. Virtual and in-person presentations are two entirely different experiences. You want to ensure you’re offering the best in both situations.
The sales deck that you present live should contain your talking points, which you will then speak further on. Think of them as palm cards that prompt you forward.
This type of deck wouldn’t have the same effect when sent to a client. Reason being, they wouldn’t have your added commentary and would miss out on vital information.
In some situations you may have had a conversation with this contact, so they may be up-to-speed with what the deck outlines, but what if they then pass the deck over to another potential client or investor? It wouldn’t work in your favour at all.
Ensure your decks are created specifically for both scenarios so that you can maximise your sales opportunities, and everyone is clear about your message.
Remember, how you structure your sales deck will determine the success of your sale.
2. Keep It Simple
Buyers are busy people. I’m sure you’ve experienced times when you couldn’t get in touch with them or have had to reschedule meetings due to conflicting schedules.
Knowing this, wouldn’t you want to ensure that your sales deck is concise, clear and to the point?
Make sure you state your objectives and get straight to the point, whether you’re presenting live or sending your deck via email.
Keep your message simple and only place one idea per slide. Trying to include every bit of information is just going to confuse your buyer, and they’ll lose attention rather quickly
An excellent resource for learning how to create a sale-winning presentation, follow Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint for presentations.
3. Keep It Engaging
Industry jargon, incessant company background, or too many numbers and statistics, can turn away many of your prospects - especially if it’s not a live presentation.
Keep your buyer in mind when creating the sales deck. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to know? What questions would you have in their situation? Remember, it’s up to you to show them how you can help and be the solution to their needs. If you can do this effectively, you will show them; it’s not all about you making a sale. And they’ll be impressed that you’ve got their best interests at heart.
Some things which will add value to your deck include success stories, case studies or even testimonials. If you do talk about them, don’t focus on how wonderful your company is, instead keep it about your client.
Remember, this isn’t about you, this is about showing your prospect what you can do for them.
Do you know what the next step is after your presentation? Have you thought about what action you want to take next?
Have you thought about what other information you may need before moving forward?
Do you want to suggest a follow-up conversation to review and discuss any further questions?
Or, will you just send a proposal?
If you’re sending your deck via email, be sure to include some “call to action”. A call to action is a straightforward and important way to guide your prospect around what action they should next take.
If your call to action is answered, you’ll know that your buyer is interested.
Knowing the purpose of your presentation and the outcome, allows both parties to be clear about timelines and keeps everyone on the same page.
5. Be Professional
The small touches and little details are what speak volumes to your prospect. Think about it this way, once you send someone your deck via email, the last thing that will be very appealing is seeing “SalesDeck.pptx”. It’s not professional. Make it easy to locate in their downloads folder. I mean, imagine if they had another ten files like this in the same folder?
Rename your file so it appears as though it’s specifically been created for them. For example, “Your Company name Presentation for XYZ Company.pdf”. This minor attention to detail speaks volumes.
Be sure to save it as a .pdf!
PowerPoint files are painful to download, and this would then give your prospect access to edit your presentation. Probably not something you want to do. Be sure the final file doesn’t have editing permissions.
A pdf will be more aesthetically pleasing for your client to open.
If you have the option of uploading the file to a server, opt for this. Files are clunky and can be annoying. Having your presentation already set to go on the server simplifies the process, and it looks professional. Be sure you have the correct link - test it before you send it across.
Remember, sales presentations are not something that once created remain the same for months on end. An excellent sales presentation will be evolving consistently. Successful companies are transforming each day, so your deck should be reviewed and reflect the growth and changes of your business. It should always be tailored to clients because no two clients are the same. While sometimes your deck may be suitable for multiple prospects, don’t just assume it’s a one-size fits all.
Utilising these 5 points when creating your deck will surely have you moving toward a successful sale.