Sales used to be about knocking on doors with a big smile and a smooth spiel. Today, those doors have all but disappeared and been replaced with automated lead generation and sales presentations over Zoom. But one principle will never change: Sales is all about connecting people and their needs to your product and the solutions it provides.
We’ve compiled a handy list of sales presentation tips to help you connect with prospects and build trust across the digital divide. But first, let’s start with the basics — the sales presentation itself.
What is a sales presentation?
A sales presentation is a step in the sales process where sales professionals demonstrate the product or service’s value proposition and use it to convince potential clients.
The most effective presentations are simple and concise; they tell a visual story of how your product or service can solve your customer’s pain points. Sales decks should be easy to follow, so your audience can focus on the message instead of getting distracted by complex words and images.
What should an effective sales presentation include?
How do you tell a good sales presentation from a great one? The best sales presentations are tailored to a specific prospect, but there are a few key slides that every deck should include:
- The problem. Explain the problem your product or service solves — and the business impact of solving it.
- Prove it. Include social proof such as customer testimonials, customer logos, or a one-slide case study.
- But what do you actually do? Give a taste of what your product or service actually does. You can do this with screenshots, a quick demo GIF, or more conceptual frameworks that reflect the market and your place in it.
- The size of the prize. How do customers benefit from working with you? If you can quantify this with hard numbers or real customer quotes verified by a neutral third party, even better!
- Start a conversation. A sales pitch shouldn’t be a one-way street. Include a slide tailored to your prospect to spark conversation. Get them talking about their specific challenges.
- Guide the next steps. Anticipate and address practical adoption questions. An FAQ slide or product implementation pathway shows your prospect the immediate next steps.
- Contact details. You want to continue the conversation with the prospect, even if now isn’t the right time for them to buy. Remember to include a slide with your contact details at the end.
Now, let’s dive into the specific tips and techniques that’ll help you build and present the perfect sales pitch.
Win prospects with these 10 sales presentation tips
1. Use a sales presentation template to save time and stay on brand
To move quickly and stay on brand, high-performing sales teams don’t build their sales decks from scratch. Instead, they use presentation templates that are easy to customize for various audiences and contexts. With a template, you can focus on delivering buyer experiences — not redoing slides every time you need to meet with a prospect.
Building a template with Pitch is easy and will help you stay consistent and organized. You can:
- Create custom sales templates. Browse the template gallery or combine slides from different templates to create your own unique sales presentation.
- Organize your sales presentations into folders so it’s always easy for the sales team to find the right deck. Popular ways to organize are by industry or buyer persona.
- Build sales decks that work offline. Even without an internet connection, you can work on your sales presentation and create a unique version for each prospect.
2. Create presentations that fit into the customer journey
A successful sales presentation centers prospects as heroes in their buyer journey — on a mission to improve their own company by investing in your solution. It demonstrates an understanding of why potential customers would use your product and shows how its features can help solve their problems.
By addressing your audience's actual pains and desires, you’ll prove that you have their best interests in mind. This builds trust that you’ll be there for them after the sale.
3. Gather supporting material
To ensure your sales reps can deliver a standout pitch, you’ll need to provide a few extra components to complement your sales deck:
- Product demos. Provide training on how to ace a demo based on everything you know about your prospect’s business, how they’ve used your product, and the challenges they’re trying to tackle.
- Question banks or rubrics to qualify and learn about prospects.
- Battlecards with clear grab-and-go messaging that details the benefits of your product versus the competition as well as succinct ways to explain the product.
Your sales team’s main focus should be understanding a prospect’s needs and how your product can help them. The more resources a sales rep has at their disposal, the more they can focus on listening and responding with the right examples and selling points.
4. Collaborate on your sales pitch
Your job is to know your product inside out. Your job is also to have a deep understanding of your customer. And once you’ve got the story that links product and customer, you’re set.
The thing is, you’re not the only one who knows your product and customer. Your product, marketing, and customer success teams are also great sources of knowledge. And your brand and design team helps make sure you look your best. So to build the most effective sales decks, you need to collaborate with other teams.
In Pitch, you can collaborate with your teams to create compelling pitch decks. Here are a few ways you can work together to make a winning sales presentation:
- Set slide status and roles. Is this slide a to-do, in-progress, or done? And who’s responsible for the next steps?
