Creating a sales presentation that impresses your audience is not an easy task. You have the immense responsibility of wowing your viewers enough to convince them to consider your product/service.
Some people are naturally good at it. Others, well, let’s blame luck here. Or should we? Because there’s nothing you can’t do when you invest time to learn something and practice it.
Hence, this post that’ll teach you how to create a powerful sales presentation your prospects will love. We’ll cover a lot:
— A quick recap of what a sales presentation is
— How to make a winner sales presentation in 3 steps and
— Design tips for making outstanding slides
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s hit it:
What is a sales presentation?
Let’s make this clear right off the bat: a sales presentation is not a sales proposal. Rather, it’s a sales pitch that comes at the start of the process when your prospect agrees to learn about your business.
A sales proposal, in contrast, comes at the end of the sales process. And, it’s tailored to meet your client’s needs, presenting a specific solution, which your client then signs.
One more thing: a sales presentation is short. You need to be quick enough to share the basics of your business idea in a manner that it sparks your audience’s interest. Essentially, your goal is to move them from one part of the sales funnel to another.
On the flip side, a proposal can be a detailed document that outlines the working terms and other such details that are essential to put on file before you start working together.
So, let’s say you teach yoga online. In that case, your sales presentation would include slides that tell prospects how online yoga can benefit them. Once you succeed here, you can prepare a proposal to onboard folks to your online yoga class.
See, that wasn’t so difficult, was it? Let’s move on.
How to make a sales presentation
I’ve divided and subdivided this process in sections to make things easy for you. We’ll start with what you need to do before designing, move on to what you need to do to get started with designing, and finish off with how to actually design the slides.
Here we go:
Part I: Things to do take before you get to work
If you’re thinking that creating a sales presentation involves designing slides only, you’re on the wrong side unfortunately. An effective sales presentation takes a lot more work, starting with the following.
Know your objective
Bottom line, your objective is to sell. You know it. I know it. But that’s not what you’d tell your prospect, is it? So, it’s best you stow this objective in the back of your mind. Instead of thinking in terms of selling, think about value.
The more you focus on providing your viewer with value, the more you’d enjoy preparing and giving your sales presentation. And, you know what they say: enthusiasm is contagious. So, chances are your audience enjoys your presentation too.
But, how do you offer value? Good question.
You offer value by showing your audience how your product or service can change their life. Note that I’ve used “showing” here, not “telling.” Again, how do you show your audience your product or service can make a difference in their life.
Simple: tell them stories.
These could be before and after stories or you can share customer success stories. Either way, you need to tell convincing stories. Because, while facts and data are good content, they just aren’t as convincing as stories. They aren’t as memorable either.
So, if you’re selling online courses, your presentation should aim to tell stories of previous students who achieved big things from your course instead of sharing statistics on how online learning has grown.
Sure, you can share data. But weave it into your presentation naturally. Don’t give them the spotlight.
Know your target audience
The better you know your audience, the better you can tailor your story to their liking. Think of it like this: you find it easy to persuade one of your colleagues better than the rest for something, say trying out a new free email marketing service.
Have you ever thought why you can convince this one person better than the rest? Because you know this person better than the rest. You know their pain point better so you know what to say to win them to your side.
Knowing your presentation’s audience works much the same way. When you know what’s bugging them, you can customize your content to appeal to them.
For instance, someone presenting for an email outreach tool should know their audience’s pains. These could be an inability to send email campaigns in bulk, difficulty in finding their prospect’s email address, and so on.
Part II: Getting started with the design work
Now that you’re clear about your objective and target audience, start thinking about your presentation. Take things one step at a time:
Give your story a focus
It’s best you work out your story’s focus before you sit to design your slides. An example of a good focus is giving a picture of how your customer’s life would change when they use your product. This way the focus isn’t on your product. It’s on how your customer’s life improves.
Here’s an example of how you can set the before and after perspective in a slide:
Write your presentation’s copy
Remember one thing: you need a short but effective copy. Your words can leave a lasting impact, so be sure to use them thoughtfully.
Some ways you can write a persuasive copy are:
- Use simple language so it doesn’t take your viewers a ton of time to understand the point you’re trying to make.
