How to Increase Sales by Creating a Powerful Sales DeckJennifer Peaslee
Building a solid sales deck is the key to winning over new customers. It helps you define the problem, demonstrate how other solutions are not solving that problem, and put a spotlight on how your product or service will solve the problem like no other. If you can put together a compelling argument and presentation, the sales deck will be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.
However, there are a growing number of tools and techniques for creating sales decks, so it can be difficult to know where to start. An informative article by Peter Kazanjy, co-founder of TalentBin, brings us back to the basics. Here are some of Peter’s top tips for building a perfect sales deck that will convince new customers and drive your sales.
- Use Powerpoint. It’s a standard among users, and also will allow you to easily set up presentations in other formats (such as ClearSlide and DocSend) down the line as needed.
- Make slides. Fancy demos include a lot of components, but nothing works like slides in sales meetings – in fact, customers expect to see a slide deck. Slides are also versatile – use them in meetings, use them for online or email promotion, change and alter for other marketing needs, etc.
- Remember that it is a work in progress. You should be updating your sales deck to include new product features, publicity call outs, answers to customer complaints, and so on. Because it is a work in progress, you should never think about your sales deck as being “done.”
- Create multiple sales decks. For each presentation you should create a sales deck for the presentation itself and a separate deck for sending after your conversation. The one you send afterwards should be an abridged version that highlights the key topics.
- Use logic. Structure your sales deck in logical steps, from what problem you are solving and who has this problem, to how your product solves the problem, how it is a superior solution and how much it costs.
- Give details in sub-chapters. As your solution evolves, start adding sub-chapters – an extra slide that talks about each major value proposition that was listed in bullet points on the main “solution” slide. This will help you create focused slides that give greater detail about each value proposition. When you’re ready, you can even expand on the sub-chapter slides – a new slide dedicated to each bullet point listed on sub-chapter slides so you can discuss your solutions at an even more focused level.
- Expand the “zoom in, zoom out” method. You can use this “zoom in, zoom out” approach on all major slides. We’ve discussed “zooming in” on the solution, but you can “zoom in” on the problem, the market, the costs, etc. using the same method mentioned above to create a more informative sales deck.
- Consistency. Include consistency by choosing background colors, font styles, font sizes and colors then by using these choices consistently throughout the sales deck.
- Branding. Include branding by adding a logo in a bottom corner (or other appropriate place) on each slide.
- Full stops. Use stand-alone title slides for each new section to provide a ‘full stop’ as you move to new sections. This will make the organization of your sales deck clear.
- Use formatting to emphasize important things (for example, with bold and italics) and to minimize less important things (for example, using a smaller font for footnotes).
- Extras. Increase production value with additional extras – drop shadows on screenshots, Camtasia videos, etc.
- Keep a master file. It should include all slides you create, even if you don’t use them anymore or only use them for certain circumstances. That way, everything is preserved and you can return to the ideas in the future without having to reinvent the wheel.
- Make customized sales decks. Use your master file to create customized presentations for different purposes and different customers.
- Organize your other sales decks. Keep separate files of the sales decks that you use for specific presentations. Use specific folders or file name rules so you don’t get these used sales decks mixed up with the master.
Peter’s article on building your best sales deck goes on to give tips and show examples of specific slides in the sales deck, including slides on the problem, the cost of the problem, existing solutions and their challenges, what has changed, and proof that you have a better solution. Using the general tips here, plus the specific examples that Peter shows of his TalentBin sales decks, you’ll have plenty of inspiration to create the perfect sales deck for your own company this year.