The art of the sales pitch has drastically changed in recent years. Technological advances have allowed your buyers to access more information than ever before. And, as a result, most are already educated about your products and services. In fact, experts estimate that 50%-90% of the buyer’s journey is complete before the buyer even speaks to a sales rep (source).
For this reason, modern sales reps require a different set of guidelines to deliver a successful sales presentation. Ready to learn more? Today we give you seven tips to nail your next sales presentation!
1. Do your research.
Consider this statistic: Only 13% of buyers feel like salespeople understand their needs (source). As a salesperson, this is concerning. Think about it—the key to a successful sales presentation lies in your ability to understand your prospect’s needs and serve them a solution that fits.
Because of this, prospect research is a critical component of any sales pitch. Without the appropriate background information, your sales presentation will lack context, personalization, and authority. So, we recommend, prior to your presentation gather the following information about your prospect or account:
- The prospect’s role within the organization
- The prospect’s technical background and expertise
- Basic background information on the business
- Background information on the company’s leadership structure
- Basic financial information about the company
- A profile of the company’s technological preferences and dependencies
- Information regarding the company’s purchase patterns and behaviors
- Industry news or important trigger events
- Important industry insights and background information
- Competitive insights and market intelligence
Although there are many different ways to gather this information, we recommend a combination of the following channels:
- Existing customer and prospect data
- Organization and industry websites
- Popular review websites
- Work with a market intelligence provider
We’ve written an in-depth guide to prospect research. Check it out here: The Sale’s Reps Guide to Prospect Research.
2. Prioritize personalization.
Now that you’ve conducted your research and have a clear understanding of your prospect, it’s time to tailor your sales pitch to their particular needs and pain points. Although it’s obviously important to provide an overview of your value prop, quickly running through a list of features and benefits makes your sales pitch about you, not the prospect. Instead, ask qualifying questions to determine priorities, listen carefully to what your prospect has to say, and then explain how your product will solve their specific set of problems. Remember to use examples and references specific to your prospect and their organization.
Consider this: High-performing sales teams are 2.8x more likely than underperforming teams to say their sales organizations have become much more focused on personalizing customer interactions over the past 12–18 months (source). By offering more personalized selling experiences at scale, top sales teams are winning the attention of prospects and customers who are tired of one-size-fits-all tactics (source).
3. Support with visuals over text.
What’s the fastest way to underwhelm a prospect? Reading off a slideshow. Instead, create slides that complement your sales pitch without taking the focus off of you. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text (source) – so infographics, charts, and short videos are much more influential when it comes to driving your point home.
4. Leverage the power of storytelling.
The hardest part of a B2B sales presentation is keeping the prospect engaged. The best way to accomplish this through the art of storytelling. Hear us out—elements of storytelling will elevate and transform your presentation, and, ultimately, doing so will make you a better salesperson. Here’s how:
Stories appeal to emotions: Emotions play a significant role in any purchase decision. Storytelling allows you to create a narrative that has an emotional push while still being based in logic.
People remember stories more than data: The evidence here is staggering – people retain 65% to 70% of information from stories but only 5% to 10% of information from data and statistics (source).
Stories provide context: By making the prospect the subject of a story, you help them visualize your services in the context of their business.
Let’s look at a few storytelling techniques you can use in your next sales presentation:
Before-After: This is a simple story structure, but with the right delivery it can make a big impact. With your prospect as the subject of your story, begin by describing their problem in vivid detail. Then, fast-forward to a near-future where their problem doesn’t exist. Describe what their business looks like in this future scenario.
This structure is effective because it’s easy to grasp yet also vivid and powerful. It makes the prospect the subject of your presentation – rather than the product.
Metaphors: Sales reps often struggle with storytelling because B2B products and services aren’t the most relatable story elements. Try using a metaphor and place the prospect’s problems in a setting that’s more rooted in day-to-day life. A good metaphor will grab the prospect’s attention and make them think about their problem in a new light.
Success stories: Present a case study in the form of a story, walking the prospect through a past customer’s experience. This method works because it provides the prospect with real, not hypothetical, proof that you can make good on your promises.
Remember, although storytelling is powerful—it’s only useful when backed by data. Use these elements of storytelling to appeal to creative, emotional side of your prospect. But, use analysis and data to prove your point.
5. Practice, don’t memorize.
Preparation is the key to a great sales presentation – but many take that the wrong way, and try to memorize everything they want to say during the presentation. If you take this approach, the presentation won’t appear natural to the prospect. They’ll recognize that you’re going through a routine, and they’ll question whether your words are genuine.
Practice your presentations often and make sure you’re comfortable with the material. Develop the confidence and familiarity with both the subject matter and the prospect—so you can have a natural, genuine conversation.
6. Keep it short and sweet
The length of your presentation depends on what you’re presenting and what plans you’ve set with the specific prospect. But, there’s one important rule to remember – don’t attempt to cover too much material. If you try to fit every detail about your product or services into one presentation, you’ll overload the prospect with information and they’ll fail to process much of it. Or worse – they’ll lose interest midway through the presentation.
So, take a step back and consider which details are essential and which ones you can save for future meetings. Prioritize value over features and cut out anything that doesn’t fall in line with that rule. You can always discuss the more technical details in later conversations, once you’ve already won them over.
7. Solidify next steps.
Even if you’ve sold your prospect on your company or product, your job isn’t done once the meeting comes to an end. Be clear about next steps and book your next meeting or phone call before ending the presentation.
You’ve heard this saying countless times – practice makes perfect. And it’s true: the real way to become a presentation master is through experience. But, even a young sales rep can wow prospects with the right preparation and mindset. Remember: Always put the prospect before the product.
Contact ZoomInfo today to learn how a B2B data provider can improve your sales prospecting efforts.