Maham S. Chappal
on November 4, 2020 (last modified on April 20, 2022) • 29 minute read
Are you intimidated by sales presentations and not sure how to best prepare for them?
Should you talk formally or informally? Should you talk about your product, or not talk about your product at all? What are the best practices to ensure every sales presentation results in, well, sales?
You’re not alone.
Nearly 57% of B2B prospects and customers feel that their sales teams are not prepared for the first meeting.
While sales presentations can seem intimidating the first few times you participate in them, once you get the hang of them and create an efficient, thorough process, you’ll be able to glide through them a lot easier and a lot more successfully.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss,
So let’s dive right in.
A sales presentation is similar to an in-depth sales pitch where companies promote a product\service they’re trying to sell to potential clients.
However, it’s usually more complicated and comprehensive than a regular sales pitch. There are multiple PowerPoint presentations involved, meetings, and lots of prior prep time to ensure you’re hitting all the right persuasion notes.
Related: 12 Most Helpful Sales Report Templates for Teams
Contrary to popular opinion, a full sales presentation is not always necessary or even appropriate. Different situations call for different types of sales presentations and different approaches to selling your product\service.
There are several important sales presentations and pitches that all sales representatives and companies should be well versed in. Let’s take a closer look.
Related: 42 Free Sales Dashboard Templates For Tracking & Improving Sales Performance
Can you boil down your brand’s value proposition to one word? Just like Google’s one word is ‘Search’ and Barack Obama’s was ‘Hope’, what’s your brand’s one-word pitch?
Sales reps using social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their sales quota.
With over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, companies need to have a concrete, pithy sales pitch for their social media profiles. One that not only instantly tells your social media followers and potential customers what your brand is all about but can also withstand the test of ever-changing algorithms.
An elevator pitch is a quick speech that instantly tells your potential clients what your brand’s all about and what solutions you offer.
It works especially well when you’re not formally trying to close deals, such as during networking events and similar functions. It can also be used during cold calls.
A full sales presentation usually happens in a meeting room with 1 or several clients and includes PowerPoint presentations slides, sales decks, handouts, and a fully prepped team. It also requires a value-heavy pitch, solutions your company is offering, and so on.
68% of B2B businesses use landing pages to garner a new sales lead for future conversion.
Written sales presentations, like landing pages, are getting really popular in this digital-first world. A high-converting written sales presentation usually starts with addressing the problem and presenting its solution, and outlining the benefits of the brand’s product\service. And the best sales pages have several complimentary graphics accompanying the text, as well.
Webinars are sales presentations conducted via the internet. Usually conducted in real-time, it gives interested prospects the opportunity to get their questions answered on the spot, and similarly, it helps brands persuade prospects to convert.
An effective sales presentation should focus more on the benefits and solutions it offers, instead of its product\service’s features.
After all, 88% of executive buyers want a conversation, not a presentation
Your sales presentations should also consist of:
Related: SMART Sales Goal Examples from 30+ Sales Professionals
Now we’re on the most exciting part – tips and tricks to close more sales deals. To help you ace your next sales presentations, we asked 42 sales pro their best sales presentation tips.
And here’s what they said.
Related: The 37 Sales KPIs Every Sales Leader Should Be Measuring
To decide which goals meet the SMART criteria, sales managers need to look at sales analytics for their teams and monitor sales KPIs, for example:
Based on these metrics, and in light of other revenue-based and activity-based goals, you can identify and set desired goals for future performance, but how to get this information?
Now you can benefit from the experience of our sales experts, who have put together a great Databox template showing an overview of your sales team’s performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in sales reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up this Sales Analytics Overview Dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your HubSpot account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
“Too often we just assume that, of course, the leads or prospects we’re reaching out to, or following up with, know that of course, we want their business.
We don’t explicitly tell them, though, and that can be a very powerful thing to do. Something as simple as: ‘I’m really hoping to have the opportunity to work with you,’ can make a big difference. It’s worked for me!” Explains Linda Pophal of Strategic Communications.
