How to deliver a winning sales presentation
Now that we've gone over the structure of a sales presentation, it's time to dive into the delivery. In this chapter, we’ll provide tips on how you can help your account executives and sales reps use templates to hone their own sales presentation.
The best sales presentations come across as both professional and personal. Help your account executives (AEs) win more deals by finding their voice, using presentations to their advantage, internalizing best practices, and creating efficient follow-ups to keep sales momentum. By the end of this chapter, you’ll have actionable tips on how to make a sales presentation that shortens the sales cycle and closes a deal.
Where does your sales pitch land in the buyer journey?
The key to increasing the sales win rate is messaging. In Chapter 1, we covered how knowing your audience and where your sales pitch lands in the buyer journey shapes your sales collateral.
In Chapter 2, we show you how to structure an effective presentation for sales enablement. Creating a strong deck that's on brand and easy to customize to a specific pitch's needs is key to helping your reps hit their quotes.
Tightening your sales cycles to reliably hit targets requires reducing time building decks and investing more time in researching to deliver a great sales presentation. Using a sales presentation template that can be quickly adapted to meet buyers where they are, from discovery to final quote, helps you hit the key points needed at each stage of the buying process.
Sales teams who increase their win rates rely on shared collateral that can be quickly customized for each new buyer. The most effective sales presentations today are on brand and enable sales professionals to focus on creating a great buyer experience with every call and smooth follow-up.
Create a presentation to fit your format
In the age of remote pitching, make sure your teams not only have material for every stage of the buyer journey, but a deck for each type of presentation format. Below, we outline the three formats to tailor your sales presentation to:
- In-person presentations
- Remote sales presentations
- Pre-recorded presentation
While traditional sales has valued in-person meetings, many pitches today can happen remotely. With the tools available today, pre-recorded presentations also make it easy for sales teams to distribute sales pitches in a scalable way, while offering buyers flexibility in how they engage with the information. We’ll outline the benefits of each before focusing on how remote and pre-recorded presentations can build scalable sales processes.
The biggest advantage to pitching in person is how much easier it is to transmit your enthusiasm. You can react to your audience’s body language and generally read the room.
People also tend to be more engaged in person, so you have more wiggle room to stretch your presentation. You might go into details or spend more time on anecdotes. You can also use time prior to the formal pitch to have a more personal conversation or flip through materials together after the meeting has formally ended. Organic interactions can help you learn about your buyer and build trust.
However, in-person presentations are costly: They require travel time, expenses, and more resources put into planning and scheduling.
Remote sales presentations
Remote sales presentations have become a staple of the sales process. They’re easy to set up and attend within a focused time frame. This allows reps to focus on addressing the buyer’s key concerns and delivering your company’s value proposition.
Even with this focused format, the best sales professionals will find a way to leave an impression. Virtual sales presentation technique focuses on staying succinct, a clean delivery, and a seamless call experience. Check your tech in advance and set a professional call environment. Jordan Goodwin, Remote’s Director of Sales for North America, also recommends blurring your Zoom background and getting rid of the dock on your screen to create a “clean, customer-friendly experience.”
Adding pre-recorded to your slides helps you bring personality and context to your deck. You can record once and share multiple times. Busy prospects can watch – and rewatch – a sales pitch on their own time. Better yet, they can share it with their stakeholders without requiring another introductory call.
Having recordings in your decks makes follow-up less routine and more human with an expressive way to communicate your ideas.
Now that we’ve covered your format options, let’s look at some techniques to help you seal the deal.
Sales presentation techniques for any format
Gone are the days of watching the clock in a meeting room. A study quoted in the Harvard Business Review found that the average number of meetings that workers attended increased by 13.5% during the pandemic. Thanks to streamlined communication tools that help us stay connected in person and online, meetings today are more efficient than ever. That's why it's important to build a cutting-edge pitch deck that offers value for your prospects and makes the most of their time.
Best practices to deliver a great presentation
Once your team has a sales presentation template for each stage of the sales cycle, they can focus on presentation delivery. This may be part of formalized onboarding or ongoing training to ensure that a growing sales team continues to deliver top results. Let’s go over the best practices of presentation delivery to cover with your sales team.
