Steps on Creating an Effective Presentation for Sales

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Sales professionals require the ability to persuade customers to purchase a product or service. A crucial skill for salespeople is using various tools to help them in their profession, including formal sales presentations. Learning how to create a sales presentation can help you increase your sales and improve your customer retention. In this article, we discuss the definition of a presentation for sales, identify the components to include, and the steps to create an effective presentation.

What is a presentation for sales?

A presentation for sales is a type of sales pitch where a sales professional provides information to their potential customers about a product or service they're selling. A sales presentation can include a formal slideshow in front of a large audience or be more intimate with an in-person conversation using a print-out of slides. They may also give a sales presentation using video conferencing services when working with customers in a remote location.

The goal of a sales presentation is to capture the audience's attention, provide information about a product or service, and persuade customers to make a purchase. Successful sales presenters are skilled in public speaking, confident in front of an audience, and comfortable interacting with others. Most presentations help to support business-to-business interactions and often involve the presenter sharing information to purchasers, managers, or other company decision-makers.

Related: Outside Sales: Definition, Responsibilities, and Differences

What to include in a sales presentation

When creating a sales presentation, there are various elements you want to include. Incorporating these components into your pitch can help build rapport and trust with your audience, provide valuable information to potential customers, and overcome objections and concerns. Below is a list of several elements to include:

  • Introduction: In the first slide, include basic information, such as the company's name, the logo, slogan or tagline, your name, and the date of the presentation. You can also provide information about the topic, so the audience understands what you're presenting.

  • Company introduction: At some point in the presentation, you can introduce more information about the company, including its origin, mission statement, and core values. Depending on your sales presentation topic, explain the company's goals and how they relate to the audience.

  • Explanation of "before": This slide explains the consumer's condition or experience before purchasing the product or service. You can illustrate the customer's challenge or problem they're experiencing, such as increasing costs or decreasing productivity.

  • Explanation of "after": This slide contrasts the previous "before" slide, allowing the audience to imagine what they may experience after solving their problem. Consider using words and images that reflect their life if they use the product or service that offers a solution.

  • Offer a "bridge": In this slide, you want to offer your product or service as a bridge or way for the audience to reach an ideal situation. You can highlight how the product or service benefits the consumers by solving their most significant challenge.

  • Proof and evidence: It's vital to include social proof and evidence to build trust with your audience. You can add research studies, statistics, social proof, success stories, and an in-person demonstration of how the product or service works.

  • Unique selling proposition: Consider including a slide with the item's unique selling proposition detailing how it's unique and better than the competition. As a result, the audience understands why they want to purchase your product instead of a similar one from another company.

  • Concerns and objections: Addressing the objections and concerns of your audience helps build rapport and connection. Explaining how the product or service can overcome concerns allows consumers to feel confident and minimizes apprehension.

  • Evidence for change: You may encourage your audience to take action for immediate change. When you explain current conditions and what can happen if they don't, you can emphasize discomfort in remaining where they are today.

  • Call to action: Provide the audience with a concise call to action, encouraging them to learn more or make a purchase. For example, you can include a buying guide on this slide so customers can know product availability and pricing.

  • Contact information: Ensure you provide details on contacting you and the company after the presentation. You can include your name, phone number, e-mail address, and website.

  • Questions: Considering including time in your sales presentation to address audience questions. Answering questions from potential customers can help them feel more confident in their buying decision and ease any worries about the product or service that you didn't answer during the presentation.

Related: How to End a Presentation

How to create an effective sales presentation

When creating your sales presentation, there are several steps you can follow. Using these steps can help you make an effective presentation that educates your potential customer and influences their purchasing decision:

1. Conduct research

The first step to creating an effective sales presentation is researching the product or service you're sharing with your customers. Understanding the item's features, benefits, usage, ingredients, and components can help make your presentation informative and persuasive. When conducting research, consider collecting the following elements:

  • Information about the company's origin story, its mission statement, and core values

  • Detailed information about the product or service you're presenting

  • Knowledge about similar products on the market and the competition's points of difference

  • Statistics about the problem the product or service solves

  • Social proof evidence, research studies, and customer testimonials to support the product or service

Related: How to Do Market Research With 6 Guided Steps (With Types)

2. Outline your content

Once you understand the information you want to share with your audience, the next step is to outline your content for the presentation. Many sales professionals use a standard structure to present the before, after, and bridge components. This structure allows potential customers to compare their experience before the product or service with after having the items introduced into their life. The bridge illustrates how the product can take the consumer from their before state to after.

Including case studies, research statistics, and social proof can also help customers feel more confident in the product and trust the benefits it can provide them. Towards the end of the presentation, you want to give a call to action so that the audience understands what the next step is and how they can purchase the product. You can also allow time for questions and demonstrate the product or service.

Related: 15 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills

3. Choose a presentation format

Next, you can choose a presentation format that fits your needs based on your audience and potential customers. There are various formats and software programs to create a sales presentation. It's essential to choose a design that's easy to read, visually appealing, and simple to understand. Select a design that uses contrasting colours, highlighting the brand's shades to create visual consistency.

4. Add text and graphics

After choosing your presentation format, you can add your content to the slides, including text, graphics, and images. It's also advisable to record notes about what you want to say for each slide to prevent forgetting critical information. Below are several best practices for adding text and graphics to your presentation:

  • Use text wisely. Include minimum text in the presentation, focusing on the essential information only. Using phrases and keywords that connect with the audience is more impactful than adding paragraphs of content.

  • Choose a neutral colour palette. Keep your presentation concise and straightforward by choosing a neutral colour palette. Consider using a business logo or brand colours to accent your slides.

  • Use high-quality images. People typically connect with visual images and photos, helping you to create a strong rapport with your customer. Ensure you use high-quality photos representing the product or service and the experience they can expect.

  • Feature smiling photos. Using photos of smiling people in your sales presentation helps inspire confidence and happiness with your audience. As a result, they're more likely to remember your product or service, primarily when you use them in your "after" slide.

  • Use icons, graphs, and diagrams. When showing statistics and data, consider using icons, graphs, charts, and diagrams to represent the information instead of words. Graphs and charts can add credibility to your presentation, encouraging customers to trust the information you share.

Related: 5 Presenter Skills to Develop (With Improvement Steps)

5. Practice your presentation

Before giving your presentation, consider practicing it several times. Practicing allows you to make notes of critical information you want to share and get used to the rhythm of the slideshow. When providing an in-person demonstration with the slides, ensure you practice this as well. As a result, you can have everything prepared before the customer's presentation.

If using a slideshow program, ensure that you have adequate room to present the slides on a blank wall or screen. When presenting in a room to several people, consider the volume level of your speaking voice and, if needed, consider using a microphone to ensure everyone can hear you. When you're presenting to one person, you can print out the slides in colour and show the presentation in a binder format. If you're providing a physical demonstration of a product or service, make sure you gather all the supplies you require.

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