Dustin Singer of Dustin Buys Houses shares, “One of our most effective sales presentation techniques for increasing conversions is on top of giving an excellent presentation, we leave the client with a print presentation. This presentation goes into detail about who we are, what we do, how we can help them, the steps and process of working with us, and what next steps would be if they decide to work with us.
This also includes their offer price, and terms and details of the proposed contract along with all of our contact information. It allows us to leave our sales presentation with them, so if they don’t convert over the initial meeting, we impress them with important information for the client to refer to as we work them through the sales funnel.
We’ve received feedback about how our print presentations presented us as more professional than our competitors, and they felt more comfortable with working with us because of it.”
You can also turn that hard copy into an engagement exercise for your prospects.
As Jeff Brandeis of Brandeis Training Solutions explains, “When presenting remotely, we typically provide a PDF that has incomplete sentences. We encourage people to fill in the blanks. People remember things when they write things down. Providing them a template to fill in separates our presentation from others.”
“Tell a story. No one wants to listen to stats on every slide. And your prospects can see right through your ‘visualize success’ ideas.
Instead, include a narrative with characters, setting, and plot. Make sure your prospects can empathize with the character. THEY need to be the hero—not you.” Says TJ Kelly of FreeDrumlineBeats.com.
Bradley Keys of PatchMD explains why stories work so well. “Stories give us an emotional connection, and it will be more effective if it is relatable to their situation. Share stories about how your products worked successfully for your clients. It is one of the leading sales strategies to help you improve your presentation and close deals. Statistics are useful, but make sure that it is not overwhelming – they are easily forgotten. Learn to play emotions when presenting as it helps to become more personal.” Shares Keys.
Nathan Binford of MarketChorus explains the benefits of using The Challenger Sale, a sales presentation methodology based on selling through constructive tension.
“Learn and use a sales presentation methodology like The Challenger Sale to craft a compelling narrative every time you build a pitch. I’m a big fan of The Challenger Sale specifically because it forces you to ‘walk in your prospect’s shoes’ and emphasizes the importance of shocking your audience out of status quo thinking and into a receptive state.” Says Binford.
Luke Smith of We Buy Property In Kentucky recommends, “After your presentation, allow questions to be asked. As the customer or client gets the answers that meet their needs (for us – they layout terms they need for us to buy their house), I will say, “It sounds like we have a rough outline for a deal. What would you like to happen now?”
More often than not, they ask me about signing a contract to get everything started. This has allowed me to close numerous deals without the awkward transition to the close. The buyer is closing me rather than me pulling them to the closing table.”
The best way to encourage questions is by adopting the 60-second rule.
“To be more effective during a sales presentation, you must consider this — the 60-second rule. It’s simple; all you have to do is NEVER speak without entertaining questions or interruption for more than a minute.
Ditch your monologue and stop bombarding your audience with information. If you have been talking for more than 60 seconds without any interruption, it is most likely that your audience is no longer interested.
Keep in mind to engage with your audience throughout your presentation. Try to incorporate open-ended questions within your presentation to keep it conversational.
It’s easy to keep talking but always pay close attention to when to stop. By following this tip, you will increase your chances of securing deals.” Explains Dan Nolan of Camping Console.
“Drown your prospect in successful case studies for businesses like theirs. That’s my number one sales presentation tactic. It should be so obvious that you’ve done the work before, you’ve transformed situations from bad to great, and you’re certain you can do the same for them if they buy.
For example, if you’re a B2B sales organization with a software company on the call, show them three case studies of the work you’ve done for other software companies. By doing you, their confidence rises and the doubt. that so often stops a sale, goes away.” Shares Brian Robben of Robben Media.
Brandon Amoroso of electrIQ marketing shares his experience of closing sales deals by highlighting success stories. Amoroso says, “Demonstrating our success rate at the end of a presentation through different case studies has helped our company demonstrate our knowledge in the marketing field.
We showcase studies that resemble the potential client and show them some of the ways we will carry out duties if they choose to partner with us. In doing this, we reassure them that they will be diligent with our time, communicate with them constantly, and work towards getting similar or greater results than those shown in the case study.”
