August 23, 2019
August 23, 2019
Use the following tips when designing and delivering your sales presentation to ensure that you're driving the highest conversion rates possible.
What makes a good sales pitch? If you’re like most salespeople, you’d give a two-part answer to this question: a well-designed set of slides and effective delivery of those slides.
While that answer is technically correct, it understates the impact a great sales presentation can have on moving buyers through the top of the sales funnel. It also fails to capture the dozens of elements that make for an effective sales pitch, from preparation to delivery to closing for next steps. Use the following tips when designing and delivering your sales presentation to ensure that you’re driving the highest conversion rates possible.
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It’s remarkable how few salespeople actually understand the objective of their sales presentation, especially given how easy it is to develop an objective. You may be trying to convey an overview of your company, your product and the value you provide to customers. You may also be trying to learn as much as you can about the buyer, what they need and why they need it.
But the most important objective is to use your sales pitch to move the buyer to the next step in your sales process. Your presentation should focus on providing information such as the value you create and what the buyer should do next so they agree to additional steps with you.
Good sales presentations provide information on something your prospective customer really cares about. As you create and ultimately deliver your sales pitch, ask yourself: What’s in it for them?
There are a number of different business reasons that would cause a customer to care about your presentation, such as increasing revenue or decreasing costs. There are also personal reasons they might care about your sales presentation. For example, will what you’re presenting to the buyer help them get a promotion or gain recognition at their company or in their industry?
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Every good sales presentation is built on top of a good story. Buyers also like “story arcs” that demonstrate how you will effect change in their organization's status quo. Your sales pitch should show the buyer how they get from point A to point B.
In most sales presentations, the central idea or theme should focus on the benefit you will deliver to your customer. As you’re creating your pitch, ask yourself: What’s the real benefit you’re going to deliver to your customer? Make sure the story you tell in your sales presentation revolves around that benefit.
A good sales pitch has a structure that is easy for the buyer to follow. One of the more common structures is articulating what the buyer’s problem is, presenting a potential solution to that problem and finally agreeing to a next step with the buyer.
Just remember to keep it simple. Many buyers experience cognitive dissonance when you pitch a new idea to them. Making it easy for them to follow along will help you overcome that challenge.
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on slide design and how much information your slides should contain. Most presentation experts advocate for the “more is less” approach, but in a sales pitch, your slides need to convey enough specific information to move the prospect further along the buying process.
To help with this, here are some important guidelines for each slide:
The vast majority of people can’t remember more than three things at a time. Good sales presentations should convey information around no more than three central ideas and each individual slide should contain no more than three pieces of information that you want the buyer to understand.
The long version should run approximately 30 to 45 minutes and fill the majority of a 60-minute meeting you might have with a buyer. We recommend about three minutes per slide, so your long sales presentation should have between 10 to 15 slides in it.
The short version can run about five to 15 minutes long, and it’s invaluable for those times when a buyer schedules you for an hour but then has to cut back their time to 30 minutes. Short versions of your presentation may have as few as 5 slides, and you need to be prepared to give the short presentation with no slides.
The best sales reps are able to deliver their sales pitch with no slides. To do this, you need to practice your pitch without the aid of slides. Focus on the overall structure of your pitch and the story you’re trying to tell. You should also practice answering the 10 most common questions you get from buyers. Sales pitches that don’t use slides tend to turn into conversations much faster, which is a good thing.
The most effective sales presentations contain content that is personalized for your target audience. There are some simple guidelines to minimize the amount of work that’s required to customize a presentation for a specific meeting.
At the start of your meeting, set a clear agenda that outlines the structure of the meeting for the customer. Focus on three to five key topics you want to cover in the sales pitch and put them in a logical order. As you present the agenda, ask the buyer if they agree with it or would like to change it.
Your pitch needs to include specific information that:
Try to show a deep understanding of the target buyer, the specific ways you help similar companies, and exactly how people use your product or service.
You should incorporate specific examples and data into your sales pitch. For instance, instead of generically describing what your product does, provide the customer with a specific example of how a company from the same industry uses the product. Whenever possible, use contextually relevant examples and specific metrics to support the key points you’re making.
Many sales presentations focus exclusively on helping the seller communicate information to the buyer. The most effective sales pitches, however, facilitate a two-way exchange of information between seller and buyer. Make sure your presentation prompts the buyer to share information about why they are talking to you, their requirements and where they are in the buying process.
A few simple rules go a long way here:
Make sure that you leave at least five minutes to get feedback from the customer and discuss next steps.
At the end of the presentation, explicitly ask the buyer to take the next step with you, whether it’s signing up for a free trial, scheduling a demonstration or putting together a proposal for them.
In fact, your entire pitch is really all about building to the point where you actually ask the buyer to take the next step with you. To do this, focus on two things during your presentation.
If you do those two things well, it’s relatively easy to ask the buyer to take next steps with you. It’s as simple as saying: “We believe we can help and would appreciate the opportunity to create a proposal for you, sign you up for a free trial or walk you through a demonstration.”
Finally, make sure your sales presentation scales. Many sales presentations are created under the mistaken assumption that only the creator of the presentation will be responsible for delivering it, when potentially hundreds to thousands of salespeople will need to deliver the pitch.
A few tips will make your sales presentation scalable.
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