How To Improve Your Sales Presentation
A great sales presentation establishes a connection, sets you apart from the competition and helps you to seal the deal.
Right now, millions of salespeople across the world are pitching their brands, products and services to prospective new customers.
And the competition for those new customers has never been more fierce.
So, how can you improve your sales presentations to increase your chances of connecting with your prospects, smash the competition and help you to win?
Let’s take a look.
Realise you need to improve your sales presentation
The best place to start is by taking an objective view about what you’re already pitching.
- Does it tell a compelling story?
- Is it visually engaging?
- Does what you say have impact?
- How does it align with your audience’s wants and needs?
- Does it highlight the benefits to your prospective customers – or is it all about you?
- Are you highlighting your differentiators/reasons to choose you above the others?
- Is there a strong call to action?
- Is everything up to date?
- Is it on brand?
If the answer to one or more of these is ‘no’, then it’s well worth rethinking and redesigning your sales presentations to improve your chances of success.
Basically, you need to ask, are the presentations being used to sell your company as good as they can be, right now?
Talk to your team. Find out the current lay of the land from an ‘on the ground’ sales perspective. Discover what’s working for them and what isn’t. Find out what their prospects respond well to, and what they don’t. Ask if their current sales presentations can be improved to help them achieve more wins. They’ll undoubtedly say ‘yes’.
Then talk to your customers. Ask them what it was about the sales pitch they received that convinced them to trust and invest in you. Find out what they liked about your presentation, and what they thought could be better.
You could also ask them what their near-future plans are. If there are any industry developments that are forcing change, and how they need to adapt.
Gather all of this new information together and use it to your advantage.
Go back to the beginning
Grab some paper and a pen, or a clean, blank Word document, and start to plan out what your new and improved sales presentations will look like. It’s going to take some time but will be more than worth the ROI.
Strip away everything your brain tells you that you want to include in the presentation and focus on this one question: ‘Why choose us?’
Think about why your prospect should choose your company? Why is your service or offer better than the competitors? What are the unique benefits you offer? How will you improve their success?
Those benefits, which are often included only as a summary in traditional presentations should be the basis on which you build your new presentation. Use your pros.
Establishing a list of benefits early on in the presentation will grab and retain your audience’s attention from the start and mean that everything that follows will be audience-focused.
Reimagine what already works, and what doesn’t
Then, look at your existing sales presentations and use the new insights to help you reimagine what’s already working and what you can improve on.
As you’re doing this, think about the story you want to tell, and how you want to tell, and ‘sell it’ – always with your audience front of mind.
When you’re writing your story, make sure that you take out anything that doesn’t demonstrate any obvious benefit to your customer.
Your story should align with what your audience wants and needs. Address their problems, how your solutions address them, and the benefits.
Our storytelling and design experts have created The Ultimate Guide To Creating a Winning Sales Presentation Deck, which you should definitely check out.
A few more points to consider to improve your sales presentation…
The big ‘I am’
It’s well worth considering what time and space was taken up in your old presentations with self-aggrandisement. Bigging yourself up is never a bad idea, especially when it’s true. But, you really need to consider how that steers the course of your pitch.
Constantly referring to your company’s successes and achievements diverts the focus away from your prospect. Sure, you want them to know how great you are, but don’t overdo it. Keep the focus on them. Imagine two friends chatting in a coffee shop and one starts listing how incredible they are, the other one is going to glaze over.
Remember, if you’re already in front of the prospect, you’re already part way there. Leave your long list of accomplishments and client wins for your website and focus on the sale.
Simply regurgitating website content to a potential client won’t offer them anything they don’t already know. The chances are they’ve already carefully researched you online.
When it comes to improving your sales presentation, think all killer, no filler.
But, do hold something back just for the sale; something you, or your sales team, can drop into the sales pitch that makes the prospect say, “Oh, I didn’t know that.”
Consider holding back on one small but impressive achievement, so as to offer the client some unique content; something they can only learn about you via the pitch.
Is there a new case study you can talk about, or a recent success for an existing client you can share?
Use PowerPoint to build your sales presentation
At this point prepare to drop a bomb on your sales team… one they’ll thank you for later. If your team has struggled with the inflexibility of standard PowerPoint presentations before, don’t fear.
PowerPoint is actually one of the most flexible presentation tools you can use.
You can create modular, non-linear presentations that are visually engaging easily built in PowerPoint thanks to an innovative feature called Zoom. This allows your presenters to instantly skip to a certain part of the sales presentation, by-passing slides in between, to improve pace and flexibility.
If a prospect has questions about a particular part of your sales pitch, you can simply click a link to the relevant area where the supporting information is to help you confidently answer questions. You can then jump backwards, forwards… wherever you want to. So that you deliver the best and most tailored pitch possible.
Deciding to implement the Zoom feature in PowerPoint at this stage in your planning will also affect the number of presentations you need to build. If you have several different types of presentation in mind, each designed for a different scenario, product, service, salesperson, and prospect, think again. You can create one master presentation file that contains all of the sections and information your company uses to pitch. Doing this means you, or your sales teams can pick and choose which sections you need, with the added benefit of knowing there’s lots more information to draw upon, should you suddenly need it.
Make sure your sales presentation is visually engaging and on brand
As you create your presentation you should make sure that it is visually engaging. There’s plenty of advice on how to do this online. Here are some top tips:
- Keep it simple – less is more in terms of content on the slides.
- Use high quality images, icons and graphics.
- Have a visual theme – but don’t make your presentation too templated or repetitive.
- Use colours and fonts wisely – just because there are loads to choose from doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Pick styles and colours that complement each other.
A strong brand impacts loyalty, sales and market value – there is equity in your brand – use it in your presentations. So speak to your Marketing Team to ensure that the presentation you create is on brand.
End on a high
Just as you grabbed their attention and enthusiasm with an opening list of benefits, so you should end that way, too.
Many sales pitches might end with, “Any questions?” That’s an awful question, isn’t it? Because one possible answer your sales team might receive is a flat ‘no’. Then what? Do you graciously wrap up and leave, hoping that a lack of questions means a definite sale? Or does it mean that the prospect simply didn’t have anything to ask, and now has no clue how to move forward with investing in you?
If your sales pitch has successfully managed to persuade and convince your prospect that you’re the ones to hire, of course there will be questions at some point. However, a firm call to action at the end of the presentation will steer them in the right direction. It might be to move the conversation to another person or time, or to get them thinking about something integral to the completion of the sale.
Also, be sure to revisit your benefit summary which sets the agenda for the presentation. Have it return as the final slide so the message and impact is repeated.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse…
Finally, make sure once you’ve nailed your presentation that you practice it. Sales people generally exude superhuman confidence. But if you’ve improved your sales presentations dramatically – from a linear, slide-by-slide deck of outdated info, you’ll need to practice with it.
If you followed our advice and created a multi-faceted, non-linear file with PowerPoint’s Zoom feature, make sure anyone who is presenting it knows how to navigate it and where to find the sections pertinent to them. Then practice again and again.
The pitch itself isn’t your trial run. You’ve one shot at that. Make your sales pitch the absolute best it can be.
Get help creating winning sales presentation decks in PowerPoint. Talk to the experts at Future Present. Contact us to find out more.