Some people find presenting easy. They seem to have an intuitive understanding of how to grab and keep the attention of everyone in the room. Meanwhile, there are those who confess presenting is stressful. What to do if you are a sales rep who belongs to this second type?
There is a piece of good news for you: you can definitely master the art too. To deliver the best sales presentation, you should learn key tips beforehand, so you’ll be ready the next time you’re done with lead generation.
In this blog post, we’ll break down the process of creating a sales presentation into steps and discuss best practices you can use at each stage.
Sales presentations — what are they?
A sales presentation is a part of the sales process wherein a salesperson demonstrates a product/service and explains in detail how to use it with a single aim — to move a prospect further down the sales funnel, motivating them to buy it.
The best sales presentation makes room for questions, so it becomes a genuine two-way process, in which the prospect understands the value of the sales offering, while the sales rep learns more about their target market, prospect’s real wants, and needs.
Another significant characteristic of a successful sales presentation is that the audience will likely feature some major players, i.e., decision-makers, which definitely streamlines the sales process.
But why is it sometimes difficult to deliver a good sales presentation?
The truth is, people, in general, don’t find presentations exciting. About 79% agree that listening to others presenting them something is boring. Your goal as a salesperson is to make your sales presentation engaging so your prospects understand all the benefits of your product without being overloaded with unnecessary information.
Seems like a challenge, doesn’t it? Worry not, though. This post is designed to help you prepare the sales presentation step by step.
How to give a successful sales presentation: a step-by-step guide
We recommend that you break down the process of delivering your sales presentation into three logical steps:
- Presentation itself
Let’s discuss what you should do at each of these steps, so you can be forearmed with a good outline next time you present your solution to prospective customers.
Step 1. Preparing for a sales presentation
Good sales presentations begin before the speaker actually enters the room or joins the call. That’s the case when success is down to preparation.
Preparation for the sales presentation means getting knowledgeable about any details relevant to your product, prospect, and the market in general. This is why this first step to giving your best sales presentation should boil down to the following tasks:
Know your product
You need to know your product features inside out. Learn this information from your team and study the questions about your product that your customers frequently ask. These issues are likely to come up during the presentation itself.
Try to test your product features as a user on your own. This way, you’ll be well-versed in how it’s all working and better understand your solution’s benefits. Look through your product testimonials to back up your expertise with real data from the current customers who have been using your product successfully for some time.
Now think about how to render information about your company and solution simply and clearly — prospects you’ll be presenting to may have little knowledge of what your business is doing.
Know your competitors
“Know your enemy” — a saying you’ve probably heard many times. In business, it’s not about enemies but rather competitors who may serve as a good background for your product growth.
Look more precisely into the solutions your prospects might buy instead of yours. Identify their weaknesses, so you can shine while comparing your features to theirs. But don’t neglect to study their strengths, too, so you’re prepared to overlay them with the benefits of your product.
On top of this, learn how your competitors give their sales presentations. If they turn up with slick visuals and the most up-to-date software, you’re going to look pretty lackluster with your ring-bound notepad.
Research your competitors both online and using any printed materials they circulate to potential customers. Get a feel for their tone of voice and brand identity. If there are any elements of their approach you can successfully assimilate (in a fully legal fashion), do so. They’d do the same to you. After all, all’s fair in love and sales.
Gain customer knowledge
Knowing your customers and their buyer behavior is crucial to a successful sales presentation. Always keep in mind: you’re there not just to talk about your product but to connect with your prospecting customers. For this to happen, you have to know them well and identify their needs and wants.
Before you even start a sales process, you’ll build your ideal customer profile, which will help you target prospects who are more likely to buy your product. But it doesn’t mean they’ll all actually will.
So, at this stage, learn more about your prospect’s buyer personas. How long have they been in the company you’re selling to? Are they experts in their field? Have they bought from your competitors before?
Study the market
What, in essence, does the company you’re presenting your solution to is doing? What’s the nature of their market? What problems are they likely to deal with? How might your product help solve them?
It will work wonders if you show you’ve done thorough research about the market your prospects operate in and their challenges and offer ways your company can assist in healing their pain points. You’ll come across as someone who wants to make their life a little better, which is hard to resist.
Step 2. Presentation
Now that you’ve worked hard to prepare for the sales presentation, let’s discuss what strategies will help you win your prospect’s heart during the sales call or meeting when you’re demonstrating your demo.
One of the most powerful tools while making a sales presentation is telling your prospect a good story. People like stories: we’ve been gathering around campfires to hear tales from our fellows for centuries. OK, the tribes of antiquity were probably not assembled to learn about what the newest support chatbot could do for them, but there are some constants of storytelling that pertain to marketing and sales even now. The fact is, stories can be fun, and they can be memorable.
Tell the company’s story: why it was born, how it was born, and the dreams and ideas behind it. People love stories of struggle and eventual triumph, so stage it like this, but don’t go overboard. Something else people like about a story? Brevity.
Tell your prospects about one of your current customers who faced a problem your product could alleviate, propelling the company to succeed. Testimonials you’ve prepared at the first stage will be pretty helpful here 🙂
Emphasize the value of your solution by painting a picture of what might be achievable when all obstacles are overcome. Once your prospect can envisage this promised land, you can tell them how your product will get them there, faster than other alternatives (aka your competitors).
