How to Create Sales Decks That Knock Your Prospects’ Socks Off
By Erika Desmond on Dec 09, 2015
Don't you just love it?
You send a sales deck to a prospect and a couple of minutes later they reply with an order.
But how often does that happen? And even then, doesn't it feel just like a stroke of luck?
Sales decks have become an essential tool in selling. And yet, in spite of hard efforts, prospects rarely respond to your slides on their own accord.
But what if you could ensure that every sales deck you send produces a flow of orders?
That's what I'm going to talk about today. I'll show you how to create sales decks that would knock the prospect's socks off.
Intrigued? Let's begin then…
Want real Sales Deck Examples? We collected 22 Sales Decks from companies including Facebook, Zenefits, Zuora, Reddit, Snapchat, Salesforce, and Uber here.
The Role of a Sales Deck in the Sales Process
The sales dynamics have changed. And you just got pushed aside in the sales process.
Today customers don't interact with a company until they are ready to buy.
As Forrester Research reports:
"…todays buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they reach out to the vendor…." (source)
According to Salesforce, 70% of the buyer's journey is completed before a buyer even reaches out to sales (source).
And Steve Patrizi reports that today, sales teams enter the picture only at the final stages of the buying cycle:
Instead, customers make the majority of the buying decisions before even talking to a company.
And thus, the role of sales decks shifted from providing a list of arguments why customers should buy from you to helping generate and qualify leads.
Today sales decks help with lead generation. They act as reference materials you could send prospects before even scheduling a meeting.
Sales decks also help position a product or service on the market and build up a case for why a prospect should get in touch with a company. And help establish trust and build rapport.
How to Create and Design a Stunning Sales Deck
Part 1. Structure
I bet you send each sales deck with one goal in mind:
You want to convince a prospect to your solution.
You want to position it as the only alternative they would need to overcome the problem. And make the case as to why they should buy from you.
However, to achieve it, your sales deck shouldn't be about you, your products, services, people, awards, innovative approach, technology or anything else you think makes you stand out from the competition.
Because, you see:
Your prospects don't care.
Your cumulative years of professional experience, awards your product has won or patent pending technology you built it on mean nothing to them.
They only want to know one thing:
Could you help them?
And the best way to answer it is by constructing a sales deck to follow the traditional sales narrative:
Step 1. Identify the audience and their problem,
Step 2. Convince them that you understand the problem,
Step 3. Present your offering as the most viable solution,
Step 4. Offer a case study to prove that it works.
Take a look at this great slide deck from Sales That Rock explaining this process in detail:
Taking this further, your sales decks should follow the following structure:
Address the prospect's needs
Start by mentioning their hopes, fears or pain points. Let them know that you understand their situation and problem they face.
Show how your solution solves the problem
Follow it up by showing that what you offer could help them overcome the problem or at least improve the current situation.
Describe how your solution fits into the prospect's situation
Next, explain why your solution would offer the best results.
Back up all the claims you've made building up your case
Finally, offer a proof that whatever you said is in fact true. Include a case study, stats or other data to help proving that your solution has helped others in a similar situation.
Close with a call to action
Never leave a prospect wondering what steps to take next. Display a clear call to action button telling her what she needs to do to move the transaction forward.
Part 2. Design
The content of your sales deck helps to build up a case for using your products or services.
But it's the design that makes the right impression, convincing a prospect to continue browsing the deck. Or deleting it.
And so, apart from writing great content, you need to ensure that the design matches the quality of information.
Here are a couple of tips to help you achieve it:
Keep Slides Consistent
Tempting, isn't it?
You want to highlight specific parts of the presentation. And so you decide to change fonts and color scheme on certain slides.
However, to achieve the strongest effect, each slide should feel like a part of the same document, featuring a consistent typography, colors and image styles.
Use Empty Spaces to Denote the Most Important Elements on a Slide
Many people fear empty space in design. Instead, they clutter each slide with graphics and text to make it look busy. However, an empty space helps to highlight areas of importance.
Clutter might distract prospects from noticing key points on a slide. Empty spaces however help those crucial elements to stand out.
Let Photos Do Most of the Talking
Photos and visuals help the audience to get the meaning behind a slide faster than it would take them to analyze the text.
Just take a look at the Slides That Rock presentation embedded above. Most slides feature only a single, short sentence. And often powerful and relevant images do all the work with communicating the key message of a slide.
Let's be honest:
Animations make the sales deck look childish.
You may think that fancy transitions add extra punch to the presentation. In truth however, they look silly and take away the focus from the core message you want to convey.
Keep your presentation simple and void of any animations and transition effects.
Let the content impress prospects, not decorative effects.
Part 3. Resources
You could create a sales deck in PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides.
But if you're feeling these tools are either too complex, don't provide you with required functionality or you'd prefer someone else to help you with it, here are a couple of alternatives.
Canva is a free tool designed to help you quickly create various visual materials – from blog post and social media graphics to compelling sales presentations.
The tool features professionally designed templates, stock photography and visual elements to choose from when creating your slide deck.
Note: Even though Canva is free to use, the company charges for including some visual elements in your sales deck. Every paid element includes a price tag making it easy to spot.
Professional Ready-Made Templates
Marketplaces like Graphic River, Creative Market, Improve Presentation, Humble Pixels or Slidemart offer ready-made templates you could purchase and customize to suit your requirements.
Prices range from $10 to $30 depending on the deck's complexity and templates are delivered in Powerpoint format.
Sales Deck Designers
Finally, here are a couple of companies specializing in creating sales decks for businesses:
Instead of a conclusion...
Are you still worried that you'll never create sales decks good enough to WOW prospects? Or losing confidence in your skills?
Then take a look at Facebook's first-ever ad sales pitch deck:
What is thefacebook.com?