How to Craft a Sales Presentation Outline (+ Examples)

Learn the step-by-step process for writing a sales presentation outline that helps you speak persuasively and on target during presentations.

Selling Signals content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

A sales presentation outline is an ideal flow of talking points that guides the creation of the spoken part of a sales presentation, which is often supported by a visual sales deck. To allow for personalization, outlines contain both pre-written language and prompts. Most sellers use outlines as templates for longer, in-depth presentation scripts that they create for each new prospect. The outline ensures that you hit key talking points in the right order.

Sales Presentation Outline Key Components

A typical sales presentation outline for effective lead nurturing includes small talk and introductions, agenda-setting, problem analysis, solution and benefits, social proof, and a call-to-action. Solid outlines will promote around 20–30 minutes of presenting time. Depending on the salesperson and their unique situation, an outline might expand certain components into multiple components, add components, or exclude some entirely.

This outline is what you get when you boil down all the great outlines to their fundamental parts:

Small Talk & Intros


Problem Analysis

Solution & Benefits

Social Proof


For around 3–4 minutes, engage in light conversation and introduce yourself and your company to the prospect. Ask questions about their work, life, vacations, or anything else they’re interested in. Tell them about your credentials and your company’s mission and ideal customers.

In 1–2 minutes give the prospect a high-level overview of what topics you’re going to cover during this presentation. At the end, ask them to confirm that they agree to the structure as you’ve laid it out.

Spend 5–10 minutes analyzing the prospect’s major problem. Name their main pain point or challenge, then state its underlying causes and costs. Also, agitate the pain by explaining the negative consequences of letting it go unsolved.

For 5–10 minutes, introduce your product or service and explain how it works to solve the prospect’s problem. Then state the relevant benefits the prospect will get if they buy the solution and eliminate their issue. Focus on features or services that directly relate to their needs.

Use 3–5 minutes to establish some credibility by sharing customer success stories, case study findings, or testimonials. Choose social proof that involves a customer that has a similar business type as your prospect and experienced similar hurdles and roadblocks.

In 1–2 minutes, summarize what you’ve covered, and then tell the prospect what the next steps would be if they wanted to move forward. Ask them to take these next steps with you, and give them a strong reason to do so.

To see how a salesperson might change the components to fit their specific needs, imagine a software sales rep expanding the “describe your solution and its benefits” section into three parts: “present solution,” “give demo,” and “give user a trial run.” As you create your own general outline, make it work for your most common presenting scenario, and perhaps create a few others for less common scenarios, be it competing against another provider or upselling a client.  

How to Create Your Own Sales Presentation Outline

There are concrete steps to follow to draft a 1–2 page, customizable sales presentation outline that you can use as the ongoing foundation for all your personalized sales presentation scripts. The steps include picking a product or service, adding small talk prompts, writing an introductory statement, and crafting sections for agenda, problem, solution, social proof, and call-to-action. Read on to learn how to do each step. Note that the steps below follow the components above.

1. Pick One Product or Service

Choose one of your product tiers or service lines for your sales presentation outline. This enables you to write more language that you can simply copy and paste into the custom-tailored scripts. For example, in the solution section of the outline, you could write three sentences describing this specific product tier. And you won’t have to change that for each new prospect you present to. This means that you should create one outline for each product or service.

2. Provide Some Conversation Starters for Small Talk

Sometimes small talk flows naturally in the first few minutes of a sales presentation. Other times, you’ll need to get things going with some surefire conversation starters. To avoid encountering any brain freezes or awkward silences, use the small talk section of your outline to list 3–4 potential questions that you can ask your prospects to initiate small talk. Industry news, hobbies, or their current business ventures are often the safest topics.

Here are some examples of customizable questions to put in a sales presentation outline:

  • As a {Job Title}, I’d love to hear your thoughts on {Recent Industry News or Event}.
  • So you’re from {Location}. Is it fair to assume you’re a {Sports Team} fan?
  • Last time we spoke, you were working on {Project}. How’s it going?

