11 Ways to Make a Sales Presentation Work for You
Every salesperson wants to create a great sales presentation that will seal the deal. Prospects need to be convinced why they should collaborate with someone. This is where a strong sales presentation comes in.
But what goes into creating a killer sales deck?
While your skills as a presenter have much to do with it, your slide layouts also need to be visually appealing.
We outline the essentials of designing a visual pitch deck that will help you highlight your value proposition, address your audience’s needs, and help you close strong.
Set a Clear Sales Presentation Goal
As with all marketing materials, you need to set a clear and concise goal for your sales presentation. Do you want to win your prospect over with information about a new advancement? Or by relying on the latest data you’ve gathered?
The sales presentation should be streamlined in such a way that it edges your potential client to perform an action at the end of your sales pitch—say, collaborate with you or become a retail partner.
This can be achieved by having a clear goal—and only one goal—that will narrow the focus of your sales presentation so you can make the most of your limited pitch time with a prospect.
Optimize Slide Layouts
Truth be told, your slide layouts can make or break the entire pitching process.
Put yourself in the shoes of the people sitting through your deck. Do they want to see the same layout again and again?
It will be easier to create but will not catch the attention of the viewer, which is the intent of your sales presentation.
Plus, the information you want to share isn’t homogenous—you aren’t only talking about one set of items in your presentation. You will also be discussing new initiatives, target audiences, and looking at the highlights of the past year.
Can you reasonably include all these varying elements in the exact same layout? The answer is a resounding ‘no’.
Which is why you need to have 4-5 layout templates for your pitch deck, while maintaining the colour palette.
To create different layouts manually, try dividing your slide into three equal columns or rows—this will help you place your elements without your slide becoming too crowded.
Amplify Your Branding
Branding is important across all printed and digital materials, so you need to include branding elements in your sales presentation.
You can create an animated logo for the title slide of your deck—this will make your brand more engaging and memorable for the client, who likely receives several pitches a day.
Ensure that you use a static version of your logo on the rest of your slides, but keep it unobtrusive by placing it in a corner.
Also, keep your logo in the sales presentation in a reasonable size—you don’t want your prospect peering at the screen.
Use a Muted Color Palette
The use of colour is important in sales presentations because it evokes emotions and can be used to highlight and distinguish information.
According to studies on the latest graphic design trends, muted color palettes are set to become all the rage. This means using colors that have a white or black base.
While the color palette may be different from what it has been in the last few years, it is by no means limiting. You can still use a varied color palette for your sales presentation.
Use a combination of colors throughout your slides to highlight information, emphasize sections, and improve readability.
It is important to remember not to use too many colors—there needs to be consistency in your color use across layouts, or it will become difficult for the prospect to follow your message.
Highlight with Color Gradients
Over the past few years, color gradients have become a popular inclusion in the marketing world.
While gradients have been used in the background over the past few years, there is a shift towards bringing gradients into the foreground.
In your sales presentation, use gradients to highlight elements or include them as part of your design, instead of hiding them in the background.
Gradients can be a great design element that will give your pitch deck more emphasis and help your prospect stay with the flow of your message.
Convey the Message in Small Paragraphs
Having chosen your color scheme and gradients, you need to now turn your attention to how you share your information.
A sales presentation can be any length—from 10 to 50 slides—depending on your subject.
But no matter how you are pitching to your prospect, your slides should not overflow with information.
If you find yourself writing huge chunks of paragraphs, you need to rethink your messaging.
To make the most of a sales pitch without losing your prospect, limit how much text you include in each slide and ensure there is white space around the text.
Keep one slide for one point—this will mean more slides in your deck, but it will make it easier for the audience to follow what you’re sharing, and to remember the essence.
Divide Information into Bullet Points
Taking off from the previous point, a great way to limit how much text you use in a single slide is to use bullet points.
Give your slides a header and include a short subheading along with bullet points to illustrate your message.
Bullet points will solve the white space problem we mentioned earlier—they will space out the text to increase readability and promise a better flow.
Presentations are memorable sales tools and bullet points will help to optimize retention.
Discover the Power of Typeface
The way you say something is just as important as what you say. The importance of the right typeface is massively underestimated when creating sales presentations. Using the right font can make the message you are trying to convey more effective and persuasive.
It can be difficult to know where to start when picking fonts for your marketing posters, ads, packaging design, brochures, infographics, and pitch decks.
If you are using a presentation template, you will often have preloaded fonts that can be customized.
Related Article: The Ultimate List of 300+ Free Tools to Grow Your Business
When choosing fonts, ensure that they are consistent with your brand—brand fonts can create strong connections between your potential client and your organization.
If you aren’t relying solely on your official brand fonts, it is important to choose fonts that are professional and can be read even from a distance.
Avoid using handwritten fonts or italics—these can often be lost when the slides are projected, and can come across as unprofessional.
Instead, use fonts like Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica, that are legible in various sizes.
Use a maximum of two fonts throughout your slides—one for the heading and one for your body copy and subheadings.
You can give the fonts different weights for emphasis, but limit your weights to three—too many changes in font size will make for difficult reading.
Icons are an excellent way to share large amounts of information in your sales presentation without having to write huge paragraphs of text.
Choose relevant icons that convey your message and pair them with short, insightful labels.
The colors you use for your labels need to be well-planned. It is usually best to keep the icons consistent with the color scheme used in the slides.
You can also use different colors as long as they complement the palette and not clash with it.
Pictures Speak Louder than Words
Like icons, images can liven up a presentation if they are chosen well, complement the color palette, and are thematically relevant.
This is a process that sounds easier to accomplish than it actually is.
Of course, there are some images that are simple choices—including product images when you are discussing a sales partnership only makes sense.
But if you are choosing images purely for illustrative purposes, it can become a challenge to find the right fit.
Many salespeople still use stock photos—and there is no harm in that. There are several beautiful stock photo sites that you can delve into.
But the way you use those images needs to add flavor to your deck. Far too often, the use of stock photos comes across as cheesy, or irrelevant.
To avoid that mistake, choose images that convey an emotion or a theme, instead of something literal.
For instance, don’t use a picture of a person standing by a printer to convey that you are selling a printer—find an image of a classroom with a teacher holding a sheaf of printed papers.
This shows how the product can impact people’s lives—a major selling point when speaking to a potential partner.
Help Prospects Crunch Numbers with Data Visualization
Many people have sat through sales presentations with a dozen charts and graphs and come away retaining nothing from the sales meeting.
While data is an essential component of a sales presentation, the way it is visualized is key to ensuring that your prospects understand what they are seeing and what they can learn from it.
This is important because telling a story is crucial to nailing a sales presentation. According to Sujan Patel, co-founder of Mailshake, “Rather than telling your prospect about how your product or service works, a story helps show them how they might use it to improve what they’re currently doing. Storytelling transforms vague ideas and makes them tangible.”
Not all visual aids are good for all circumstances, though.
For example, pie charts and bar graphs are excellent for comparing different data points, whereas a timeline or area chart better conveys change over a period of time or location.
Rankings and processes can be highlighted through flow charts, lists, or a pyramid diagram.
Define the goal of your data and use a graph maker to share the information you want. This will ensure that your prospect retains what they have learned from your slides.
Designing a visual sales presentation that not only gets your message across but encourages your potential client to act upon it, takes some planning and work.
We have outlined the core ingredients you need to include to make a sales presentation that will stand out from the crowd and make an impact on your prospect.
Use these easy hacks that will empower you to make future clients sit up and pay attention to your message and eventually partner with you.
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