- Cut out any extra words in your copy. Carefully look at each word you write — does it explain something? Keep it. If it doesn’t and you can do without it, get rid of it immediately.
- Use power words. These words elicit a reaction, for instance, persuade the reader so use them in your copy but without overdoing them.
In all your slides, by specific. Only give as much info as needed.
Structure your presentation
It’s best you’ve a plan for structuring your sales presentation slides so your story has a flow to it. A good structure also ensures your story makes sense.
Consider your industry and be sure to cover all necessary details without overwhelming your prospect. For example, how you present social media services will be different from how you’d present a product such as real estate.
Think about your prospect’s journey and help them visualize their transformation after doing business with you.
One good plan here is to start with before and after slides, followed by a bridging slide that connects your story with your company. Dedicate the next slide to introducing your company, followed by a data-based slide and a social proof slide.
In the end, add a CTA slide that tells the next step. It’s best to include your contact details here too.
Part III: Designing your sales presentation slides
Before we dive deeper into designing your sales presentation, let’s answer what you probably have in mind: how many slides would you need?
There’s no hard and fast rule here. But, it’s best to refrain from creating long slideshows with numerous slides. A good way to figure out how many slides will work is assigning one goal per slide and using only needed slides.
You can also give no more than 2-3 slides per minute. In total, aim for the 9 minute rule, so you don’t lose your prospect’s attention. This means between 5-7 slides are ideal.
Now, get to work:
Design a champion opening slide
A good opening slide leaves a lasting impression. So, what can you do to make sure it’s good enough? One thing: get straight to the point. Cut the clutter and dive in as in the example below:
You can always leverage storytelling (hint: the before and after structure we discussed) or emotions to further hold your audience’s attention.
Create other slides
This shouldn’t be hard if you’re following along and have your copy ready. Here are some points to make the process easier for you:
- Introduce no more than three elements in each slide. See how this slide uses only a handful of elements:
- Add a visual element to your sides, for instance, graphs and charts like shown below:
Visuals always work wonders. Here’s proof from an experiment: people exposed to graphic representation were significantly more attentive, recalled what they saw, and agreed more with it too as compared with people who saw a bulleted list (textual content).
The takeaway? Replace words with visuals wherever you can. Here’s a good example:
- Be generous in using white space or space between elements. This way you’ll reduce the clutter. This presentation shows you how effective it is to use whitespace to design your slides thoughtfully:
Prepare a CTA slide
Always remember to close your presentation with a slide that shows next steps. Do you want someone to reach out to you? Give them the most convenient way to do so. Do you want to have the opportunity to create a sales proposal for them?
Tell them to give you the green signal.
Bonus tips for designing oh-so-awesome slides
Remember these three tips for each presentation you design:
- Tap into color psychology
Be smart and dig into how colors can encourage the type of response you want from your prospects. For instance, red catches attention, blue inspires trust, whereas yellow stands for creativity and optimism. Want an example of how to use color the right way?
Learn from LinkedIn Sales Navigator that uses the color red to get attention to the key points:
- Make sure your font is readable
A good design buzzkill is a font that’s too difficult to read. That is, it’s way too small or is simply challenging to understand. Make it easy for your audience to digest your presentation by using an easy to read font size and font type.
Stick between 28 to 32 font size for text size and keep the title font size somewhere within the range of 36 to 44 point size. Garamond, Helvetica, and Rockwell are some of the best fonts for presentations.
- Customize your slides to your branding
One last thing before we wrap this up and call it a day: always stick with your company’s branding. This means you use the design elements such as shapes, colors, fonts, and the whole enchilada from your branding.
Why? Because that is what’ll make your presentation memorable. Imagine Facebook delivering a presentation in black and white instead of its usual blue. Would you recognize their slides?
Typing it all together
Hopefully, you’re now clear about how to create a powerful sales presentation. Remember: there’s a lot that goes into a prizewinner presentation including lots of thorough planning, good copy, well-designed slides, and how you present and deliver your message. Good luck for your next sales presentation!
Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer for SaaS companies like Visme. When she’s not writing actionable blog posts, she has her head buried in a fantasy novel or business book.