“Your sales deck is your calling card.
It is the representation of your brand, your product, and your vision.
Make sure it is a masterpiece.”
Salespeople use tools such as CRMs, call scripts, 30-second pitches, product training, and email templates. A customizable and compelling sales deck is one of the most valuable in the toolkit.
A sales deck is a selection of informational pages or slides presented in a visually appealing format, typically an outline or bullet points. Quality images, graphs, charts, and diagrams are included to engage the audience further.
A salesperson selects pages from the deck to construct the final sales proposal. The proposal can be further customized if desired.
A sales deck typically includes the following pages or slides:
- General information about the company
This page or slide is typically presented right after the title page. Its content should be brief but informative. It should include the company’s mission statement and significant milestones, such as years in business, awards, growth, noteworthy innovations, patents, or measurable performance. If the company has an exciting story, it should be included.
- Disadvantages of the current situation or prospect’s pain points
Every sales deck should contain a story. The slides covering pain points are really where each prospect’s story begins. A salesperson will select the appropriate slides to relay the prospect’s pain points. These slides or pages will paint the story accurately, with no embellishment but with compelling language. If applicable, you can include a deck page showing how the situation could worsen if the prospect takes no action. Watch the body language closely during this phase of the sales presentation. You will often see nods of agreement.
- Features and benefits of your offering
Here the sad story you painted now takes a turn. You now present the benefits and features of your offering. Emphasize the benefits this prospect will enjoy. Contrast the prospect’s current situation with what they can expect after the purchase.
- Comparison pages
Product comparison pages can present data in a variety of different ways. Your sales deck may use a table format, a narrative format, a visual format with charts, graphs, infographics, or a combination. If your sales deck has a clear comparison chart, include it. This visual communicates valuable information succinctly. Whatever your deck has, review them and select one if it will help you close the sale. Flattering comparison pages will help you every time.
- Brief bios of your team members
This could be the service center’s names and contact information or the team members assigned to the relationship. Brief bios of senior people in the business can be included. This can make the company seem more approachable and customer-focused.
- Pricing and payment options
The slides on pricing and payment options are highly situational and beyond the scope of this blog post. Suffice it to say that it needs to be easy to understand and, importantly, value-focused.
Other pages or slides that are often included in a sales deck are the following:
- A call to action
- Case study
- Summary page
I prefer to include two additional pages not typically included in the standard sales deck.
The first page is an agenda clipped to the presentation cover or the title page.
The meeting agenda is simple and designed to promote consensus. I cannot overemphasize that the form is simple but personalized by necessity. It is used to commence the presentation and can take up to 2 or 3 minutes to discuss.
This agenda gives a formality and seriousness to the meeting, but it also starts the session with a friendly and inclusionary tone promoting bonding and agreement.
After nearly completing a review of the agenda, the salesperson will ask for input into the agenda by saying something like:
“In looking at this agenda, is anything missing from the information I plan to cover today? Is there anything, in particular, you want to ensure I cover?”
The prospect is asked to contribute to the agenda. This inclusion gives both the presenter and the prospect a stake in the success of the meeting. It also ensures you are not missing anything important to your future customer.
The second unique page I include in a sales deck and proposal is the final page which follows the benefits summary or pricing page. This last page outlines the next steps with a timeline.
With an agenda at the beginning and a timeline of the next steps at the conclusion, your sales proposal is airtight.
A well-designed and effective sales proposal will make it easy for your prospect to understand your product or service and how it can benefit them. When considering your offering, the sales proposal answers many of a prospect’s questions and objections. Images and easy-to-understand graphs or charts that show the benefits of your offering versus your competition are very effective when included.
Each salesperson selects the best slides for the current proposal from the sales deck. That selection is used to lead the buyer to the decision to make the purchase.
What are the benefits of using a sales deck?
- More closed business. The sole purpose of a sales deck is to increase sales. The organization and persuasive language of the sales deck will accomplish just that.
- Quality control. A comprehensive sales deck creates a uniform look and uniform messages with no wiggle room for errors.
- Efficient. A well-crafted sales deck will save time in preparing the sales presentation. Salespeople will have more time to do additional presentations or prospecting.
- Focus. The sales proposal itself gives a step-by-step focus during the presentation. This keeps the presentation on-topic with little or no leeway for conversation that digresses from the presentation.
- Clarity. Sales decks and ultimately sales proposals are designed to educate simply and engagingly, but complicated concepts are often difficult to explain. Sales decks efficiently resolve this problem using clear and concise language, images, graphs, charts, and stories.
- Brand enhancements and competitive edge. A well-thought-out sales deck creates a uniform look and consistent message, allowing for personalization. This reinforced branding puts your offering light years above many competitors.
- Great impression. During the presentation, your prospects will see a thoroughly prepared outline specific to their needs. Your prospect will perceive this proposal as a gateway to the quality of your product or service going forward. In other words, it sets the tone for a future of top-quality communication and processes, thus helping to close the sale and help alleviate buyer’s remorse.
- More confident presentations. With a sales proposal, a salesperson will follow a predetermined outline with necessary data and explanations that are free of errors. A prospect’s questions or objections will be addressed appropriately as well. A salesperson who is more confident on presentation day will close more business.
According to The Harvard Business Review
more than 50% of customer loyalty
is derived from the customer’s sales experience,
from the initial prospecting contact to the closing presentation.
Using a sales deck to create an engaging sales proposal is essential in the sales process.
A quality sales deck coupled with the presentation skills of a capable salesperson and a product or service that fulfills a prospect’s need are the perfect recipe for increased sales. A comprehensive, customizable sales deck ready to use can make the difference between closing a deal and losing out to a competitor.
Terri can help you build a sales deck that gets you more business. Book a call today!