April 28, 2017
Sales reps spend an enormous amount of time creating sales presentations and proposals. According to CSO Insights’ 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization study, 57 percent of organizations need to improve access to content for their sales people. As such, more organizations are moving toward using one master sales deck that contains all the content a rep needs for their presentation in one spot.
As marketing teams increasingly create these master sales decks they need to ensure they are including key content. Every organization seems to be great at their elevator pitch, but often times critical information is missed. So as you’re building a new master sales presentation or evaluating your current ones, take into consideration these seven critical slides that all sales presentations should have.
1. A statement declaring the world has changed.
Often companies make the mistake of launching directly into their company or product but it’s important to set the stage for your presentation by calling out a huge, relevant change. There’s a fundamental reason your product exists today and it’s due to that change so it’s critical to call it out immediately. Starting with that a big, bold, powerful statement changes the tone of your presentation.
2. Facts to support this statement.
With any big change in the world there are people who stay firmly on one side of change and people who jump over to the other side. Some might say these are the losers and winners (case in point; Blockbuster’s inability to make the jump from physical videos to streaming videos). Include a slide that shares key facts and data points about how your big change statement from your first slide is impacting your prospects world.
3. Identify the “losing” solution.
Share what people are doing today to adapt to this change (if anything). Are they adapting? What solutions are they using to deal with this problem? And what is the shortfall of each solution? Your goal in this slide is to highlight the alternative solutions to this problem that are being used today and prove why each is a sub-par solution.
4. Identify the “winning” solution.
Now it’s time to get your prospects excited by presenting the “wouldn’t it be great if…?” scenario. Describe what the perfect world would be if all their pain points related to your product could be solved. What if they could have exactly what they needed to solve their problem? This slide isn’t quite getting into selling yet, but it’s leading the prospect down the path of “what could be” if they were willing to change their status quo and do something different.
5. Identifying the new world
And, finally, it’s time to bring it all together. This is the fun part where you’ll want to address what has changed with the market, technology, your company, etc. to now allow for a new solution to the prospect’s problem to emerge. And to share what it is and how it works. In this slide focus on answering the question “what has changed to enable a new solution and how does it work?”
6. Sharing evidence that it works.
At this point in your narrative, you should have your prospect hooked on the idea that change is happening, with or without them. Most likely they’re starting to shift their thinking that it’s time to take a leap of faith and make a change…but they still need convincing. This is where supporting testimonials, a list of your current customers or ROI studies come into play. It’s important to show, from reputable sources, that what you are producing actually works and will solve your prospect’s problems.
7. Show your pricing.
When the time is right (and keep in mind this may not be the first, second or even third time the presentation is shared) be sure to include a slide sharing your pricing. Make sure the pricing slide is very clear and easily to follow. Something simple and straight-forward with Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 is usually best so the customers see what they get with each level. And keep in mind the statement from above; your first presentation to the client may not be the best time to show pricing, perhaps it’s a slide you include only when sending the proposal over to the client. But when you do send this pricing over, we recommend including the rest of the presentation with it so the prospect can be reminded of the reasons they need to make this change.
As you create your sales presentations and proposals be sure to keep these seven critical slides in mind. Whether you are delivering the sales presentation in person or sending a unique URL to it via an online presentation tool, the more you can articulate and solve your prospect’s problem, the better the results.
A dynamic sales and marketing professional, Ryan Gruening works with companies to help them increase revenue. He is an expert in shortening sales cycles, ensuring brand consistency and increasing collaboration between sales and marketing. In his current role as CRO at the Digideck he works with leading brands to help their marketing teams create better presentations.