Catriona Jasica of Top Vouchers Code agrees and believes success stories are essential to closing deals.
“It takes real skills for the salespeople to be efficient enough and close a deal through their presentation. One of them is sticking to your success stories.
Sharing the statistics is surely vital to show your company’s growth, but your attendees are most likely to forget those figures. What will stick to their minds are the success stories you share in the presentation.
Let them know about your product and how it has worked wonders for your company and helped it flourish. Think of a compelling story, present it, and build an emotional connection with the clients. This undoubtedly helps you outstandingly to close the deal in the end.” Says Jasica.
Growth Hackers’ Jonathan Aufray agrees and adds, “To increase your probability of closing a deal, you want to show your prospect how your solution helped similar people/companies in their industry. Showing them a case study on what you implemented, achieved, and accomplished for another client is definitely one of the best sales presentation techniques out there.”
David Garcia of ScoutLogic believes data is as important as success stories to seal the deal. “The most effective sales presentation technique that increases your chances of closing a deal is a quantitative analysis demonstrating the economic benefits of your solution. If you are running an enterprise sales cycle, by that point, you should understand the client’s pain points, the client’s personal win, and should be able to articulate the unique economic value only your solution will bring.”
Trenton Erker of Clarity Online advises sales presenters to “Know the numbers in your industry and theirs. It’s compelling, authoritative, and adds to your charisma, your product/service, your company, your industry, everything. People trust industry authorities. They’ll also know you care.”
Susanne Pope of Whiterock Locators agrees with the two and says, “Including succinct and relevant data to drive your point across is one of the most effective presentation techniques that will increase your probability of closing a deal.
Anyone can make bold claims, but having the data to back up those claims will drive the nail in the coffin, so to speak. It’s also important that the data you’re presenting is clearly communicated in its relevance to the goods/services you’re pitching.
If you have data that the audience cannot make sense of, your odds of closing lessen. You also want to ensure you don’t overload your audience with data. The most critical data sets will do, but always be prepared to present more data should someone in the audience ask for it.”
Greg Taft, a Realtor, shares, “I would say the one item that gets me the most traction both from my pitch books from my private equity career and in my listing presentations to clients selling their homes is a strong value proposition.
The value proposition needs to be tangible and measurable. It is hard to put a number on intellectual property or intangible assets, but you have to. As an example, you can talk to a home seller about selling their home, but why are you the right agent for them?
You have to show that you are better than average, whether that be your homes are selling for more than they are worth, or your full marketing package is selling homes x days faster, etc. If you are just average, they will just shop for the cheapest rather than the most value.”
“Fundamentals win championships, and the same goes for sales professionals when they’re working to gain a new client. If there was one piece of advice I’d bestow upon someone new to the sales profession, it would be to follow up with your prospect.
48% of salespeople never follow up with a prospect. Only 25% of salespeople make a second contact. Those alarming numbers, especially considering that 80% of sales are made between the fifth to twelfth contact. So if there was one technique that will increase your close rate on a macro scale, it would have to be to follow up with your prospect.” Explains Evan Donahue of JMJ Phillip.
Related: 36 Practical Tips for Writing A Great Sales Follow Up Email
When asked the most important sales presentation tip that helps close more deals, Nathan Bliss of Kinsta says,
“Prepare. There is no replacement for being prepared to go into a discovery or demo call. Know all that you can about that potential customer and their business. Make some assumptions about what you think might be important to them based on your experience, but test those assumptions with effective questioning while you are on the call.”
“I always state the potential client’s goals before I go into anything. They’ve told me what they want to achieve in a pre-call, but I reiterate that in my words, while I also hint at how we’ll get there by way of our services. Then I ask them, ‘Are we in agreement?’
If we don’t establish that agreement before I start the rest of the presentation, we can run into many swings and misses during the rest of the presentation.
That question helps me understand that my pitch is spot on, or tells me if I need to pivot some of my discussion points or commentary that are coming in the next several slides.” Shares Tracy Beach of Portent.
