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A killer sales presentation is absolutely essential to closing deals. It plays an outsized role in attracting customer mindshare, conveying the solution’s value proposition and convincing them to buy. But a nice-looking PowerPoint presentation and a few well-placed jokes are not enough to seal the deal.
As the CEO of ClearSlide, which powers the sales engagement efforts of thousands of big name companies, I have a wealth of expertise on what it takes to deliver a sales presentation that achieves results.
Here are five core tips for how to give killer sales presentations that close deals.
Related: 5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Must Be Salespeople More Than Visionaries
1. Conduct frictionless meetings in any situation.
Nothing gets a meeting off on the wrong foot more than making your buyer jump through hoops to get there. Make sure that joining your online meeting is as easy as typing in a URL, and requires no downloads or complicated gymnastics to participate.
In addition, you want to make it easy to include people in the meeting, even people you didn't plan for in advance. With so many stakeholders involved in the decision-making process, you never know when your buyer is going to ask to dial someone in at the last minute. Find tools that enable you to include everyone in seconds and without friction.
2. Optimize content for delivery.
Emailing a presentation (to break into a new account, for example) and delivering a presentation are two very different mediums. Emailed content needs to support storytelling on its own. You will not be physically present to add color and context, so create content that can stand on its own.
Related: How to Convince Investors You Can Sell
For live presentations, you are there to provide color and context, so don’t clog up your page with words. Instead, use compelling imagery — such as photographs, web slides and video — that can enhance your story. You want your audience to pay attention to you, not the screen.
3. Add rich content and video to drive higher engagement.
Videos are literally taking over the Internet — and not just for consumers watching Netflix or YouTube. It’s now rare to find a business product that doesn’t offer online product demos or video case studies to help enhance its message. An analysis of anonymous ClearSlide customer data found that presentation slides that include rich content, like video, attract at least 15 percent more viewer engagement than static presentation slides (and sometimes as high as 50 percent). Even more impactful is personalized content.
For example, our ClearSlide sales team has experienced a 60 percent increase in open rates by including a personalized message with our video mail feature. Sales and marketing teams need to adapt to video, as it drives higher engagement and increased results.
4. Use engagement analytics to drive winning content.
Just as analytics (such as open rates and website conversion metrics) can help marketing teams understand what customers respond to, engagement analytics help salespeople do the same. Understanding how content is being used and responded to will help you craft a winning presentation. Look at how recipients are interacting with emailed content. How much time did they spend on each page? What did they skip? Did they view all the pages or drop out? Using these insights, you can constantly refine your presentation to boost its impact. These insights also help marketing better tune its messaging and deliver more effective content.
Based on ClearSlide data, the average length of an emailed presentation is 11 pages, but viewers spend more than 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.
Similarly, sales teams know that it is easier to get buyers to agree to meetings online vs. in person. This is because in-person meetings don’t allow them to multitask. But from the seller’s perspective, you do not want customers checking email or looking at other work. You want them paying attention. Measure where you hold and lose their attention in order to hone your pitch and get more wins.
5. Be ready to adapt to where your buyer is in the journey.
Research from CEB and others shows that customers are 60 percent or more through the decision process before they ever engage with a salesperson. Today’s buyers do extensive amounts of online research and seek information from their peers. For salespeople, this means it is important to listen and nimbly respond to where customers are in the buyer’s journey. If you use a linear sales process that goes over information they already know, you will frustrate your customer and slow things down. You should be prepared to seamlessly switch between presentations and slides, so you can keep the sales process moving forward rapidly and show the buyer that you respect their time.
A lot rides on a killer sales presentation, but follow the above tips and you will set yourself, and your company, up for success.
Related: 4 Sales Mantras to Memorize and Why They Work
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