While preparing for a presentation, choose the prompt that will work best for the specific prospect. Researching their social profiles will provide you with some guidance. For example, you might find that the prospect has been posting on Twitter about their sports team. If that’s the case, use the sports conversation starter for your personalized sales presentation script.

3. Create Your Introduction Statement

Your introductory statement will likely remain the same for most of your prospects. This is where you tell your prospect about your company and yourself as a representative or owner of that company. This section gives the prospect context, which helps them understand the more complex subject matter you’re going to present to them later on in the presentation.

Here are the barebones of an effective introduction for a sales presentation outline:

  • Segue: Transition out of small talk by saying that you want to respect their time, then thank them for attending.
  • Your Professional Bio: Tell the prospect your name, title, experience in the industry, and relevant credentials.
  • Your Business Bio: Share your business’s name, how long it’s been in business, and one line explaining what the company is (e.g., a renowned real estate brokerage).
  • Why Customers Come to You: Name 2–3 of the major challenges that inspire customers to come to you for help.
  • Quick Overview of How You Help Them: Briefly explain what your business provides and how it solves these challenges.

When personalizing this part of the outline for a particular prospect, you might change little things to make it more relevant and interesting to them. For example, you could exchange one of the common major customer challenges for one this specific prospect is suffering from. But, for the most part, it won’t change much, so it’s worth committing it to memory. 

Below is an example of an introductory statement you’d find in a sales presentation outline:

“As much as I’d love to keep chatting about {Small Talk Topic}, I want to be respectful of your time and begin the presentation, which I thank you all for attending.

First, I want to share a little about myself. My name is Sam and I’m a sales executive here at Stingray Dealers. I’ve been working in the marine conservation space ever since I graduated college with my marine biology degree four years ago. Since then, I’ve been awarded best aquarium consultant for three years running.

Our 10-year-old company, Stingray Dealers, is a renowned aquarium provider of the rarest and most endangered stingrays.

Aquariums often come to us because they’re sick of getting nothing but round rays from their providers and because they’re struggling to keep their stingray petting area stocked with a variety of rays.

That’s where we come in. Thanks to our cutting-edge diving equipment, relations with wildlife protection agencies abroad, and ray-based sonar, we’re able to provide a steady flow of the most desirable rays in the sea, and at incredibly affordable rates.”

Show More >>

After delivering a solid introduction and providing your prospect with some context, it’s time to set the schedule for the rest of the presentation.

4. Write Your Agenda Section

The agenda section of your sales presentation outline is where you’ll give your prospect the outline of the remainder of the presentation. You’ll set their expectations and give them a sense of direction so that they don’t feel like they’re in the dark. The agenda section includes a segue into the agenda, a structure preview, and a request for the prospect to commit. It should also have plenty of prompts for personalization.

Here are the core parts of any solid agenda section for a sales presentation outline:

  • Segue From Introductions: Thank them for listening to your introduction and tell them you’d like to set an agenda for the day.
  • Share the Presentation’s Structure: Briefly explain what you’ll cover during the presentation.
  • Ask Them to Commit: Check with your audience to see if they’re okay with the agenda you’ve created.

If you wanted to really hook the prospect, you could also make a promise to create some suspense, like “at the end of this presentation I’ll also reveal the most important habit that leads to success in this industry, based on hundreds of interviews with our customers.” Only do this if you do have something absolutely astonishing to share with your prospects. Otherwise, you’ll risk letting them down at the end.

Below is an example of an agenda section you could see in a sales presentation outline:

“Thank you all for listening to my spiel. Now I’d like to get things rolling with an agenda. Over the next 30 minutes, I plan to show you why we’re the right fit to help you {Prospect’s Goal}.

I’ll start by explaining the causes and consequences of your major issue, {Prospect’s Problem}. Next, I’ll give you an overview of our solution, {Your Product or Service}, and explain how it will help you overcome your challenge. From there, I’ll share a few success stories about customers like you, and then we’ll open the floor for questions.

