5 Tips for Giving a Killer Sales Presentation

Dustin Grosse, CEO, Clearside

Salespeople have a lot of responsibility riding on their shoulders. Colleagues have spent weeks, and maybe even months, hard at work to build innovative, impactful solutions. Now it is up to sales teams to sell that product, driving revenue and recognition for the company. Here are five tips based for giving killer sales presentations.

 1. No muss, no fuss
We’ve all been to meetings where the first 15 minutes are spent fiddling around with in-room AV systems or listening to hold music until everyone figures out how to dial in or download meeting software. It won’t matter how amazing your sales presentation is if you frustrate your customer before you even start. Your customers are busy and their time is valuable, so don’t make them jump through hoops. Make joining your Web meeting as easy as typing in a URL.

You also want to make it easy to include people in the meeting at the last minute. There are usually several stakeholders in the buying process, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that your buyer will want to add participants. Use tools that make it easy to include people without notice – or frustration.

2. Everybody loves a video
Videos are literally taking over the Internet – and not just for consumers. The most compelling business products include video case studies or online product demos. An analysis of anonymized ClearSlide customer data found that presentation slides that include rich content, like video, attract at least 15 percent more viewer engagement than static slides (and sometimes as high as 50 percent). Even more compelling is personalized content. For example, our ClearSlide sales team has experienced a 60 percent increase in email open rate by including a personalized video. Sales and marketing teams need to adapt to video – it drives engagement and results.

3. It’s about the story, not the slides
Delivering an in-person presentation and emailing a slide presentation are two very different situations. When you email a presentation, you need your slides to tell an interesting and informative story. You are not physically there to walk a customer through your value proposition, so create a presentation that can stand up on its own. At ClearSlide, every presentation is sent out as a link to cloud content so we can get notified and track who has viewed, how long they viewed the content, who they forwarded the material to, and more. This allows us to get a complete picture of how customers are truly engaging with our story and helps our marketing team better understand what is resonating with customers so we can collectively create effective content.

When giving a live presentation, you have the opportunity to explain things and provide color and context. The slides on the screen can be supplementary, but the bulk of the material should be coming from you. Don’t just read what the slides say, because guess what? Your audience can read too. The better strategy is to use rich media content – photographs, images, Web slides and video – to enhance your story and keep your audience paying attention to you, rather than the screen.

4. Listen to the data
Every time you give a sales presentation is an opportunity to learn and improve. How much time did the customer spend on each page? What did they skip? Did they view all the pages or drop off halfway through? By looking at how your content is being used and responded to, you can refine it into a winning customer presentation.

 According to our data, the average length of an emailed presentation is 11 pages, but viewers spend 80 percent of their time engaging with the first five pages. The takeaway is that introductory sales presentations need to provide the most important information up front so viewers see the information they need to know.

The same data principle applies for Web meetings. Sales teams know that it is easier to get buyers to agree to meetings on the phone or online than in-person. This is because in-person meetings don’t allow them to multitask (it’s true, we all do it). But from the seller’s perspective, you do not want buyers checking email or looking at other work – you  want them paying attention to your presentation. We have a great engagement feature for Web meetings that indicates when viewers may be distracted, and we provide tools like adding a form or taking a poll to increase interactivity. The key is to observe when you hold attention and when you lose it during your presentation, and adapt accordingly. 

5. A job half done
Customers are 60 percent or more through their buying decision process before they ever interact with a salesperson. They gather information online and reach out to peers for advice. As a result, linear sales processes are no longer effective. You don’t want to waste your limited presentation window reviewing information your customers already know – it’s frustrating and a waste of their time. Instead, listen and adroitly respond to where your customers are. This means you need to easily switch between presentations and slides without throwing off your game or taking up too much time. You buyer will appreciate your willingness to be flexible. 

 Every sales presentation is an opportunity. Ensure your best chance at success by approaching it with the right attitude, the right content, and the right tools.

Dustin Grosse is CEO at ClearSlide, a leading sales engagement platform that empowers sales teams to engage customers and close more business.