The business to business market is cluttered with competition, and business leaders are constantly being pitched to. Time is a valuable commodity, and ensuring your company maximizes their time in front of a potential customer must be your number one focus. Outreach, a sales engagement company, found that out of 12,000 sales prospects they tracked, less than 2% achieved sales meetings. You need to make the most out of the opportunities you get.
While tips about graphic designs and visual appeal of sales decks are important, more so is the content that drives your sale home. Whether you decide to use Powerpoint, Google Slides, Press, or another platform, this important information will help make the greatest sales deck possible. We have gathered a list of 6 items that are crucial to every sales pitch deck, and will help you convert meetings into actual sales. These slide presentation tips are for every type of company, but B2B companies in particular can benefit from these 6 features.
Every sales pitch needs to clearly state the problem your company, service, or product is solving. Don’t assume the customer knows. If they already know, remind them. A company’s resources are scarce, and they will only buy your product if they’re convinced they need it. The status quo is hard to change; move your potential customer by clearly illustrating their need.
Find the line between highlighting a company’s need, and criticizing them. Nobody likes hearing that they are doing things the wrong. Instead, show them a weakness and how your product can make them be that much better. A great sales deck demonstrates a clear problem and shows how your product can address it.
Big Picture Solution
Guy Kawasaki, the Entrepreneur and investor known for his role in marketing Apple’s Macintosh computer remarked in his book, The Art of the Start 2.0, “I’ve never sat through a pitch and wished that the speaker had spent the first 15 minutes explaining her life story” (Kawasaki, 140). Get to the point. How does your product make my life easier? (or my business better equipped, sales team on the same page, or customers happier)? You don’t need to give a stereotypical, “imagine a world where…,” but you should be clear about the benefits your product will provide.
Successful sales happen when you convince potential clients that they need to take the next step and learn more about your product. A Big picture solution in your sales presentation is the best way to show the value proposition of your product to your target audience. A clear solution is the best way to move prospects through the sales process.
Hopefully, your product is revolutionary and will change the way your customer does business. It is your burden to explain what your product does, and how it does it. Knowing your audience is crucial. If the person your pitching to has a background in computer technology, maybe you can dive into technical details. Otherwise, explain the features in simple terms, and when you move to questions at the end, you can dive into the specifics about the product. Use language that everyone can understand.
One hurdle you may have to jump is your customer’s ego. If they don’t understand something, they’re not going to waste their time. Everyone wants to be the smartest person in the room. Being a sales leader means swallowing your pride and making sure you get the most important points across. Your knowledge of software will come through your pitch without a ground up explanation of everything. Simplify your pitch without compromising any features. Explain how the product will enhance their experience, but avoid talking about features that aren’t relevant, until the end.
At least one feature deep dive, tailored to a customer
The first rule of writing resumes and cover letters is to make them unique to the employer. In a sales deck that has much more at stake, shouldn’t you be tailoring your presentation to the needs of the customer? Don’t just copy and paste logos; find out which features of your product will work best with the customer’s company. Do your homework. What is this company likely to need most? What feature separates you from your competitors? A sales pitch ends when the customer stops paying attention. Give them something to pay attention to.
Business professionals are people too. What do people like hearing about? Themselves. You might highlight one feature of your product to a small company, and another to a multi-level organization. Everyone wants to feel special. Why would this change in business? In fact, it might be even more important. Businesses are constantly pitched products. What makes yours stand out? This is your chance to wow your potential customer. Use personal stories to show off your hard work. You believe in your product. Make them believe in it too.
How it Works with a Team
The old adage that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link reigns true in business as well. Everyone in an organization needs to be on the same page. With new products, this rule applies even more. As technology progresses, for some, it also gets more complicated. Think about the first few weeks of March, 2020 when you had to constantly remind your dad how to use Zoom. Your sales deck should explain how your product will work across all levels of your customer’s organization, and should highlight the features that make it useful for all areas of a company. One way to break through the noise of your competition is to specifically address the benefits your product provides across teams.
How to Adopt
Just like you, the people you are pitching to are hard at work trying to make their company the best they can be. Businesses need to know how to make the transition to your product as seamless as possible. They will be expending money if they purchase your product; they would rather not expend too much time.
This is where your research about the company comes into play. Make it as easy as possible for them to say yes to your product. Understand the customer’s organizational structure, the role of the person your pitching to, and the hurdles that they will most likely have to go through to put your product to use. If you can answer questions they have specific to their company’s needs, you will be that much closer to closing a deal.
Ultimately, your sales deck is what stands between your hard work and a new customer. If you include these 6 features in your pitch, you're bound to make a good impression and stand out among the competition. Keep an eye out for some great sales deck examples that you can use as models for your important work. A great sales presentation will help your sales reps close deals and grow your company.