A sales presentation is a challenging but necessary way of conducting business. Adapting them to these 5 types of sales personas is important:
- The Hard Worker
- The Lone Wolf
- The Relationship Builder
- The Challenger
- The Problem Solver
In addition to reaching these potential business partners, you can’t lose sight of your product’s various buyer personas. This adds a level of complexity to creating your sales presentation.
After having analysed more than 400,000 sales presentations over the last few years, we have made some exciting discoveries. They have helped our clients create content that performs well with all business profiles and buyer personas, and ultimately increase their sales and revenue.
We will draw on our vast experience and data collected over the last few years to present 13 tips to create a successful sales presentation. By the end of this guide, you should have learned which elements are crucial to attracting your clients’ attention.
1. Define clear expectations for your sales presentation
Establish clear objectives for your presentation before you even start it. You can do this when you prepare your meeting or send out your invitations. However, ensure you identify clear expectations and you share them with your clients. They must know why they attend the presentation, your intentions, and what direction you will take.
When you start your meeting, review those objectives and expectations. They are the structure of your presentation and ensure your clients always keep sight of the goal. If you expect clients to make a decision during the presentation, they need to be able to prepare, ask questions, decide what material needs to be covered, and in what order.
A simple and highly efficient way of covering this information is to have a slide with a clear agenda and a slide with the expectations immediately after. At the end of the meeting, you can also include a summary slide to recap the takeaways or any useful information that can help them make their decision or remember your pitch.
2. Make your materials available before the sales presentation
In line with the previous tip, you can help your clients prepare for your sales presentation by sharing your materials before the meeting. You can even share material that is more comprehensive than your slide deck. This has many benefits:
- You spend less time introducing the topic as your clients know what you will cover.
- You can share videos and other supports easily You can adopt a non-linear structure more easily as your clients should have a basic knowledge of your topic.
- Your clients can choose to cover the material in the order that best suits their needs.
- Your clients come more prepared to ask questions or make decisions.
- Your clients can search more easily in content provided online than in printed materials.
- Your clients can share the documentation with other decision-makers who might not be able to attend the sales presentation.
“A sales presentation often jumps from topic to topic.”
Most of all, ensuring your clients are informed before the presentation enables you to focus on richer content during the meeting. Indeed, you can reasonably expect to avoid spending too much time on the basics as they can be covered and developed in the materials you sent beforehand.
3. Be prepared to answer any kind of question with your sales presentation
A sales presentation often jumps from topic to topic. Allow your sales presentation to be used as a lookup tool, where you can answer any kind of question. Many meetings your sales presentation won’t be used A-Z but instead be a supporting look-up tool for the meeting. We recommend you make sure your PDF’s, videos, stats and more are easily available in your sales content.
4. Ensure your clients can relate to your message
A presentation on sales or a product must strike a chord with clients present. Instead of having a generic presentation that you hope will appeal to every client, tailor your presentation to each client, and address their specific needs. Your client must relate to your message and feel like they will benefit from purchasing your product or service.
“Companies typically relate more to opportunities to solve their inefficiencies than to general outcomes or benefits.”
One way of doing this is by researching the client beforehand. You can then present your product as an efficient way of solving their problems. Companies typically relate more to opportunities to solve their inefficiencies than to general outcomes or benefits. They will be more receptive to your product’s value if they see its potential for improving their operations.
As discussed in our article How to Make An Interactive Presentation, you can further attract your client’s interest by making your sales presentation interactive. They will have a better image of your company and product if the first impression you give them during the presentation is open, modern, and enjoyable.
5. Structure your sales presentation: start with your outcome and build towards your differentiators
An efficient way of structuring your presentation is to start with your outcome. That way, your clients know your objective, will focus on your pitch, and won’t be distracted by trying to guess which direction you will take.
Once your outcome is clear, start presenting your product’s value and build towards your differentiators. Provide arguments, proof, and case studies methodically. When you have shared your material, your differentiators will be more prominent, and your outcome will become indisputable. This concrete evidence demonstrated with facts and real client cases will back your claims that your product brings value.
It’s hard to argue against logic.
6. Use ROI calculators in your sales presentation to convey your value
In sales presentations, you will at some point talk about numbers. A way to take the lead on this is to use ROI calculators. It is important that this is not a generic ROI example, but related to the client’s case. As the examples shown below, if your client has 20 sales reps, then you type that in and adjust all numbers according to the client’s numbers. This way it becomes a real example that you client can relate to.