How does that sound?”

Show More >>

After the prospect agrees, you can start to dig into their issue and reveal to them just how serious it is, not to mention how well informed you’re about it.    

5. Craft Your Problem Analysis Section

The problem section of your sales presentation outline is going to change almost entirely from prospect to prospect because each potential customer will have a different combination of issues, related costs, and underlying causes. Nevertheless, your outline should provide some helpful guidance for writing your more detailed script by giving you a structure to follow.

Here are the major components of a problem analysis section:

  • Name the Major Problem or Challenge: Describe the most pressing problem that the prospect has shared with you.
  • Share the Problem’s Underlying Causes: Based on your analysis, share 2–3 things that you believe are causing or contributing to the issue.
  • Describe the Costs of Not Solving the Problem: Share 2–3 negative consequences of letting the problem go unsolved. In other words, irritate the pain.

By proving to the prospect that you’re knowledgeable about the nature of their problem, you’ll win their trust, and they’ll be more likely to give heavy consideration to your proposed solution. Again, this section of the outline is more so steps with a bit of advice than pre-written language. That’s because it has to be extremely flexible.

Here’s an example:

“From our previous discussions, I learned that your company’s major problem is {Major Problem}. Based on our years of experience working with other {Company Type} and what I know about your business processes, it seems like the causes of this issue are {Underlying Causes 1 and 2}. We’ve had customers who came to us a long time after this issue arose and by then they were suffering from {Cost of Not Solving the Problem ASAP}.”

Show More >>

Now that the prospect is convinced that their problem is something they need to solve quickly, it’s time to begin telling them how you’re going to fix it for them. 

6. Draft Your Solution Section

The solution section of your sales presentation outline is where you introduce the product or service that will help your customer solve the problem or challenge you analyzed in the previous section. You tell them what the solution is, how it works, why it solves the issue, and the benefits the prospect will receive if they buy it.

Here are the main subsections of an effective solution section:

  • Solution: Name the product or service and tell your prospect the unique selling proposition.
  • Why It Solves the Issue: Explain the features or services that will eliminate the main causes of the prospect’s major problem.
  • Benefits: Share 2–3 positive results that the prospect will experience if they choose to purchase the solution.

The first paragraph of this section, introducing your service, can be reused without adjustment from customer to customer, especially since this outline is for one specific solution. Of course, the middle bullet, how it relates to the specific prospect’s issue, will change, so that part should include prompts for personalization. When you write a script for a presentation, you may also alter how you describe the solution or which benefits you list based on the prospect’s interests.

You can see what we mean in this sample solution section:

“Stingray Dealers offers an annual stingray replenishment service that comes with ongoing care. Unlike other dealers in the space, we consistently check on the stingrays to ensure they’re happy and well taken care of.

As for your problem with {Prospect Pain Point 1}, {Service 1} will take care of that by {How Service 1 Solves Pain Point 1}. Furthermore, {Service 2} will help you eliminate {Pain Point 2} by {How Service 2 Solves Pain Point 2}.

With us, you’ll experience {Benefit 1 Prospect Desires} and {Benefit 2 Prospect Desires}. We think this will also help you reach your {Want/Need/Goal}.”

Show More >>

At this point, your prospect is probably excited about the idea of working with you, but still a bit hesitant because words are cheap. In the next section, you’ll prove your claims are sound.

7. Create Your Social Proof Section

In your outline document, write a brief transition and then include links to several social proof options, such as case studies, testimonials, or customer success stories, which display customers succeeding with your chosen product or service. This way, when you create a personalized presentation script, you can quickly choose the 1–2 social proof options from the outline that will most relate to and impress your current prospect.

If you want to get ahead of the game, we recommend also writing out a short summary of each success story or case study so that you can easily copy and paste it into your personalized sales presentation script. And for easy reference, consider labeling the social proof based on the type of company rather than the company name. For example, Enterprise Client Case Study will likely mean more to you when drafting a presentation script than Carlisle LLC Case Study.