“One unique and effective technique I use to help me close more deals is creating asynchronous video content, also known as recorded video, video messages, screen shares, or video voicemail.
By using a free screen-share or recording tool like Vidyard, you can turn your bland ol’ slide presentation into an interactive video that explains all the details that the recipient needs to hear.
Instead of the old methods of sharing PDF’s and hoping your customer champion will sell your pitch internally (which can become a risky game of telephone), instead, turn that PDF or presentation into an interactive video and send it via email (or any other channel) to your recipient.
This ensures that your message is heard the way you intended it to be heard. It also gives the recipient a simple way to float the video around to the decision-makers within their organization so they can get buy-in to push deals across the line. Think about using asynchronous videos to explain proposals, quotes, customer stories, demos, etc. Video works!” Says Jacob Fernandes of Vidyard.
Deepak Shukla of Pearl Lemon Sales agrees and adds, “A growing trend in sales and marketing is Explanation Videos. Expounding on your product’s value in a down-to-earth, relatable way helps build personal connections with potential clients.
It also prevents user bounce rates and increases your SEO ranking – meaning your client finds you easier and is more likely to stay on your page. All of these things contribute to vastly improving your chances of closing that sale!”
“I have found asking questions to drive the ‘No’ instead of the ‘Yes’ leads to more sales. By asking questions, the prospect has to answer ‘No’ opens up the door to get the ‘Yes’ at the close.
The ‘No’ questions are designed to get the prospect to tell you where they are coming up short or items they are missing. Asking these questions and actually listening will give you the upper hand when going through your sales conversation by letting you know their pain points without asking the standard ‘Yes’ questions.
So switch the way you direct your conversations from the ‘Yes’ questions to the ‘No’ questions, and you will see more success at the closing.” Explains Eric Bergman of Serendipit Consulting
Boxroom Office’s Neil Roach believes that hard selling never works in a sales presentation.
Roach says, “People know when they’re being sold to. Instead, your focus should be on solving whatever problem that person has and the most affordable way for them.
Far too many salespeople are trained to go in hard and basically talk the prospect into submission.
That approach shows a lack of finesse and a real lack of understanding of human psychology. Basically, it’s the path to most resistance, by its very nature.
The salespeople I’ve trained always focus on what the customer needs but rarely what the customer wants. If, for example, a customer wants a $1,000 smartphone, you should ask them what they need it for? If it’s “…just for calls and texts,” guide them to something more affordable.
That will cause one of two outcomes.
Either way, your business, and your reputation, and your sales figures will benefit.”
Lauren Shroll of Outside The Box opines, “When you work from specific questions and comments that put pressure on that meeting to convert, your leads who are not specifically in that small percentage of users ready to convert at the time of the call, are going to be turned off to a conversation that is already primed for someone who wants to buy.
Your ideal sales conversation should prime the user to buy, both at the time of the call and in future retargeting, by including invitations.
This means that you are inviting the user to share their concerns, preview the product, opt-in to email updates, and effectively gear the user to feel that it’s a perfect fit for their specific needs.
This is the case even if they are converting in the next 12-24 months. Your conversation should aim to make the user feel that they are comfortable making a purchase decision, but not necessarily focused on the present moment.”
And did this strategy work for her?
Shroll shares her experience and adds, “Using this approach has helped massively with one of the software companies I work alongside.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, we have enrolled three major clients in a program that equated to several hundred users.
The reason? We primed the sales call toward “continuing the conversation” to fit our leads at any stage of their buying journey.
A conversation that started as a sales call twelve months ago turned into a neatly closed deal in the most uncertain of times to achieve an amazing return on investment.
If you do include a quote in your story, please let me know when it’s published so that I can promote it across social media channels.”
“The most effective sales presentations that help us close deals all follow one formula: Educate the prospect on a pain that they have, leverage data that is unique to them to support the pain point, then solve the problem.
If you are using a sales deck, it should follow this framework without talking about your own product until the solution section.
If you are doing a live demo, you should break this same approach into sections based on the solution you are providing.
