Sales Decks have been on our mind a lot lately. Not just because we have been rocking them for clients like Skyword and Resolution, but also because it seems as though everyone these days is closing some amazing deal and walking away with bags full of cash.
Sales decks typically take one of two forms:
Terribly boring, text-laden clunky things that people suffer through out of sheer obligation. These usually delve into the super technical, talk solely about features and not about benefits and end up saying a lot about nothing leaving you confused and unlikely to buy.
You have the salesman that comes in completely unprepared, hair disheveled, bent business cards… and wings it with an overly broad focus and invariably ends up using filler words that leads your audience to not have a single shred of confidence in you.
Either way, your sale is looking as likely as Blackberry coming up with an iPhone killer.
Because we want you to walk away from your sales meeting with bags full of cash, we created a guide on how to build a great sales presentation. At the end of this guide, we have included even a template to get you started…
But first things first, what is a sales deck?
A sales deck is a presentation in slide format, that you can send or pitch to clients to give them data on the company’s key facts. The deck should be a visual representation of what you plan to discuss in the meeting. Illustration and graphs work, small illegible text does not. Any pitch deck should walk you through a story, but your sales deck should also walk you through your process along with your capabilities and case studies that back up your claims.
Things not to include in a sales deck
Your sales deck should be sparse and to the point and should in no way resemble a Flash website hailing from the pre-Y2K era. This means avoiding extra text that doesn’t lend itself to the main point of what you are trying to accomplish. Avoid outrageous text, images, animation and colors. It should be a tool in your arsenal that fits within your branding and your organization.
OK, great, but when do you use a sales deck?
You should prepare your sales deck for any situation that you plan to ask for a sale. Your perfectly prepared sales presentation deck serves as a way for clients to see whom you’ve worked with or sold to in the past and the process that is going to take them from problem to solution. Your deck should focus heavily on your solution and should end in you asking for the sale.
What are the exact elements of a great sales deck?
There is no standard when it comes to a sales presentation. Whether you are creating a custom slide deck or working from a template, you should follow a formula, but within that formula you should add the custom elements that make your particular solution stand out.
Below is how we typically structure a sales deck.
Your cover should be simple, branded with your logo and not much else. This isn’t the slide to put every piece of your contact info on. Frankly, at this point, the client doesn’t even know if they want to contact you so putting your information in their face at this point is quite presumptuous.
This is the slide that should define your deck. All focus should be on this message. This slide should be sparse with 1-2 lines of copy that describes what your purpose is.
This slide should answer why the person listening to this pitch should want to do business with you. Why you are the best to address the problem that they have? Is your solution the Golden Ticket into the Chocolate Factory? In this slide you should be giving your audience background into why you will rock their world.
Details about the solution you are offering
This slide should take a deeper look at your solution. This is the rock your world slide. Whether it is screenshots, an illustrated explanation or product photos, this slide or slides should focus on your actual product and its technical specifications that make your solution superior. But don’t get too technical. This slide should be tailored to your audience. It should be the evidence that supports your “why” slide that came before it.
Now that you’ve talked about your solution, tell them exactly who that solution is for.
If you are selling to a store, this slide should align you with the person you are presenting to. Your target market should be their target market. You should explain to them why their customers will want to buy your product. By showing them that you understand their buyer and that your buyer is their buyer, you are mitigating risk and instilling confidence. In fact, not only can you tell them this with this slide, but the next slides (your shiny as a whistle case study slides) will demonstrate real life examples of your solution (thriving) in practice.
Case Studies are used to validate everything you have said thus far. Adding large brands that you have worked with here or brands that will mean something to the person you are pitching to adds serious credibility to everything you are saying. Don’t just talk about the client, talk about how you donned your armor and rose to the occasion to beat their expectations.
After you hit your audience with your case studies, eliminate any other doubts by showing how you stack up against your competitors.Whether you use a competitive landscape plot or matrix, visually demonstrating your benefits vs. your competitors can swing the tide in your favor.
After you have demonstrated individual success stories, show them how you are doing as a whole. The evidence is your traction slide and it should provide further big picture validation that you are firmly entrenched into the industry you are selling in. This validation could be number of sales, downloads, users or any other metric that is key to your business.
Clients and Partners
Your client and partner slides provide further validation and can be as simple as a few logos and testimonials.
Your final slide should let your audience or reader know how they can contact you to purchase your solution.
Selling is an art form… so are sales decks. Let’s not forget that your visuals are something you should take seriously. Luckily, we take all things sales deck seriously so we created a template to help you get started on your very own sales deck. No two decks are the same so our template is a set of guidelines to show you how to give the correct information and visuals to make your company and your product shine.