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Adapting Sales Presentations for Better Customer Engagement

What Engaging Sales Presentations Look Like in Today’s Landscape


When you go into a sales presentation, are you still armed with your set-in-stone slide deck? Are you looking to hit, bullet point by bullet point, every item on your preset agenda? Are you always racing against the clock as you try to fit every detail about your product into the allotted time? If so, it’s time to reimagine your sales presentation strategy.

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Have a Conversation, Not a Pitch

The first important thing to internalize about a successful sales presentation today is that it’s not a sales pitch at all. It’s an engaging, value-driven, customer-specific conversation.

This is not an opportunity to come in and to start talking immediately about you, your company, your product or service, and all your amazing features and benefits. Even if everything you’re saying is true and you and the client would be a perfect fit, people today are exhausted with pitch. They’re leery of any company that comes in and seems as if they’re trying to sell them on something.

Think of a sales presentation as an opportunity to open a dialogue with that client about that client, and you’re going to start seeing more closed deals.

"This value mind-set should be part of your broader sales strategy, and it should all align to the sales technology solutions you’re using to make you maximally effective and efficient."

Lead with Value by Putting the Customer in the Spotlight

Leading with value is no longer optional in the world of selling. If you’re not doing this, you’re going to be left behind. (Need some high-level insight? Check out what a value-based strategy looks like. Need even more compelling reasons to incorporate value into your sales strategy? Read here for ways value can help you retain clients.)

Leading with value means helping the client see the world within their industry or market today. It means providing valuable insight and knowledge about how shifts or trends could affect their business. Go in talking about their challenges, needs, and potential outcomes instead of your company’s offerings, and you’re going to see better engagement…and a better close rate.

This value mind-set should be part of your broader sales strategy, and it should all align to the sales technology solutions you’re using to make you maximally effective and efficient.

"Too many sales reps view the sales presentation as the one and only opportunity to speak to this client. They try to fit in every detail, nuance, and piece of information into that meeting—often flying through a long slide deck that they rigidly follow slide by slide."

Engage…from the Minute You Walk in the Door

To be effective today, sales presentations must be personalized and engaging, and you need to establish that connection and engagement with the client right away. As soon as you enter the door, start talking about them. What are their challenges? Who are their ideal customers? What industry trends are you seeing that directly affect them and how they should be thinking about their business? Illuminate unconsidered needs.

If you do all that, you build credibility, establish trust, and engage their curiosity. Then, when you do introduce your solution or service as a means to alleviate their challenges, what you’re saying feels less like a play to get their business and more like a genuine extension of the value you’ve already been providing throughout the sales presentation.

Keep It Short and Simple

Too many sales reps view the sales presentation as the one and only opportunity to speak to this client. They try to fit in every detail, nuance, and piece of information into that meeting—often flying through a long slide deck that they rigidly follow slide by slide.

Instead of that, keep it conversational and free-flowing. Give yourself the latitude to follow the conversation where the client wants to take it. Present everything in a storyline format in order to draw the customer in and to facilitate engagement with the information you’re sharing. You might not even talk about your product or service in the first meeting…and that’s OK!

When structuring your presentation, have different sections you can navigate to based on the direction of the conversation. In this way, you aren’t thinking about getting through all forty slides; you’re thinking about which of your slides are most appropriate to the dialogue and which will provide genuine value and insight.

Become a Trusted Partner

When you approach a presentation from this mind-set, you elevate your status from a company that offers some specific product or service to a trusted, strategic partner. Because you’re not pushing your product in an overt, salesy way and you’re leading, instead, with knowledge, you demonstrate that you understand their industry. You understand their company, including their needs, challenges, and outcomes.

This makes it much easier for that customer to see how your solution aligns to everything you’ve outlined. Because of the nature of the relationship you’ve established, it also opens up potential avenues and opportunities you might not have even considered.

Think Outside the Box with Sales Presentations

When it comes to engaging sales presentations, keep the following in mind:

  • Sales presentations can happen on any relevant platform. Maybe it’s PowerPoint. Maybe it’s not. Research your sales presentation tool options.
  • Develop your storyline on the front end. Bake in opportunities to have an engaging, free-flowing conversation.
  • Don’t overcrowd the slides you do cover with too many words. Keep it visual in nature.
  • People who are having success with sales presentations today aren’t necessarily the business school grads. It’s people with backgrounds in art or storytelling because they know how to craft engaging, resonant messaging.

Bring in the Sales Technology

Once you have the systems and framework in place, you can elevate your presentation by utilizing appropriate sales technology solutions.

This relates to the platform you use to create or to share your presentation, but a big (and often unconsidered) piece of this is what you do with that slide deck after the fact.

Send the deck to your client following the presentation. This allows them to view it online and to review at their leisure. It also allows you to capture an invaluable amount of data about that prospect and what they’re engaging with. Where are they spending time? What links did they click? How can you drive subsequent conversations based on what you learned from their research patterns?

This is just one way to integrate data into a revenue-boosting strategy.

Looking to improve your sales presentations? Here are some potential sales technology tools that can help:

Want to Learn More?

Interested in hearing more about reassessing your sales presentation mentality and deliverables? Watch our free webinar, How to Change Your Sales Presentations to Drive Customer Engagement

Have any other questions? Feel free to reach out. We’re always happy to help!

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