And every solution should first be teed up by education, specific pain for the client, then solution.
Following the formula in every presentation is the key to closing.” Says Zach Rego of Unstack.
Samantha Kohn of AutoVerify recommends taking a customer-in approach in your sales presentations. “You can increase your probability of closing a deal by taking a customer-in approach (rather than a product-out approach) in your sales presentations.
Instead of starting by explaining how great your product is, consider beginning with a discussion of the pain-points your customers are trying to solve.”
Osiris Parikh of Lilius says one of the most important sales techniques is to tailor solutions to the needs of a prospective client. Parikh explains, “Asking questions and showing genuine interest in helping them, rather than seeming like a robot reading from a script, allows for greater rapport and ultimately better solutions aligned to their situation. The chances of a sale only increase from there.”
Lynell Ross of Education Advocates agrees with them and gives some practical tips. “Stress how your product or service will make your customer’s life easier.
Most customers are stressed out and have a million things on their plate. Just as important as the money they’ll save by going with you or the upgrade in quality they’ll achieve is the ease with which they’ll do it.
Even if not relevant to your product or service’s substantive qualities, stress the importance of how your company or service will remove work and time from the customer’s plate, streamline their processes, and make them more efficient.
Reference the type of lift similarly positioned customers have experienced, and use data for that where available.”
“When presenting pitches to potential clients, confidence is everything because you are what you’re selling. How you handle yourself is as important as the presentation itself.” Says Jolene Caufield of Healthy Howard.
And the best way to do that is by showing your stuff.
Adam Smartschan of Altitude Marketing explains, “Do your research and present it in an attractive fashion. The more you show you know your stuff, the more a prospect will be willing to work with you.
Don’t just tell them their competitors are doing it better. Show them what their competitors are doing, and explain why – then tell them how you’ll help them win.”
Richard Latimer of Veritas Homebuyers explains what works best for him in sales presentations. “The best presentation technique that I employ frequently is physical cues. This includes my posture, use of hands, eye contact, and tone of voice.
Having an upright yet relaxed posture helps make your counterpart feel at ease, using your hands helps illustrate your meanings, eye contact promotes trust, and your tone of voice should guide your counterpart through the presentation.” Shares Latimer.
Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls also shares her experience and says, “Before a sales pitch I always take a few deep breaths and remind myself I know this topic well, I try to make eye contact with at least a few people in the room as I speak and share stories from my experience to make my points.
I also try to smile a lot. That usually helps me relax and get started, and once I start talking, I am usually good to go.
I have presented successfully virtually, too, via video, online, and phone. With social distancing video presentations are a popular reality now and should be treated just as important as face to face meetings.”
“One important tip is to personalize your sales presentation for your customer.
Most presentations are all about the company presenting them, which is quite backward since the prospect really doesn’t care about you (sorry). They care about their business and their own goals.
In some cases, your audience will connect the dots between the solution you offer and the problems they have, but it’s much more effective to do your research ahead of time and connect those dots between your customer’s unique problem and your proposed solution inside of the presentation.” Recommends Spencer Smith of IRC Sales Solutions.
Syed Irfan Ajmal who is a Growth Marketing Consultant at Physicians Thrive, says personalization of any sales presentation is actually easier than it looks.
He shared a sales presentation example that helped him to win a 5-figure marketing contract. He shares the following:
This visual example shows how the client stands to earn $49K to $99K per month by applying only 2 simple SEO/Content-Marketing strategies.
This visual example shows the specific ideas meant for a company working in the Household Industry. ”
Knowing your client’s competitors, what’s working for them and what’s not can easily make or break your sales pitch.
Lenny Liebmann says, “I do research on my prospective client’s competitors. I make sure to include a passing reference to one or more of those competitors in my press. That way, the client gets the sense that I really understand their market and their challenges — as opposed to just peddling them something based on some sort of questionably universal value proposition.”