Here’s an example of what a social proof section might look like in a sales presentation outline:

“So, we’ve told you what we can help you achieve with our stingray replenishment service. I find that it always helps to hear about how others have used the service successfully. So I’d like to briefly walk you through two case studies about clients who, just like you, were {How the Companies in the Stories Are Similar to the Prospect}.

  • Aquarium Company Case Study: The Denver aquarium came to us back in May 2022 because attendance was down 31% from last year and they wanted to open a new stingray exhibit and use it as a promotion. We were able to provide them with 6 different types of stingrays, 2 of them extremely rare, and directed them on how to set up the exhibit to optimize the attendee and stingray experiences. Within four months of establishing the exhibit, it had become the most popular at the aquarium, and one year after finishing the exhibit, their ticket sales had increased by 65%.
  • Marine Bio Research Facility Case Study: Write a summary like the one in the first bullet point.
  • Pet Store Business Case Study: Write a summary like the one in the first bullet point.
Show More >>

After sharing some ways that past clients have benefited from your business, it’s time to push the deal forward with a call-to-action.

8. Write Your Call-to-Action

Next, write a call-to-action (CTA) in your outline. In a sales presentation, salespeople typically ask leads if they’re ready to see a proposal. But it differs based on your sales process. Regardless of your ask, it should be clear and straightforward so that your prospects know exactly what you want them to do. It should also be enticing. Give your prospects a reason to take the next steps with you by mentioning the benefit of doing so.

Here are the components of a successful CTA section of an outline:

  • Presentation Summary: In a few sentences explain their main issue, the product or service that will enable them to solve it, and the overarching value you’ll deliver.
  • Next Steps Request: Tell the prospect what they should do next if they want to continue evaluating you as a provider or partner. 
  • Presentation Closing: End the presentation by thanking your prospects for attending, then tell them the floor is open for questions.

Summarizing the presentation and your findings prior to delivering the CTA is important because it reminds prospects about all the great things you can do for them. And the reason for not ending at the CTA is that most buyers expect to be able to ask some questions, but some might not do so unless you give them permission first. The close section allows you to give the green light and end the presentation on an upbeat, less salesly note.

Here’s an example of a call-to-action section in a sales presentation outline:

“Today we’ve learned that Stingray Dealers can help you overcome {Prospect Problem} and give you {Value Proposition}.

If you’re ready to join hundreds of other satisfied businesses and start wowing customers with the most amazing stingrays, please tell me at the end of this presentation. I can then give you pricing and we can go over the best service package for your company.

And with that, I want to end today’s presentation. Thank you all for the gift of your attention. I now want to hear from you. Do you have any questions about our company, service, or anything else?”

Show More >>

Keep in mind that this is for creating an outline that follows our basic sales presentation outline structure. You can include other sections like “pricing” or “industry trends” if that better suits your needs. For other sections to include, see the outlines in our article sales presentation templates.

3 Tailored Sales Presentation Outline Examples

Below are three sales presentation outline examples: brand competition, B2B, and B2C services outlines. Unlike the examples in the steps above, these don’t include pre-written verbiage. Instead, they’re structural outlines that help you see how different presentation situations call for different combinations of sections. In practice, you’d write out pre-written language for each section (bullet) — refer to the section examples in the steps above to see how, then keep reading below.

Sales Presentation Outline for Winning a Competitor’s Customer

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals who are presenting to a prospect that’s currently working with a competing brand.

Why It Works: This outline structure includes sections like “competitor analysis” and “differentiators,” which serve to show the prospect why your solution is a better choice for them than their current provider’s.