7. Talk about your competitors: the sooner the better
You have competitors, right? Your clients know about them and they may have already attended one of their sales presentations. When they have a meeting with you, they listen closely to everything you say to find opportunities to compare you to your competition.
Beat them to the punch and address them first. You will take your clients by surprise and succeed in making them spend the meeting listening to what your product can do for them, not how it measures against your competitors.
“..present their well-known strengths and explain why they are less adapted to your clients’ needs than your product.”
After the introduction, compare yourself to your competitors and control your clients’ opinion of your solution.
When you talk about your competitors, don’t depreciate them as it would be counterproductive and leave more questions than answers. Instead, present their well-known strengths and explain why they are less adapted to your clients’ needs than your product.
The result will be a positive assessment of your competition that simply shows that your solution provides a better fit. You can then present your advantages and they will be easier to understand.
8. Your sales presentation has to be a dialogue in your audience’s language
A successful presentation should be an exchange of information. Naturally, you will be providing most of the content, but you should also let your clients ask questions and take that as an opportunity to present additional rich content. You can also ask your clients questions to make sure they understand and you address their needs.
Creating a dialogue is your objective, but you need to go one step further. You should have sales content adapted to your client’s language to suit their needs, not the other way around. This is important in a world in which egos can dictate business.
“..if they are executives, avoid a specialised language they don’t speak and stick to numbers, profits, increases in productivity, etc.”
And to expand on that idea, you should also adjust your language to who attends your presentation. If your audience is technical, you can dive deeper into all the features of your products. However, if they are executives, avoid a specialised language they don’t speak and stick to numbers, profits, increases in productivity, etc.
9. Use examples from your client cases
To make your case appealing, use real clients in your portfolio, not hypothetical cases. When choosing your case, try to choose one relevant to your prospective client’s industry or size. It makes your example more relatable. It also means you should research your client beforehand and potentially select a different case for every meeting.
If your client can relate to your example, you will make a better impression. They can see themselves in the scenario and think that they can one day be the success story you present.
10. No name dropping: attract clients by the value of your product
Expanding on the previous tip, you should avoid name dropping. You may be proud of having landed a big client or a well-known brand, and you may think expanding on it brings prestige, but avoid that path.
Remember that in the previous tip, we said the client should relate to your story. If your sales presentation is for a small firm active locally and you continuously talk about Google, the small firm may get the sense that they are too small for you or that your attention will perhaps be on landing other big firms. Name your clients carefully.
“Your clients choose to do business with you because you offer something that can help them, not because of who is on your client list.”
You can definitely present the bigger clients from your portfolio, even if they are unrelated to your client’s business, to show that important brands trust you. But if they have nothing in common with your potential client, it’s better not to use them as case studies if you have more relevant options. Your client will likely respond more to a company that faces similar challenges.
Your clients choose to do business with you because you offer something that can help them, not because of who is on your client list. If you want to get their business, focus on showing them how your product will bring value to them.
11. Sell your product, not its price
When conducting a presentation about sales opportunities, you will have to discuss your prices at some point. Your clients might want to see them early on, but keep this for the end. That way, they will not ask you about it as they know you will cover it later.
That strategy gives you more time to talk about the benefits and value of your product. If you talk about price early on, you might lose clients if the price is higher than the budget they set.
Don’t focus on the price, focus on showing your clients they need your product. They should want it because they need it, not because it’s affordable. And if your product is expensive, your clients will be more receptive after having learned everything it will help them achieve.
12. Reduce the amount of text on a slide to a absolute minimum
As we say; Don’t make them read – make them see. Use clickable pop-ups or similar with explanatory text to support new sellers or for situations where the customer makes it a struggle to have a good dialogue. Use pop-ups as a traditional explanation tool for those meetings.
13. Use graphics such as explanatory visuals
Always ensure your clients or buyers can connect what they see and what they hear. By using graphics such as explanatory visuals, it allows for two things:
- Each seller can have their own unique story-telling – and note most sellers’ stories can change from meeting to meeting based on the buyer persona the seller encounters during the meetings.
- If you don’t support your message with visuals, 3 days later you will only remember 10 percent. Whereas, if you DO support your message with visuals, three days later you will remember 65 percent – Brain Rules.