B2B Sales

Captivate Your Audience: Effective Sales Presentation and Pitch Decks

How do you feel about your sales presentations? Would you call them successful, fun, or engaging? More importantly, how would your prospects describe your pitch decks? 

It’s easy to spend hours crafting a sales presentation pitch covering all the critical points. When that pitch falls flat and fails to convert, it frustrates the entire team. If this sounds familiar, you aren’t alone. 

Your team may never know what went wrong with the sales pitch or why the prospect lost interest. Maybe they keep pressing on with the same pitch style because it works every once in a while. Or perhaps they overhaul the pitch every time to find the perfect combination that wins buyers.

The truth is that with the right tools, some best practices, and an understanding of your buyer, your team can build a successful sales pitch deck. You don’t have to rebuild a new pitch when crafting a customisable sales presentation template. Are you ready to take your own sales deck to the next level?

Crafting Successful Sales Presentations and Sales Decks

Have you ever opened PowerPoint to make a sales presentation only to stare at the blank slide? Maybe you selected one of the pre-made templates but couldn’t figure out what to do next. Going from blank slides to a stunning presentation can feel daunting, so it helps to break things down into manageable steps.

Start with the general foundation. Even though successful sales decks often seem more complex, they usually consist of three essential components. 

  • Structure: Start with a logical and connected framework, but add unique elements when possible.
  • Visuals: Including graphics and media makes it easier to understand concepts and more appealing to the buyer.
  • Vocalization: Spoken words are more effective than large blocks of text, so it’s best to limit on-screen text and provide more explanation.

Once you understand the basic elements and how to apply them, it’s easy to craft a sales presentation template that you can customise for each buyer. It will save time without compromising the quality of your sales decks.  

Save even more time with Forward’s library of pre-defined templates designed to fit various sales scenarios. Find a concise sales pitch template that fits your needs and make it accessible to your entire team. It creates a standardised process that saves time while allowing for cross-team collaboration.

Building a Usable Sales Presentation Template

Mastering the three foundational components of a successful pitch deck is a start, but building them into a usable template takes a bit more effort. 

Clear, Simple Introductions Work

It’s tempting to cram everything into the first slide or two to attract attention, but that’s not the best solution. Imagine the first thing your buyer sees is a cluttered slide with all of your critical insights listed in a tiny font. Seeing something that overwhelming makes it unlikely that they will flip to the next slide, let alone finish your presentation.

The first slide sets the tone for the rest of the presentation, meaning it needs to be flawless. Keep your introductory slide simple and sleek for the most impact. 

Did You Know? 80% of buyers who review the first three sales deck slides will view the entire presentation. Focus on delivering quality for those critical slides to boost buyer engagement.

In terms of branding, make your brand clear from the beginning. You don’t need to overdo it with branding on every slide, but it should be consistently felt throughout the sales deck.

Building a Usable Sales Presentation Template

Follow a Set Framework

The framework is the foundation of any sales presentation template. There should be plenty of room for customisation for a buyer, but it should also have the same set of features. Following a set framework ensures consistency across the board.

At the very least, your template should include the pain point for your buyer and the complications blocking their success. Then, you can position your product as the solution to their struggles. 

Build your story by adding slides about who you are, your company values, and the team the buyer can expect to work with throughout the process. Add compelling visuals and interactive elements to reinforce your point and boost buyer engagement in the process.

Developing a sales pitch template makes it possible to create multiple scenarios for a plug-and-play effect. Setting up several common scenarios with different pain points and complications makes it possible to create a personalised presentation every time.

Provide Data and Research

Incorporating data and research helps your brand come across as authoritative. Data and statistics can push your product over the finish line when presented with graphic elements. There are several ways to work data into your presentation:

  • Cost or time savings: Demonstrate how your product has saved buyers time or money. Even if you don’t have a specific percentage, consider how it could reduce costs in other places, like operations.
  • Productivity boosts: Address how your product helps teams work smarter and more efficiently.
  • Industry trends: Establish your product as an industry leader by positioning it against other products.
  • Boost ROI for your clients: Highlight how your product helps similar customers boost revenue or shorten the sales cycle.