  • Small Talk and Introductions: Open with some friendly conversation and introduce your company in a way that sets it apart from the specific competitor.
  • Agenda: Tell the prospect what you’ll cover today and what you think they’ll get from attending.
  • Goal Analysis: Review what the prospect has told you about their current goal and explain why they’re failing to reach it.  
  • Competitor Analysis: Share a few reasons why their current provider is incapable of helping them reach this goal.
  • Differentiators: Explain a few ways that your company is different from the competitor and why these differences make you better suited to help them.
  • Solution and Benefits: Describe your product or service, explain why it’ll help them get what they want, and name 2–3 benefits.
  • Customer Switch Success Story: Tell a story about a customer who left the competitor to work with you.
  • Call-to-Action: Close out the sales presentation and ask the prospect to take specific next steps with you.

B2B Sales Presentation Outline Example

Who Should Use It: B2B salespeople who want to challenge their prospects to think differently about their industry.

Why It Works: This presentation outline is designed to position you as an industry insider with big ideas that are going to dramatically improve the company’s operations, revenue, or whatever metrics your solution will affect.

  • Small Talk and Introductions: Talk a bit, then share a bit about you and your business and ask attendees to introduce themselves by stating their job title and name.
  • Agenda: Tell your prospect(s) the structure of the presentation and build up some excitement by promising to share a unique idea for how to capitalize on a trend.
  • Industry Trend: Explain an industry shift (e.g., Gen Z starting to buy homes) and how it will impact this specific business and its place in the market.
  • Opportunity: Describe an opportunity (e.g., start building relationships with Gen Zers through social) that this shift opens up and stress the importance of seizing it.
  • Promised Land: Tell them all the great things that will happen to their business if they successfully take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Your Solution: Explain how your solution will help them make the most of the opportunity and reach the promised land.
  • Case Studies: Reveal a case study about a company that successfully used your solution to transform their business in a previous period of industry change.
  • Call-to-Action: Make a confident statement about your ability to help and ask them to join you. Then open the floor for questions.

B2C Service Sales Presentation Outline Example

Who Should Use It: Sales professionals who are presenting a service such as landscaping, insurance, or financial advisory to individuals.

Why It Works: This sales presentation outline makes the prospect trust you as an expert by giving them transparency into your service and its pricing and by sharing success stories and your professional opinion about their goals.

  • Small Talk and Introductions: Talk about the individual’s hobbies or relevant news. Share your credentials or rewards.
  • Agenda: Give an overview of the different sections of today’s presentation. Ask them to confirm that this sounds like a solid plan.
  • Goal Analysis: Review their reason for evaluating your business and make them feel like you can get them to their goal.
  • Challenge Analysis: Describe the major pitfalls you expect they’ll encounter on their way to reaching their goal.
  • The Plan/Process: Lay out your plan step by step for how you are going to help them overcome these challenges and reach their destination.
  • The Service: Describe your role in this plan and tell them what services you’re going to provide and how the relationship will work.
  • Success Stories: Share stories about customers you’ve helped. Pull up evidence to back up your claims, in the form of data, quotes, photos, etc.,
  • Pricing: Review the pricing tiers of your service and explain which one you think is best for them based on their situation and needs. Tell them the second best option as well.
  • Call-to-Action: Share your unique selling proposition, review the presentation’s key points, and ask them if they’d like to learn more about your service.

When you start with a basic outline like the ones above, and then expand on them by adding exact language and prompts for personalization, you’ll end up with a carefully considered, well-structured sales presentation outline that you can use over and over to succeed.

Top 5 Benefits of Writing a Sales Presentation Outline

Writing and using a sales presentation outline provides you with various benefits, including faster sales presentation preparation, never missing the main points, giving prospects a better experience, making your presentation process testable, and easily training new salespeople. Let’s go over each advantage a bit more in depth.

Save Time Preparing for Sales Presentations

With a sales presentation outline, it’s easy to sit down and craft a more personalized sales presentation script for each particular prospect. You already know what to say, and in what order to say it. Now all you have to do is elaborate on each part of the outline and make it relevant to fit the prospect’s unique situation. This will cut presentation preparation time dramatically.

