The ultimate goal of a business. What is it? No… it isn’t about having an awesome sales presentation.
From executive board discussions, to conventional bar chats, it is a discussion that has taken place thousands of times along centuries. To be honest, there is no single correct answer.
As many things in life, it is circumstantial and subjective.
Even in the for-profit area, profits are not always the ultimate goal.
Capitalism is not only about money.
Nonetheless, there is one goal that all businesses have in common: sustainability.
If a business isn’t sustainable, it ceases to exist. To achieve this, most businesses need to generate revenues.
One of the final and most important steps on this process is to pitch your business’s offer before your (hopefully) soon-to-be customers. As “simple” as that, usually taking place in form of the well-known sales presentation.
Sales Presentation Ideas for the Modern Age
What is a sales presentation, actually?
Is it a 1 minute pitch on the elevator or an elaborate one hour display before a board of executives?
Depending on your point of view, it can be both, or it can be none.
Nowadays sales presentations not always take place in person, many are done remotely via Skype or similar means. However, although various circumstances can change, the presentation will usually be the same.
In this article, I refer to sales presentations as the actual material or content you employ to support your arguments.
If you are a prepared businessman and have a small pitch stored on your smartphone, well kudos to you, you can give an original pitch on the elevator!
But what is it that really makes a successful sales presentation?
You might have seen a lot of articles out there on top templates for sales presentations, on how to dress properly, body language and all that trivial stuff. Most of those facts are just secondary, compared to other priorities for your presentation.
If you ace such essentials, you are bound for success.
So, it isn’t about beautiful PowerPoint or Keynote designs; it’s about achieving those conversions by delivering a powerful, memorable sales presentation.
Some of these aspects take place long before the actual presentation starts and others long before it has ended.
These are the five most relevant you should watch out for.
Before the Sales Presentation
1. Research and Preparation Are Your Strongest Weapons
As the popular saying states, it is half the battle to be forewarned.
Intense preparation and research about your target customers are vital in order to understand their needs and to pitch exactly in that direction. Therefore, this is one of those methods that will never be outdated.
- Research your customers,
- Research their business,
- Take advantage of social media,
- Use articles they have published, or
- Look for information about other companies they engage in business with
All this data can help you better understand your targets and thus adapt your information flexibly towards their needs.
If the target is a business, find who the decision makers are and focus on them.
Furthermore, look for information about the company’s budget to better prepare yourself for the economic approach.
Take a look at your competitors and predict how they might approach your prospects and what their weaknesses and strengths are compared to your business.
Once you have gathered all the necessary information, organize it accordingly so that you have a better overview. The more extensive your homework is, the better grade you will get.
Before & During the Sales Presentation
2. Your Prospects on the Foreground – Your Business on the Background
Your prospects have to be the center of the presentation at all times.
Your aim is not to make clear why your product or services are great, but why they are great for them.
If you have done your research properly, you should have accumulated enough information to understand the exact needs of your prospects. Use this as the main pillar of your presentation.
Also, it is fundamental to have a clear picture of the buyer’s journey process of the customers.
Are the customers completely aware of their needs, are they already considering options or are they waiting for a last push to take a decision?
This is according to a report by Impact Communications.
To understand which applies for your customer, sales and marketing need to collaborate intensively to generate a presentation that appeals to the prospect.
It is estimated that prospects complete around 57% of the Buyer’s Journey before they even reach the sales department.
Thus, it is imperative for marketing to report on such development to sales and for sales and marketing to coordinate the final presentation that will be addressed towards the potential customer.
Knowledge is power.
Once you have a clear picture of the exact profile of your customer, their needs or problems and how you can help them with this, create content that makes them feel identified.
To not provide boring statistics that apply to the general public, engage with them personally with interesting stories and anecdotes.
During & After the Sales Presentation
3. Call to Action
This is usually the most important moment during your presentation.
A call to action is the final step to incite your prospect towards a purchase.
There are many ways through which this can be done and it always depends on the structure of your presentation.
Naturally, it is also different to call your customers to action on a live presentation, then through a link to your pricing site at an online presentation.
Nonetheless, in each and every case the purpose is to drive your customer towards purchase.
Challenge your prospects, ask a question, invite them to do something, use an applicable quote or even wrap-up with a story.
Just keep in mind that your call to action should cover the following aspects:
- Short and to the point: Do not bore your viewers to death. A call to action should be efficient and clear. If it is too abstract, you will miss your chance.
- Must require action: Do not mention just a famous quote that does not require any action from your viewers. Challenge them to choose your product/service as the right one by leaving the ball on their court.
- Wrap-up your entire presentation: Your call to action should summarize the most important arguments of your presentation. A great way is to close your presentation with the final part of a story that you introduced at the beginning, which shows how all the points you presented are important for your customers.
After the Sales Presentation
4. Aim for Feedback and Referrals
One thing is clear: your sales presentations won’t be perfect from day 1.
It is an extensive learning process along several years.
The best way to get better at it, is to collect as much feedback as possible from your prospects.
- What did they like?
- What didn’t they like?
- Was the presentation too long or too short?
- Are there any questions left?
Not all pitches are going to be successful and you won’t sell 100% of the times you try, but almost all prospects will be willing to provide you with any constructive criticism on your pitch.
Encouraging your prospects to clear any doubts with questions will also help you understand which information you need to provide more transparently in future presentations.
Furthermore, if you share your presentation through blogs, social media or any other online channels, be sure to follow up on any comments.
In case your presentation was a success and your customers are purchase-ready, do not forget to use the opportunity to ask for referrals.
What other companies or people do your prospects know that might have similar needs? This is a great opportunity to find sales-ready leads.
Thus, referrals will not only help you save research time on acquiring potential prospects, but the ones you acquire will probably be much more likely to purchase.
At Any Time
5. Expand the Reach of Your Sales Presentations: Use Online Channels!
Sharing your sales pitch online might not always apply, since many times your presentation is created for a specific client or business.
However, there are also various cases in which the pitches are directed to a more general group of people.
In such a case, it is highly recommended to take advantage of the reach of the internet and share your pitch-deck online, for channels such as social media are believed to have at least 100% higher lead-to-closure rate than outbound marketing activities.
Whether on social media, on your LinkedIn, in specific groups and forums, on blog posts or emails, there are diverse tools that let you share your sales presentation online.
This not only allows your message to reach far more people, but most tools also have smarts statistics with which you can follow the behaviors of leads along the presentation and even capture their contact details.
Your sales and marketing team can put together specific inbound marketing or sales presentations to generate leads online based on specific prospect niches.
This will not only result in automatic leads without a major time investment, but it will also drive much more traffic to your business by taking advantage of the virality of online content.
Just keep in mind the 4 previous points when creating such presentations and leads will start to knock on your door in no time.
Nonetheless, by researching your prospects thoroughly and keeping them always in the foreground you can make sure the content you provide on your presentation will be accurate and effective and will drive your customers towards that purchase decision.
Help them take that jump and remind them to refer you to similar prospects to enhance the possibilities of acquiring more high-quality leads.
Finally share your material with online communities to increase your visibility and brand awareness.
Do you have a pitch coming up? Does it cover all five points? If not, you know what to do.
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