It’s a good idea to add a blend of internal and external data to reinforce your points. Don’t overdo it with the research and statistics. Instead, pepper it throughout the presentation in digestible chunks.

Forward helps your team identify powerful statistics and trends that will resonate with your prospects. By offering updated analytics on buyer engagement, it’s easy to refine and customise your sales presentation templates as needed.

Mention the Competition

Mentioning your competition can be a point of contention for some companies, but there’s an excellent reason to consider it. By openly discussing your competitors, it’s possible to set a standard and highlight how your brand does things differently.

It might feel uncomfortable to discuss your competitors openly, but when you do it right, it can win buyers.

  • Know your competitors well. Do your research and identify the key differences.
  • Find reviews from reputable sources, like G2 and Capterra.
  • Help your buyers make better decisions by educating them. It’s also an excellent approach to building trust.

Again, don’t go overboard and tear your competitors down, but it’s better to address things head-on. Create a slide demonstrating your competitors’ data compared to your own in a way that sets your product up as the winner.

Add Social Proof Strategically

Social proof is one of the most powerful tools in any sales arsenal. Showcasing how others use your product can have a startling effect on your prospects. Buyers are more easily persuaded when they see other satisfied buyers.

That’s not to say you can slap on any customer testimonial and automatically convert a sale. It’s important to use specific, relatable examples. Having a few options in your stable allows your team to plug in the most relevant example for each prospective buyer.

Forward’s shared drives allow teams to craft and store testimonials in a centralised location. It’s possible to pull select stories to customise a template for each prospective buyer.

Set a Clear Call to Action

It doesn’t matter how beautiful or impressive your sales decks are if your buyer doesn’t know what to do next. Your call to action (CTA) must be clear and focused on one task. 

Create a sense of urgency throughout the presentation,  then add a crystal clear CTA at the end. 

  • Make the CTA polished, obvious, and easy to find.
  • Keep it simple, like “Contact Us” or “Talk to Us.”
  • Use verbs to incite action but make it feel personal. 

Set aside plenty of time to refine your call to action because it’s what drives your pitch forward. You might need to test different versions to see which arrangements are most effective. 

Monitor and Refine Your Template

The whole point of building a sales presentation template is to save time, but it’s only beneficial if you keep shaping it. Think of your template as a living document that you can refine and update to adjust to changing buyer trends. 

Tracking pitch engagement helps you identify the best-performing slides while highlighting those that need some work. You might even ask buyers for feedback on your pitch to see where you can make it more compelling. Making adjustments to meet client needs could involve updating numbers, adding media, and replacing customer success stories.

Best Practices for a Killer Sales Presentation

You should now have the perfect sales presentation template and a host of materials to customise it for each prospect. Now, it’s time to take your sales deck to the next level with some best practices.

Make It a Team Effort

Your sales team might present the pitch and handle prospect interactions, but that doesn’t mean they are the only team with skin in the game. Leveraging cross-team collaboration is a superpower that leads to the most effective pitches. 

When all teams contribute to the pitch, it ensures you cover all bases. Plus, embracing cross-team collaboration at the beginning reduces the need for back-and-forth later in the process. 

Additionally, when all teams participate in the initial sales pitch, it’s easier to appeal to all decision-makers on the buyer’s end. For example, your finance team can proactively provide the information their financial team will need to make a decision.

Forward provides teams with the means to collaborate in real time. Aside from a centralised hub for relevant information, teams can easily work together to fill in critical information for a pitch and refine a sales deck. They can even chat or start a video conference with screen-sharing to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Build More Effective Sales Presentations and Pitch Decks With Forward

Send the Sales Pitch Deck Before Your Client Call

It might seem counterintuitive to send your presentation before the actual call, but it can make for a more productive meeting. 

Think of it like this. If you send your presentation ahead of time, it serves as a preview for the buyer. They can get an idea of what to expect and prepare questions so that you can dive into a deeper conversation during the call. 

Sending your sales presentation ahead of time is ideal for the B2B world because it gives prospects a chance to familiarise themselves with your product. It helps the buyer make connections they might not have realised in the middle of the presentation.