1. Communicate clearly and simply
Studies performed during the pandemic suggest that “Zoom fatigue” cuts down on our ability to focus in remote meetings.
Clean slides with crisp, memorable lines help your sales reps with their choice of words. This is where you can support your AEs by working with marketing and branding teams to create a library of templates for key sales calls, like a discovery deck, product overview deck, demo deck, and more.
People are less likely to interject with a question during a video call, so it’s important to make the presentation easy to understand and offer dedicated moments for audience engagement. Adding section slides helps your AE build clear pauses into their presentations to engage their audience.
2. Establish a voice
The right tone communicates confidence to put buyers at ease, so it’s important to find a voice that feels natural.
When sales collateral is developed as a team, account executives can learn from each other and develop a compelling deck that everyone can take off the shelf to make their own: Remove a slide here, add a prospect’s logo there, and they’re ready to present a familiar pitch with a fresh perspective.
Keep in mind that establishing a voice does not require the presenter to do all the talking. In fact, the best sales calls are conversations where the target audience feels heard. When a presenter finds a natural voice, they will also be more relaxed and receptive. Listening is just as essential to a call after the presentation part is over.
3. Practice delivery
There’s only one chance for a first impression, so it’s essential for sales reps to know how they come across. Get your team to practice in front of a mirror, record themselves, or have live practice sessions to make sure key points are covered. Get presenters to pay attention to these factors:
- Speed: slowing down to enunciate and make ideas easier to follow
- Timing: staying within an allotted time to not bore the audience
- Pacing: pausing to emphasize key points and allow for interactions
Better yet, encourage them to join presentation organizations such as Toastmasters to get comfortable with delivering a polished message. In some cases, encourage them to start by writing out a script and practicing word for word, as they would a keynote. Of course, once they are confident in presenting the buyer’s story, company’s messaging, and potential solution, they can improvise and treat the call as a conversation.
4. Involve your team
Sales teams can work together to practice and refine presentations. Some arrangements have a few leads work on refreshing a main sales deck every quarter, while others do a workshop session with the entire team.
Companies that onboard new hires in cohorts can also do group sales training. This helps new joiners ramp up and share learnings.
Also, look for collaboration opportunities and regularly getet feedback from the marketing team on messaging and delivery. Keeping a tight relationship with marketing efforts helps your AEs match their messaging for a prospect and use the latest assets. Having regular check-ins with the product team also gives you roadmap features to sell to both new and existing customers
5. Listen to the data
The target audience is the judge of a good presentation. A presenter who is familiar with the material and confident in their pitch has the mental space to observe the audience. How are they responding to product features? Do they have follow-up questions? What is their body language suggesting? In the end, a successful call depends on active listening.
However, sales teams also need to be informed by data, not just gut feelings. Using modern tools like Pitch enables sales teams to see how many people have viewed a sales deck to assess engagement. For example, Pitch Pro users can create custom links and review presentation analytics to get a sense of whether buyers have reviewed or shared a deck after a call. This type of data can help you find out key information such as which slide templates are most effective, or which AEs engage their audiences best.
Presenting as a team
The most effective sales presentation begins with thorough preparation and ends with swift, professional follow-up.
By now, you have built a supportive culture in your sales team through collaborating on slide decks, sharing resources, and learning together. At this point, it’s up to the AE to deliver their presentation. But their individual success is backed by a strong team effort. To ensure sales excellence, make sure your AEs are prepared before, during, and after their call.
Before the call
Most sales presentations begin before the actual call. You can already start a conversation by sharing a prepared sales deck – possibly through a voice recorder or video recordings – with a buyer and invite them to leave comments on specific slides. These pre-call exchanges build trust and give the team data points on how to tailor the presentation for the actual call.
If there is additional material that can strengthen a pitch, encourage AEs to collaborate with other teams to get the relevant information. With Pitch, you can assign specific slides to individuals so that people can hop in quickly to add the specific charts, data, or images that will make a buyer feel catered to.
