Each sales presentation is different, from product to product, from company to company and from prospect to prospect. However, all of them have some traits in common. They need to be informative, persuasive, well structured and with a good design.
Before going into more details let’s remember what exactly is a sales presentation:
Formal and pre-arranged meeting, usually at a customer's place (or at a neutral premises, such as a hotel) where a salesperson or a sales team presents detailed information (often including live demonstration) about a product or product-line.
According to Business Dictionary
After researching some of the best sales presentations and designing a few ourselves these are the 10 slides that are a must.
- Cover slide
- Build-up ( context and mega - trends )
- The problem your prospects are facing
- Shortcomings of current solutions
- Potential new solution (without naming yours)
- The value proposition
- The Product you are offering
- Benefits that they get
- Experiences, examples and social proof
- Call to action
1. A stellar cover slide
People are so impatient these days, the attention span is getting lower and you are sitting in a room where maybe nobody knows you. Make a first impression that lasts, get their attention from the beginning and don’t let go.
Don’t be afraid to go bolder and more visual on your cover. We usually like to go for vibrant, high res images with various treatments (for example, adding a bit of 3D to it by integrating image parts with text)
For the brain to remember, presenters must deviate from a pattern in some significant way.
Carmen Simon, co-founder of Rexi Media
2. Build-up / A powerful story about context and mega trends
According to HubSpot, the most successful presentations are 65% stories. That is because we are more inclined to remember a story than numbers or statistics. Get your audience on the path that you are building for them.
Give context to your presentation by talking about the overall trends of the market. This way you ensure that everybody is in agreement about the current situation. The prospectors get a sense of control and will encourage them to talk about how these trends affect their position, what are their struggles and what opportunities they seek in the market.
You have to realise that within 30 seconds, 35 percent of the people have decided they don’t like you. You need a really good 30-second opener to grab their attention. Don’t overburden it with too many slides or words. Weave in personal stories and a sense of humour (if you have one), and be engaging. My primary purpose in public speaking is to motivate, so I come out strong and have a lot of fun!
Adam DeGraide | CEO and founder, Astonish
3. The problem your prospects are facing
Before going into the meeting you already did your homework on the prospects and this is the time to use it. Show them what you know about them while introducing the problem that your product/service tackles. Explain why this is an issue for them and why current attempts won’t help solving the problem.
First you need to understand what is motivating them to have a discussion, which allows you to identify their pains and present how your offering solves their pains. Everything presented to a prospect should be based on the value for them specifically.
Bradley Davies, business development at Cognism.
4. Reasons problem goes unsolved / Shortcomings of current solutions
Building on the trends that you just presented, introduce the problems that these trends are bringing. Talk from the customer point of view, what are the problems they face and how it feels for them.
Without bringing up your product explain the solutions that exist for the problem and the reasons they are not fully satisfying.
5. The potential new solution
After just presenting the short-comings of the current solutions you step in with the ideal one. It is not your product/service yet, but the most desirable way to solve the problem, a way that is difficult to be achieved without help.
Your prospectors should understand what their life would be if they had this incredible solution that you described.
Improve your sales presentations by speaking about the #1 challenge your prospects face, using the language they use to describe that challenge. When you do this, your prospects will “get it.” More importantly, they will think that you “get it” as well.
Wendy Weiss, President of ColdCallingResults.com
6. The Value Proposition
In case your product/service is cutting edge innovation you will need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. How do you show that to your prospectors? Using your value proposition.
The value proposition is not just product focused, but also shows what your company stands and how you, as an entity, can help your audience. Keep it short, as this is not the spotlight of your presentation, it is another key point in your story.
7. The Product you are offering
Now is the time to reveal the hero of your story. Show them your product, how it looks, what are its features, what it does, but more importantly tell them what it does for them. Focus on how this can help their problem.
8. Benefits that they can get
After presenting your solution you can go through the benefits that your prospectors have by using it. Outline the bigger benefits and why should that be of use to them.
Paint the image of the outcome the customers have after using your product/service, what are their gains and what is the value that you bring.
What kinds of businesses are they looking at? What model/criteria/triggers do they use to judge whether a project will be successful or not? If you don’t have some sense of their points of view, your likelihood of making the pitch go well is more random. You may happen to emphasise the right points that pique an investor’s interest, but you shouldn’t leave your financing up to chance.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-Founder
9. Experiences, examples and social proof
During the presentation you created the relationship between you and the prospectors and now you put yourself in the position of a trusted advisor, not just a salesperson. So now make them understand how your product/service could improve their business.
If you have a physical product this is the moment to actually put it in their hands. If what you present is a service try to make them experience it. Other powerful tools are success stories and case histories of companies that have already used your solution.
You need to show up with case studies, ideas, and research. Your clients do not have time for needs assessments and hundreds of questions.
Ryan Dohrn, Sales coach and keynote speaker
10. Call to action
Finish your presentation with a summary of the deck that leads to a clear call to action. This is what your audience will remember, what is the next step they need to take.
Design your slide in a simple and powerful way to end this chapter of the story.
The most important thing in any presentation is to ensure that you get the message right. Having a clear message for your audience is essential to achieving success.
Jessica Pyne, Marketing Communications Assistant at m62 visualcommunications
When using this structure and not only, keep in mind that you also need to make your presentation unique, relevant and to represent your product. Try and see what flow works best for you and for your product/service. Work with your colleagues or your managers to have consistency in your organization message and your sales narrative.
Are you ready to take your presentations to the next level?
Our team can help with everything from researching your project, writing the content, designing and building your slides, and even creating handouts.