You can’t rely solely on your magnetism and storytelling while giving a sales presentation. The modern audience expects a little more of an audio-visual feast than a salesman with a clipboard. They expect a digital pitch.
Any technology like PowerPoint is a great way to get information across in a manner pleasant to your prospect’s eye. Well-crafted slides will allow you to visualize your product features, while a nicely laid out infographic will make the information you’ll be telling your prospect not tedious to hear. Look at the example:
If an image can somehow put what you’re saying in a better way, do use it in your sales presentation.
In addition, you can use video content to present your solution. Short videos work miracles — not a surprise, about 94% of marketers say video has helped them increase user understanding of a product/service.
Include social proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that consists in people mimicking the actions of others when faced with uncertainty. In marketing and sales, you can use social proof in a variety of forms:
- Customer reviews
- Certifications and awards
- Press features
- Endorsements from experts in your industry
Social proof greatly influences decision-making: 2 out of 3 people say they’d be more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video demonstrating how a business, product, or service had helped another person like them.
You can learn who to ask for social proof professionally in our post about customer referrals.
Demonstrate your product functionality
Don’t forget to bring the product in with you, of course.
If your product is digital, like an application or other software, have it installed and ready for work in real-time.
Say, if your company is offering a CRM solution, show how all of its features work as soon as your prospect onboards. You can even let them try it on their own, under your caring guidance. This way, prospects will test it beforehand – the experience that will be more likely to result in their decision to buy it.
End your presentation with a call to action
Your sales presentation can’t be just a one-way conversation. You should aim at building relationships with your prospect. A call to action (CTA) actually extends the life of your sales presentation, whereby you give them something to think about…and come back.
In your call to action, offer your prospect one or two next steps. Just ensure it is short, straightforward, and personal. For example, instead of using something generic like ‘Download the guide,’ try something like ‘Become a pro with this short guide.’ The second option highlights the benefits and sounds more buddy-like, doesn’t it?
Step 3. Follow-up
A sales presentation doesn’t end at the last slide and a polite ‘Goodbye.’ You should be sure your prospect has got the idea right, has no questions to ask, and is satisfied with how a presentation went. So, at this final step, we recommend that you do the following:
Ask yourself a series of questions about your performance. These could include:
- ‘Have I identified my prospect’s problem and offered solutions?’
- ‘Have I made sure the prospect knew how much I appreciated the chance to present to them?’
- ‘Have I encouraged a dialogue?’
- ‘Have I kept my comments relevant and engaging?’
Then rate your performance on each of these aspects out of 10. Doing this exercise immediately after the presentation will give you a good idea of how you performed.
Approach the prospect for feedback
If the call to action doesn’t seem to have worked, and the prospect isn’t hurrying up to order from you, there’s nothing wrong with approaching them and asking (but briefly) what feelings they have after the demo and what they think about your solution.
Any customer retention guide will tell you about the importance of making a customer feel valued, and following up is an aspect of that. Ask if they’ve had time to think about what you had discussed and see if there’s anything you can do for them to seal the deal. This way, you’ll demonstrate that you care about your prospect’s feelings.
Quite often, the prospect may have loved the product but hasn’t had time to mull over how best to implement it. You can assist by suggesting ways your product might be integrated into their company and emphasizing how much time will be saved once the product is in place.
Some basics to end with
To crown it all, we’ve gathered several simple tips to help you deliver effective sales presentations. Here are a few of them:
- Make eye contact. Sales professionals know this is one of the most important sales techniques. If you aren’t afraid to look directly in the eyes of your prospect, you come across as honest. In addition, this allows you to notice how they feel when you’re saying something and adjust your speech accordingly.
- Relax. Your behavior at the sales presentation should convey calmness and confidence, so even if it’s your first demo in life, try to be relaxed. You’re an expert, and your knowledge of the subject is enough not to worry.
- Listen. Though a sales presentation seems your moment to speak, remember to make contact with the prospect. Be attentive to what they’re asking and telling you. That’ll prove you really care.
- Learn from the best. You don’t have to come across like Cirque du Soleil or PT Barnum, but it can help if you demonstrate a little showmanship. Watch some videos of great orators (from Martin Luther King to Jerry Seinfeld), but do bear in mind your capabilities. If you want to improve in this area, consider a public speaking course.
- Practice, especially if you’re part of a sales team making the presentation. The more people there are, the greater the potential for mess-ups, so get that presentation nailed. You’ll all feel much more confident, which will be visible to your prospects.
The key to your best sales presentation, like any other business communication, is your knowledge and understanding of the interlocutor. Have a clear message, ensure you’re using all the tricks to get it across and practice until you know your pitch inside out. When you deliver your demo, be mindful of your prospect’s needs and ensure they get a chance to express them.
Whatever sales presentation ideas you use, if you treat your audience with respect and look like you genuinely want to be there with them, you’ll give yourself the best chance of success. And if you need a single platform for all your sales activities, Snov.io is always here for you.