You’re halfway to a winning presentation with a primed audience and prepared materials. The other half is making sure everyone on your team covers the basics of a video call:
- Sign in early
- Have good lighting
- Make sure your background is professional or blurred
- Ensure WiFi, audio, and video equipment are set up
When your sales team maintains a level of professionalism and preparedness before a call, they can remain relaxed and ready to genuinely engage a buyer.
During the call
If your team has built a solid deck together, done the necessary practice, and completed technical checks, the call should flow naturally. During a call, your sales team should make sure the buyer feels their concerns are heard. By the end of the conversation, the audience should be clear on next steps. A good presentation shows that the team has done their homework and is invested in being a good partner.
Many sales teams have a practice of having a colleague shadow sales calls to give the presenter feedback, especially for sales training. Set up your team for success by supporting them through their early calls, or having them shadow a senior AE to pick up the nuances between audience education and hard selling.
Make sure that even your AEs who consistently exceed their quotas keep a collaborative mindset. For example, inviting the relevant colleagues from product or engineering for a call with a bigger client can help clarify technical questions and shorten the sales cycle. Colleagues that take calls together provide support with the relevant data, step in during technical issues, or shift the flow of a conversation. Find a way to reward AEs who deliver value by sharing best practices and investing in processes that elevate the whole team’s performance.
After the call
A good sales presentation becomes great with the perfect follow-up. Send answers to open questions and additional resources right after a call to keep sales momentum.
Make sending your sales deck through a custom link a routine task. If your slide deck has embedded video recordings, it helps your buyer loop in stakeholders who need to catch up on context. Having the sales deck on hand will keep your conversation top of mind and keeps the door open for asynchronous conversations that build trust and seal the deal.
Free sales presentation templates
Now that you’ve mastered how to deliver your pitch, you can use one of our free templates to build your next sales presentation. These sales presentation templates can help you take your sales and marketing efforts to the next level with clean slide decks, easy-to-edit designs, and easy collaboration. Browse the gallery to find the best sales presentation examples:
Interview: Jordan Goodwin from Remote
Jordan Goodwin, Director of Sales for North America at Remote, is one of the world’s leading remote organization management platforms. Jordan has years of experience in enterprise sales with leading companies such as Gitlab and he agreed to sit down and share some of his sales presentation tips.
How do you measure the success of a sales presentation?
Jordan: There are some specific metrics we look at, like win rates and sales deal velocity. We also look at land size versus expansion and the time between the initial land deal and the expansion. But at a high level, the most important question is: “Does our sales rep understand what problem the customer is trying to solve? Were they able to answer the questions that got the customer on the phone with us today in the first place?”
What might be common sales objections and how do your teams address them in a call?
Jordan: A common one for is price, because we have a flat fee model. If a company is looking to hire someone on a very low salary, our service fee might be too big of a percent of that individual salary for Remote to make sense as a solution. Sometimes we can come up with a price point that works for everyone, but there are times when it’s really not in line with our value proposition. If that’s the case, we will tell them that we aren’t the best fit based on their goals and challenges and we want to respect their time. Disqualifying a lead is just as important as qualifying one.
What tips do you have specific for remote or video presentations?
Jordan: For one, follow best practices for being on a webcam: Blur your background, or make sure you have a professional setup behind you. I always encourage people to get rid of the dock on their screen, and make sure they don’t have any notifications coming up to make it a clean, customer-friendly experience.
And another big one is building up your expertise and having the right resources available. Having a pitch deck at hand to help illustrate some of the concepts you’re talking about, and then having some specific resources you can show them, such as help pages.
Can you walk us through a typical sales presentation?
Jordan: A typical agenda would start with introductions, and then we would talk about their goals for hiring prospects. After that, we would look at how Remote might partner with them. I like to finish with a Q&A. Some of the typical slides we would use for that explain the difference between a contractor and a Remote employee, or how we can help them with payroll in different countries. We swap in the right slides depending on the problem they’re trying to solve.
What are immediate follow-up items that keep momentum after the call?
Jordan: At the end of the call, we’ll confirm the next step and get the ball rolling, whether it’s sending an invite or at least agreeing on when that invite is going to come. They can also be coached to go and sign up for the platform, and that becomes the next step. They can sign up during the call and look around later, with no commitment.