- Collaborate live with in-app video. Stuck on a slide design decision or how to word a value proposition? Get quick input in real time, directly on the slide you’re tackling.
- Leave comments right where you need answers to give and get async feedback. For extra flair, use the built-in emoji library.
- Stay on brand with slide styles. Your time is best spent perfecting your sales pitch — not doing copy-paste busywork. Have your brand design team create slide styles you can apply anywhere.
5. Build rapport remotely
Building remote rapport takes more than a virtual handshake. To instill confidence, provide the customer with relevant information, products, and services that make their lives easier.
Here are a few remote conversation tips to keep in mind when building rapport:
- Be friendly. Smile genuinely, and use warm greetings and goodbyes.
- Really listen. Absorb what your audience is saying.
- Don’t just parrot your sales points. Respond to prospects’ questions and concerns, and leave pauses for them to speak.
- Be a mirror. Show empathy by reflecting your leads’ tone, body language, and speaking rate.
- Make it personal. Remember, you’re selling to a person, not a company.
6. Engage your customer on their terms
One way to engage your leads is to talk about something they care about. This means doing your homework — after all, good sales presentations start with research.
Another way to wake up a prospect is to drop a provocative statement. For example, if you’re selling educational software, you might say something like, “Teaching to the test has greatly improved our education system.” Your audience might totally disagree, but it will likely open up an interesting conversation.
7. Be obsessed with customer outcomes
Sales reps need to listen to a prospect’s end goals and find ways to solve their bigger problems. So don’t fill your sales presentation to the brim with stats and selling points. Instead, leave plenty of time for questions. This will help you learn about your audience’s desires and barriers, so you can formulate the ideal solution.
And be prepared to find answers, even if they fall outside the domain of your product. Imagine you’re selling a tool for business trip planning, and a prospect asks about Covid policies at the Amsterdam airport. That might not be part of the service you’re selling, but finding the answer shows you’re there to provide solutions, not just to sell software.
There will always be some clients that take longer to close. But sales is about building relationships. Your job is to work with your buyers until they’re ready to buy. By showing them you're willing to put in the time upfront, they’re more likely to trust that you’ll be there after you’ve closed the deal.
8. After you present, follow up
You nailed your sales presentation. Nice job! But you’re not quite done. The next step is to follow up. With the tools available to us today, that’s easy as pie.
To add some dynamism, you can sell async and embed video recordings in your slides. This makes it easy for someone to watch your presentation from anywhere, on their own time.
And use presentation analytics to keep a pulse on buyer engagement. Track the number of views your deck is getting, and receive a detailed breakdown for specific time periods. This will help you know the prospect’s level of interest when you follow up.
9. Learn and iterate
Say your pitch has paid off, and you’ve closed the deal. Again, congrats! You might be eager to move on to your next sales presentation — and success story. But before dialing up that qualified lead, take a minute to learn from the process.
For instance, have you heard multiple customers say your product is “as smooth as butter?” Consider testing this language as part of your value proposition.
On the other hand, is your most frequent complaint about how slow your product is? Maybe speed should be prioritized in the next product sprint.
10. Revisit and refresh your sales deck
Even the best sales decks need a regular refresh. How often you do this depends on the information you have available and on the rhythm of your teams — but a thorough quarterly review is a good place to start.
You can easily assign slides to specific account executives to make sure information is up to date, on brand, and consistent across decks. By building this step into your sales team rituals, you’ll be sure that your decks not only look good, but continue to impress with relevant content.
And don’t forget to bring marketing and customer success into this refresh process. These teams can provide invaluable input on what messaging is resonating in the market and offer new case studies to include in your presentations.
Start building winning sales presentations
Now you know what it takes to build a great sales presentation — and how to support your team in using presentations to build a high-performing sales process and feedback culture.
Ready to start crafting your next sales deck? Here’s a selection of professionally designed sales presentation templates that you can use to get started for free. They’re fully customizable, so you can tailor them to your brand and audience.
And when you’re ready to share, you can link to specific slides, invite collaborators into your workspace, and set a status and assignees. With Pitch, some just might say that going from draft to deck is as smooth as butter.