Build Up to Your Brand’s Differentiators

You could easily showcase your product’s unique qualities from the start, but in doing so, you miss some key opportunities. Building urgency by teasing the things that set you apart from your competition is the most successful approach. 

Think of it like a movie trailer providing just enough information to get you into the theatre. Do the same with your product. Highlight the value you provide and only showcase those features that connect to viable solutions for your buyer.

If you aren’t certain about your differentiator, or you need something more substantial, consider a few popular approaches.

  • Create an emotional reaction.
  • Lean into innovation.
  • Focus on your branding, like companies who rely on mascots.
  • Pricing, specifically positioning your product as an exceptional value, can be effective.

Consider your audience and what approach would resonate best with them. Determine which differentiator will matter most to your prospect and give your brand the most strength in the market.

Time Your Pitch

How long does your sales pitch take? If you don’t know, it’s time to rehearse and time it out because timing matters more than you realise. If a pitch takes too long, your prospect will likely lose interest, or at the very least, their mind will drift. It’s inevitable. 

  • Some people suggest limiting sales pitches to single digits, ideally nine minutes.
  • Gartner argues for short and long versions of presentations, with extended versions lasting 30-45 minutes and short versions running 15 minutes or less. 
  • TED Talks suggest that their 18-minute rule hits the sweet spot for any presentation. 

Who is correct? In truth, it varies by industry and product. You might need to rely on buyer feedback to find the ideal timing for your brand. The one factor everyone can agree on is that you need to reserve plenty of time for buyer questions at the end. 

Be Honest and Engaging

If you followed the advice to limit text on slides, then you know you need to focus on speaking to your buyer during the pitch. It’s a good idea to practise the verbal portion of your presentation ahead of time, and possibly have coworkers fill in as prospects. As you practise, look for areas that need work.

  • Make sure you move from one point to the next in succession. Skipping around can confuse your audience and disrupt their thought processes.
  • Focus on value throughout the call while building up to your differentiators.
  • Try to initiate conversation as you move through the presentation to make things feel more organic and natural.

Perhaps the most important advice for any sales presentation is that you need to be honest throughout. Your buyer will sense the moment you slip into a grey area where you come across as less than truthful. Avoid saying or offering anything that you can’t back up down the line.

Build More Effective Sales Presentations and Pitch Decks With Forward

Building an effective sales presentation can feel overwhelming when your attempts repeatedly fall flat. Start with the basics: a solid structure, appealing visuals, and a strong verbal component. Build on that foundation with additional components that create urgency and tease your differentiators.

Having the right tools at your disposal, like software and a library of sales presentation templates, can give your team a boost. Creating a selection of templates to address different scenarios and pain points makes it easy to customise sales decks for each buyer.

Forward offers teams the opportunity to boost buyer engagement with sales presentations by providing powerful tools for success. 

  • Centralised deal content stores everything you need to close a deal, including the sharing of data, visuals, and documents. 
  • Mutual Action Plans, an interactive approach to managing your sales process makes for a smoother sales journey.
  • Real-time collaboration tools support cross-team interactions to build more complete sales presentations in less time.
  • Personalised micro-sites make each deal feel tailored to the buyer’s needs. Reinforce the key points from your sales pitch and reiterate the CTA to increase the chance of conversion.
  • Tap into a library of free sales pitch templates for various sales scenarios to save time.
  • Harness detailed data to gain true insight into buyer intent. Access in-depth analytics to identify trends and refine your sales presentation to address your buyer’s deepest concerns and challenges.
  • Seamless integrations make it possible to connect your digital sales room with all of the tools you love. Keep using the tools that work and enhance their capabilities by bringing everything together under one dashboard.

Maximise your sales team’s productivity and help them craft winning sales presentations by providing the resources to succeed. Leveraging Forward’s digital sales room encourages cross-team collaboration and boosts productivity by removing some of the typical obstacles, like cumbersome communications. 

Discover how Forward helps your team draft more effective pitches. Try it for free!

Start free trial
No credit card required 🎉
Start free trial
No credit card required 🎉

Discover the modern way of selling.

Try FORWARD now!