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Step 1: Research the company and your contact
An effective sales presentation starts long before the actual presentation. The first step is to learn who your prospect is and the challenges they face; then you can use those insights to show how you can help them succeed.
In particular, you should research the company, the challenges it faces, and the contacts who will hear your presentation.
Learn more about the company’s past, present, and future
First, consult your CRM platform. Find other accounts from the prospect’s industry and see what their customer journeys looked like. Their client information and case history will help you learn what products and services they use most and how your company serves them well. The information in your CRM platform can give you insights and tips that will help you win deals like the one you’re currently working on. Take a look, too, at the sales pipeline for that particular industry. Your CRM system is a tool specifically used to help you sell successfully and should be used throughout the sales process.
Once you have that preliminary information, head to the company website and research what the prospect’s company does, how big it is, and what products or services it offers. Then, dig deeper. Make a note of their mission, values, and corporate culture. Also try to learn more about the company’s history and any news items involving the company. Look into the company’s annual report to get a good idea of where it might be headed in the future.
Your presentation should focus on using insights from your research to show a deep understanding of the company and why your product or service can help it grow.
Consider the company's challenges
As you learn about the company, pay special attention to the challenges it faces that are relevant to your product or service offerings. Remember these issues so you can use them as conversation starters during your sales presentation. Then you can offer advice — or insights — about how they could better face those challenges.
This type of approach is called insight selling: You as a salesperson bring unique, tailored insights to a prospect to solve their problems.
For example, if you sell a marketing tool, you may notice in your research that your lead is currently using the same ads across social media, search, and display networks. Your insight might be, "I see that your company is using the same ad copy across several platforms. How have those ads been performing for you? Have you been able to reach your sales or traffic goals?" Their answer may change aspects of your sales presentation or may make it even stronger.
Learn more about your audience
When it comes to communication, knowing who will be in the room is critical. If your prospect is the Director of Production, your most effective sales presentation may focus on metrics that can determine how to improve output. If your prospect will be presenting the information to a decision maker, offer resources to help make it easier for them.
Step 2: Prepare for your sales presentation
After gathering insights about the company and your contacts, you are ready to put together your presentation. Whether you use a sales presentation template that your workplace provides or you start from scratch, use these sales presentation tips to build a more compelling pitch.
Focus on the challenges your prospects face, not just your benefits
Salespeople should present themselves as a trusted advisor, not just a company representative. Look for ways to create a dialogue with the prospect and share how you can help their company work more efficiently, provide better service, or solve the challenges holding them back.
Keep your presentation simple
Sales template decks can be useful, but they can also overwhelm prospects if they’re too long. Instead of a 50-slide canned presentation, focus on keeping the slide deck relatively simple and highlighting engaging images and key statistics. This will make it easier to use a storytelling approach, rather than just reading off a slide.
Practice your presentation
You want to prepare, but you don’t want to come across as robotic or scripted. Practice what you’ll say and how you’ll answer questions, and make sure you've memorized important statistics or metrics. Build time into the presentation so you can share personal anecdotes or pause for questions.
Keep your delivery style confident, but agile. You may find that one point you thought would be critical doesn't have as much impact with your prospect as you’d hoped, but a different point unexpectedly piques their interest. Keeping your talk track fluid will make it easier to shift gears if you need to.