When it comes to effective sales presentations, one size does not fit all. You must tailor your sales deck to fit each prospect. Today, successful selling is about setting yourself up as a trusted advisor and regular cookie-cutter messages won’t do that.
A truly effective sales presentation accomplishes the following four things:
- It develops confidence in your brand.
- It builds a better relationship with the prospect, and clarifies mutual needs and priorities.
- It establishes the value of your product/service.
- It provides a clear direction for the next conversation.
However, sales meetings don’t always achieve these results. In fact, according to a study by Forrester of more than 300 C-level buyers, sales representatives often lack key information for a successful sales meeting. They go in unprepared for questions, knowing little about their prospect’s company or industry, don’t understand the prospect’s problems and concerns, and lack relevant social proof.
Eight Tips To Improve Sales Presentations
Obviously, the above is not ideal to close a deal. Now, while there is no exact science to making effective sales presentations, the following are a few tips you can follow to attempt to do so:
- Set A Clear Agenda
Your sales presentation should be a guide to the conversation and provide a structure for you to work with through the meeting. Sharing an outline of the presentation topics (or the presentation itself) with your prospects ahead of time is a good way to express your agenda for the meeting. Doing so also helps your prospects understand the agenda and prepare their questions for the appropriate time.
- Customize Your Presentation And Script For The Prospect
Research your prospect and their industry before you prepare your presentation. Read up on the challenges faced by the prospect’s company and use that as a guide to find out how you and your product/service can help them. Then, structure your presentation and sales script on the customer profile that fits the prospect in such a way that your arguments, questions, and main points meet the needs of this profile.
Additionally, you can also consult your CRM platform and look at other accounts in your prospect’s industry. Doing so allows you to get a better idea of the challenges faced by the industry as a whole. Moreover, the client information and case history will tell you how your company helped them, and which of your products/services they use most. It is quite likely that your prospect too will need the same (or similar) products/services.
- Highlight Three Main Points For The Prospect
No matter the number of interesting statistics and fun benefits you provide, your prospects aren’t going to remember everything you say. That’s why it is important to highlight three main points in your presentation that you want your prospect to remember.
Choose these points based on the real needs of your prospect for better results. Additionally, while presenting, ensure that your prospects really take in these points by asking for attention before introducing them.
- Use Visuals In Your Presentation And Words In Your Script
A sales presentation should be seen and understood through the lens of the presenter, not read like a report. This means that if you have too many words in your presentation, your audience will be too busy reading to actually listen to what you are saying.
To avoid this, use visuals in your presentation and words in your script. The visuals must enhance and clarify your script and can also be used as a segue to move into the next point. In addition, having bullet points that make your point, along with the visuals, will increase the effectiveness of your presentation even more.
- Use Storytelling In Your Script
According to one study, people will only remember 5-10% of the statistics they hear, but they will remember 65-70% of the stories they hear. So make use of this by turning your data into a narrative.
This could be a story of how your product/service was born to solve a particular problem in your own company, or it could be the story of a successful customer. The important thing is to ensure that the story is relatable to your prospect and shows them that you are there to help. Thus, your prospect or customer could be the hero of your story.
Learn more about the power of storytelling in sales from here.
- Keep Your Actual Presentation To Less Than Ten Minutes
Research done by Gong and a few neuroscience studies show that you can only keep the attention of your customer by maintaining a ‘brain-perking change of pace’. In fact, the sweet spot is 9.1 minutes. This means that if your presentation is longer than this, you’ll more than likely lose the attention of your audience and quite possibly the deal. If necessary, practise your presentation beforehand to ensure this.
Remember though that your presentation is only one part of the meeting. Before (and during) presenting make sure to ask open-ended questions to understand your prospects and their requirements. This will tell you if you need to tweak your presentation to better address the prospect’s issues and will keep them engaged.
- Provide Context Around Your Value Points
Asking open-ended questions before or during your presentation also allows you to build context around your value points. This means that instead of telling your prospect that your product will bring them such and such a benefit, you can quantify it.
For example, you could ask your prospect how much Problem A costs them. Then you provide a solution to Problem A with your product/service, and you can say that the prospect would save $X if they decide to work with you. When the prospect sees in numbers how much value your product offers, they are more likely to close the deal.
- Always Talk Value Before Price
When you go in for a sales presentation the idea is to get your prospect to view your product/service as a valuable solution to their problem. When this happens, the prospect is likely to accept your price and even offer you more than what you asked for.
If stakeholders push for a price at the beginning of the meeting, don’t be scared to push back. Ask them questions about how much a problem that your product/service would solve is costing them, before talking about its price.
Thus, preparation and practice are key to increasing the effectiveness of your sales presentation. Remember, you must own your presentation before you present it.