1. Your Sales Deck:
- Should not contain information on company finances, such how much money raised, financial projections, etc.
- Should have short bios on team if you are going to include it. don’t mention anything about part-time people, consultants, etc.
- Should be very specific on what problem you are solving for that particular customer you are pitching to vs saying you are solving an general industry problem.
- Should focus on your solution – business and technical perspective
- Should have a question to the audience at the end of every slide
- If you have competition, address why you are better than them.
- Keep the customer focused on your solution NOT on your company
- Get to the point
- Pay attention to body language of your customer to make sure they are getting your message
- And don’t forget to ASK FOR THE SALE!!!
2. Approach the Sales Deck as a Tool:
Many sales professionals make the mistake of approaching the sales deck as a standalone document or promotional piece. But sales decks don’t exist in a vacuum—they’re meant to be tools crafted to enhance the presentation and larger sales strategy. When designing your deck, remember that your company and its products or services should be the star of the show, not the deck itself.
3. Leverage Branding:
A sales deck is an extension of your brand so it makes sense that your company logo should appear on slide headers or footers as well as the title page. However, your deck can also be used to brand your relationship with the prospect. By including both your company logo and the prospect’s company logo throughout the deck, you can begin to forge important visual connections between your organizations. Even one small logo can make a big difference.
4. Use Text Sparingly:
People who approach deck design as an opportunity to showcase reams of text-based information are missing the point. A sales deck isn’t a whitepaper or even a brochure, therefore it’s important to minimize the amount of text displayed on the screen and to use an 18-point font. If you include too much text in the deck, your audience will be so immersed in reading copy they won’t hear your presentation. More importantly, they will misinterpret the presentation to be a lecture rather than a two-way conversation. To further the conversation aspect of the presentation, incorporate questions into your text-filled slides and engage your audience instead. Sales presentations should be dialogues not monologues.
5. Avoid Formulaic Design Traits:
Sometimes sales professionals become so focused on content they allow deck design to become formulaic and cookie-cutter. Although there are clearly some boundaries that should never be crossed (e.g. distracting font styles or outrageous background images), you can make your deck more appealing by occasionally mixing up the design with various presentation elements, slide formats and other design characteristics. Slipping in a slide with a video or image, for example, can break up the monotony caused by constant slides of text. Use the design elements at your disposal to your advantage!
6. Avoid Animation:
More often than not, every presenter is tempted to incorporate animation into sales decks; but sadly, the concept of animation is always much better than the reality. Unless the animation serves a very specific purpose, it’s likely to come across as childish, foolish, and unprofessional. In extreme cases, a poorly executed animation can undo all of the goodwill you’ve managed to create earlier in the presentation. As with other forms of presentations, only use humor if you know you are funny – and others agree. Even then, senses of humor differ so proceed with caution.