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5 Mistakes That Keep You From Building Best Sales Deck Ever {What To Include}

Sales deck presentation

So you’re getting ready for your customer sales meeting but unsure what to include in your sales pitch deck. You're worried about making a mistake and losing the deal just because your customer pitch deck wasn't compelling enough.

This is a common worry especially if you are new to sales. But let me tell you, you’re not alone.

Over the course of my 20 plus years career, I have made and used sales decks for customer presentations, and I have also seen how some of the best salespeople write sales decks. And today I want to share with you what I’ve observed that works.

But before we get into it, let’s first understand -

What Is A Sales Deck ?

A sales deck or a sales pitch deck as it’s often called is a slide presentation that sales reps use to accompany their verbal sales presentations or product demos to sell to their prospective clients. It outlines your company’s purpose, value proposition and how well you can solve your customer’s problems.

The goal of a sales deck is to accelerate the sales process by moving the buyer forward along their customer journey. It's part of sales enablement material.

Your prospect wants to know whether you can help them achieve their business outcomes and an excellent sales pitch deck will allow you to present the facts, data and story in a structured and an organized way in support of that. You can demonstrate that you understand the industry, their business and are well-suited to be their guide, coach and go-to-partner to help them grow.

A sales deck should not be confused with a pitch deck though as their purpose is different, the latter being primarily for investors and securing funding.

5 Mistakes To Avoid So You Can Build Best Sales Deck Ever

1.Generic - A common mistake often made by businesses is to use one slide deck for all client meetings. Problem - Generic slide decks do not work. Effective slide decks are personalized to the needs of the potential client. Names, Company names, specific Pain Points your clients are facing are ways to show that you are invested and have done your research.

2.Text heavy - We are visual creatures (over 65% learn visually) meaning a text-heavy sales deck is a sure way to lose your client. On the other hand, eye-catching visuals and a good balance between data, text and images works very well.

3.Be all about you - You are excited about securing a client meeting, afterall you worked hard for it. So now all you want to do is tell them about your products and services. Wrong ! Today, closing deals is about selling outcomes. Your messaging needs to be about your client and not you.

4.Complex - Your client presentation is about educating and sharing and you want to keep them engaged throughout the process. Lengthy, irrelevant slides are a sure way to lose their interest. And so is jamming each slide with as much information as possible. You must only put relevant information. Though the length of the deck will vary, you want to keep things simple and clean and restrict it to eight to 12 slides.

5.Disconnected - When slides don’t follow an order, it doesn't matter how great the information is on them, they just don’t work. The deck needs a flow and taking a cohesive approach while presenting your story is key.

So What Should Be In A Sales Deck

What should be included in a deck should be dependent on who is your audience. In B2B buying committees, there are several people involved, typically 12-14 depending upon the size of the organization. Not everyone will be interested in the same information. For example - A CTO of a company will be interested in a high-level view of the industry, innovation and digital transformation while a budget holder will care about pricing, cost and budget involved.

So you want to make sure you customize your slides based on what matters to who you’re going to present it to.

You also have to account for time. Just like you, your customers are busy people. They want to quickly get to the point and know -

  1. What problem are your solving ?

  2. How are you solving better than the competition ?

  3. Why should they select you ?

  4. How will you positively impact their business?

  5. Who’s on the team?

A winning sales deck must address the above questions and include the following slides -

#1 - Opening - Challenges of the industry impacting the prospect that you are trying to solve

#2 - Pain Point - What are the specific challenges and concerns your buyers are facing that you plan to address and resolve.

#3 - Value Creation - How you create value for their business and bottomline

#4 - Value Proposition - What are the benefits of using your product or services

#5 - Options - How and why you are better than your direct competitors in solving their pain points

#6 - Social Proof - Show how you have helped other companies achieve amazing business results that your prospect is seeking. Use case studies, videos and photographs, logos to showcase concrete results and proof of how effective your technology product is.

#7 - Solution - How do you solve for your prospect - product and pricing options

#8 - Team - Who's on the team

#9 - Closing - Include a Call-To-Action

These are just some of the common slides used in best sales decks ever. Plan on adding whatever additional information you'd like while maintaining a good flow to your story.

Use Powerpoint, Keynote, Google slides to build your presentation.

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