Digital Debut’s Deniz Doganay also recommends keeping a close eye on your prospect’s competitors. “Actually, take the time to look at leading competitors of your potential client and point out the things they are doing well and what you plan to do to best them. Be very transparent in your company processes and policies as well, so the client knows exactly what to expect when entering an agreement with you.” Advises Doganay.
Mike Charles of Lookout Lofts believes short and to-the-point presentations are always better. “The 9-minute rule! Keeping your presentation to 9 minutes or less is a great rule of thumb to follow for keeping your audience engaged. If you are using slides, do not spend more than 2-3 minutes on each slide. This number is based on research that has shown audiences start to lose their attention around minute 11.”
Edwin Rubio of Vapor Empire says, “The more conversational of a pitch, the less of a sales presentation it will feel like. Everything will come more naturally by having an open dialogue because you are building the trust and rapport that many need to feel engaged and comfortable with making a purchase.”
Melanie Musson of CarInsuranceCompanies.net agrees with Rubio and adds, “Think about the presentation as a conversation. Keep the client engaged and actively involved in the dialogue. If you do the presentation as a monologue, you’ll risk losing their attention.”
“I could write paragraphs about this. I witnessed first-hand how a sales process when well executed, will allow you to position a very normal product as the best in class. It’s all in selling on the brand and the solution.
Presentations that focus on the features and what features will do to you are losing presentations, in my opinion.
In our internal training process, we have a whole day about ‘Establishing Mastery’. Sales peeps and engineers have to establish mastery right after positioning the brand. You position the brand by talking about your internal values, how you run your business, what your vision is. And yes, this is no BS cause what you’re doing here is establishing trust with the company in front of you that you will be able to solve any problem that arises just because you are running a good business.
And that’s the key; customers should be buying the brand and not the product. First-hand. Now, of course, your product should be a real, reliable, and sustainable product that lives up to the expectations.
Once trust in the brand is established, then you dive into establishing mastery by showcasing that you know the ins and outs of the industry you are solving problems for, you understand actual use cases.
Always pull examples about current clients you have that are similar to the prospects you’re speaking to. This helps with social proofing as well as indicating to the prospect that you’ve been there, done that.” Explains Bob Sabra of Hovi.
Quincy Smith of Mira advises businesses always to show how their product\service works during a presentation to close more deals.
“I’ve had great success by demonstrating the tools we use to complete whatever project it is we’re pitching. For example, when we show clients SEO tools and how we actually have search data on what terms they could be targeting, most of them have no idea that type of information was out there!
Experience and reputation will get you pretty far, but if you can give a little over-the-shoulder look at how you will perform your job, then you can really stand out!” Says Smith.
Alexandra Zamolo of Beekeeper believes the same and adds, “It’s always best to showcase exactly how the product or software will actually work in the exact manner in which the potential customer intends to make use of it. While most examples are great to illustrate features, a demo with more customization to the user’s exact needs will always provide better results.”
And don’t waste all your hard work by not having a clear, targeted Call to Action at the end of your presentation.
“Every presentation or post should end with a ‘Call to Action’. The action could be anything from scheduling a meeting to submitting a query/feedback or anything else you feel is appropriate. It is important because, after the sales presentation, people are influenced. So before giving them some more time to think, it is better to involve them in some action!” Explains Adam Rowles of Inbound Marketing Agency.
Sales presentations are an essential part of scaling your business. There’s no escaping them. So embrace them and try to incorporate all these tips into your next sales presentations.
As Mudassir Ahmed of Blogging Explained sums up all of them and says, “Spend less time talking about your company profile. And talk about R.O.I, how your prospect will see a return on their investment with your deal. But don’t go way deeper, awakening their logical nerves by which critical debates could happen.
Give a glimpse and value touch by adding your customers’ success stories or even case studies. You make sure to get the prospect to see himself/herself in your story and talk about the value they would get. That’s probably called human-centric marketing, where you invoke prospects’ senses with an emotion.
It also helps budget-hesitant prospects to get clear insights about their investment and ROI and make a positive decision about the deal.
Do your research and be ready to impress the prospect with this factor. The key is to be conversational rather than presentational.”
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