Always Hit Your Critical Talking Points

Without a sales presentation outline, you might write a script that leaves out a key component, whether that’s a statement about pricing or an introduction to your business. This can hurt your chances of closing the sale. The outline, which tells you what to write, and therefore what to say during your presentation, ensures that you never miss the most important points.

Improve the Prospect’s Experience

When you know the overarching structure of the spoken part of your sales presentation, you can easily share that information with your prospects by putting the outline on one of your sales deck slides you have up during the agenda-setting portion. When prospects know what’s coming and where the conversation is headed, they’ll feel like they have some control.

Create a Testable Sales Presentation Process

When you have a presentation outline that you use repeatedly, you can start to test it against outlines with slight variations. For example, you could give 50 presentations with an introduction section and 50 without, track the average closing rates for the two groups in your CRM software, and find that the outlines with no intro section were 34% more effective at securing a next step. Consistent testing allows you to steadily march towards an optimized outline.

Easily Onboard New Sales Reps

There’s so much to learn when a new rep joins a team, so it’s important to do everything you can to get them up to speed quickly. By handing them a copy of your team’s sales presentation outline, new sales reps can easily learn your team’s sales presentation process. Right away they can start crafting well-structured spoken portions of their sales presentations.

Crafting a sales presentation outline makes the whole sales presentation creation process less time intensive, and it helps the delivery of your presentation come off as more persuasive and deliberate.

Top 4 Tips for Drafting a Sales Presentation Outline

There are some best practices you can follow to produce the best possible sales presentation outline. They include using your customer profile, building more than one outline, studying great sales presentations, and getting peer feedback on your outline. Below we’ll expand on each tip.

Reference Your Customer Profile

Keep a copy of your customer profile next to you or on your computer while you create your sales presentation outline. This ensures that the language you use speaks to your target audience’s specific concerns and interests. Whenever you write a sentence, section, or prompt, ask yourself how your ideal customer would respond.

Create Scenario-Specific Outlines

Consider creating a separate outline for each of your most common presentation scenarios. For example, one salesperson might create a generic outline along with one for upselling current customers and one for stealing prospects from a competitor. Each one might have a different mix of sections. For example, the competitor stealing outline might include a competitor analysis section, whereas the generic presentation outline does not.

Watch Great Sales Presentations for Inspiration

If you’re struggling to figure out the ideal structure or verbiage for your outline, watch some sales presentations online or shadow a fellow rep’s presentation to a prospect. You’ll likely discover new turns of phrase, presentation sections, and rhetorical techniques that you want to include in your own outline. To get started, check out our article breaking down some exceptional sales presentation examples.

Get Feedback on Your Outline

Show your finished outline to 1–2 salespeople you respect and ask them to tell you if anything needs work. We can all too easily fall in love with our creations and become blind to any gaps or errors. Getting feedback will help you fine-tune your outline so that it’s as persuasive as possible.

Creating a sales presentation outline should be a careful and considered process. The outlines will serve as the starting points for every in-depth presentation script you write. An outline is a script’s parent. If the outline is shabby, so is the script, as well as the spoken portions of your presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the Difference Between a Sales Presentation Outline & Sales Deck Template?

The sales presentation outline is a structure of talking points that guides the verbal part of your sales presentation. The sales deck template, on the other hand, is a set of slides with some pre-written language and some blank prompts — having one enables you to quickly build personalized slide decks, the visual backdrop to sales presentations. Together, the sales presentation outline and sales deck template make up the overall sales presentation template.

Bottom Line: Sales Presentation Outline

Having a sales presentation outline saved on your computer streamlines the preparation process for your sales presentations. Instead of starting from scratch, you have a structure to follow and some pre-written language that works on all prospects. Writing the tailored script will take minutes instead of hours. Next, check out how to create and give a sales presentation, where we teach you how to build out a personalized presentation for one specific prospect.

Selling Signals
Actionable advice for sales professionals
355 Lexington Ave,
18th Floor,
New York, NY, 10017