How to design presentations that wow customers during demos

Presentations, also known as sales or pitch decks, are a key part of product demos. You need to wow customers and sales prospects. Especially now. For the foreseeable future, sales meetings/demos are staying virtual, which makes the visual more important than ever.

For salespeople up against a hard deadline, there’s nothing worse than going through a presentation only for a prospect to say, “That’s great, but we just need more time to think things over.”

Either that means a prospect is genuinely thinking it over, or you’ve failed to make the sale compelling enough, and so they’re still interested, but not sure.

Why do you need a compelling sales presentation?

Compelling sales presentations sell.

With the right pitch deck, you can close deals and win new clients.

Compelling presentations should answer questions that prospects are either going to have during a call, or that you know others ask, so it makes sense to answer them up-front.

Presentations are either needed at the discovery stage, or if you’ve had a discovery call, then you can put that information into a sales deck, so that you answer prospects questions in the next stage of the process.

It might be the case that you need two presentations. One at the discovery stage, which would be more generic, and one following that, tailored more specifically to the needs of every prospect. Or in some cases, depending on the types of customers you are pitching at, you might benefit from one deck for every sector and prospect persona.

Whichever way you tackle this, the aim is to convey the information to potential customers. Get your message across. Answer questions. Overcome objections. Do all of this clearly and succinctly in a sales pitch deck, and you will avoid an annoying uncertain period following a presentation. If you’ve failed to make the sale in a presentation, then what follows could be weeks or months of questions from prospects, or with wishy-washy responses that could result in a prospect going elsewhere.

Now we need to look at the questions presentations need to answer, in order to sell products and services more effectively.

What questions should compelling presentations answer?

When a prospect isn’t sure, and doesn’t find a pitch compelling enough, it can put the whole deal at risk.

It isn’t only about the visuals. In fact, visuals are only a small part of the sales process.

Sure, you need to get a prospect’s attention. Visuals are a key part of that. A presentation that looks as though it was made using Microsoft Paint, or Clipart, isn’t going to convey a sense of confidence or professionalism. So you need to ensure a presentation wows prospects visually.

But the larger challenge is ensuring your prospects questions are answered. Potential objections overcome. Value clearly demonstrated. And it always helps to show them who else you work with, so that they can see that other companies, ideally those they’re aware of, are also clients.

Sales teams need, as a minimum, to demonstrate the following within a presentation:

  • What your product/service does?
  • What problems does it solve; pain points does it help overcome?
  • How do you solve those problems?
  • Why are customers happy with the product/service you provide?
  • Who else you work with (customers with a name recognition factor are always useful)?

How to make presentations that wow prospects?

Based on the essentials that should be included, and reviewing presentations that really knock it out of the park, we recommend as a minimum including the following:

  • Frame the problem. Assuming you’ve got a clear product/service — market fit, can you easily outline or demonstrate what the problem is, and therefore how you solve it? Frame the problem with something every client experiences/knows, and then quickly move into the value proposition or other messaging that outlines how that solution is provided.
  • Product or service overview. Explained clearly. A few lines should be enough, with some compelling and eye-catching visuals too.
  • A clear message, also known as a value proposition. Encompassing what you are, and who you serve.
  • Problem > Solution messaging. What problems or pain points do you solve, and how do you solve those?
  • Client success stories. Case studies and testimonials are what you need to demonstrate the value you bring to the table and why other companies love your product/services.
  • Next steps. Assuming a prospect’s interested, they need to know how they can move forward. Can you make that clear and easy to follow? If you can, then put that towards the end of a presentation.
  • A process outline. What does working with you look like, how easy is the process, what can clients expect?
  • Visuals. Not just logos and branding, but product or service images, and also give prospects an idea who you’ve worked with (headshots of clients, and their logos), plus team photos, and anything else that might be useful; e.g. awards, positive press mentions, etc.
  • Results. Providing you can measure this; what results can clients expect, what sort of ROI, and in what kind of timescale?

Whether your sales team does this, a marketing team creates one, or series of sales decks, or you work with an external provider, these are essential components that help companies get results. Prospects need to see value from time they spend talking to you, and that starts with this sales presentation.

If a presentation fails to answer questions, or leaves a prospect unsure, then you aren’t likely to win them as a customer. You could lose too many potential customers at a crucial moment in the sales funnel. Your sales presentation or deck can make a huge difference. Now is the time to wow potential customers, and a sales deck is a key component in that process.