How to Create & Deliver a Sales Presentation (+ Template)

Read our article on crafting a personalized sales presentation and delivering it with confidence to move prospects through your pipeline.

A sales presentation is the act of verbally explaining a product or service and delivering your sales pitch to a potential buyer, usually with the assistance of a sales deck. The ultimate goal of the presentation is to convince the buyer to take next steps with you, such as accepting a proposal. To accomplish this, sales reps follow a key outline that includes sections like the prospect's pain point, how the product or service solves this problem, and a strong call-to-action.

If you'd like help crafting your presentation, hire a freelance sales expert on Fiverr to design an appealing slide deck and write the talking points that will help you present your product or service in the most professional way possible.

How Do Sales Presentations Work?

Salespeople typically give a 20- to 30-minute sales presentation as a lead nurturing activity once a lead has been qualified as a high-value prospect — by this point, you've determined it's time to show them in detail the value of your product or service and recommend next steps. The stage of your sales pipeline in which the presentation occurs depends on your business, but it's usually done toward the end of your sales process as one of the final steps before deal closing.

As you build your presentation's sales deck and talking points, you'll follow an outline that typically begins with small talk and introductions, then moves on to agenda-setting. The outline will then dive into the problem, your solution and the benefits that it brings, and stories about a current customer who had a similar issue before working with you. Finally, you'll end with a concrete CTA to entice your prospect to move forward with you.

Keeping this outline in mind, there are steps you can follow to first plan the sections of a general outline and then personalize them to each unique prospect, plus templates and software you can use to build your supporting sales deck. It also helps to consider tips to prepare for and deliver the presentation and take a look at examples of quality presentations to emulate.

Pro Tip:

This article addresses how to create your entire presentation, including building a visual sales deck and creating and delivering your talking points. If you’re looking specifically to learn how to craft a written slideshow, check out our article on creating a sales deck.

Free Sales Presentation Template

So that you don't necessarily need to start from scratch, we've created a free sales deck template to help you create a slideshow to complement your presentation. This template can act as a base for you or a Fiverr freelancer to customize into your own deck according your needs and presentation outline. It also comes with recommendations for specific written content to put on each slide.

Free Sales Deck Template
Free sales deck template (click to download)

Now that you have a template to work from, let’s look at the key elements all salespeople should use to structure their sales presentation.

Common Sections of an Effective Sales Presentation

Regardless of your business or customer, there are some common elements to include in your sales presentation to make it as effective as possible. Where in the presentation or deck you place each element is up to you, as there are slight strategic advantages to different arrangements, but the outline below is the best place to start so you can sucessfully give a presentation and communicate your sales pitch.

Here is the common structure of a sales presentation, plus how to communicate each section: 

Small Talk & Intros

Agenda

Problem

Solution & Benefits

Social Proof

CTA

As people enter the meeting, take five minutes to build rapport and engage your prospect in light conversation by asking them personal or professional questions like “Last time we spoke, you were working on {project}. How’s that been going?” Small talk like this gets everyone comfortable and in a good mood.

After the conversation has run its course, thank your audience for attending, then briefly introduce (or reintroduce) yourself and state your company's elevator pitch. Bring up relevant credentials or experiences that will paint you as the right person or team to help them in this area. Then, ask each person in the audience (if there are five or fewer) to say their name and job title. All of this should take another 3–5 minutes.

Before you start flipping through slides, set the agenda in three sentences so the audience knows what to expect. When they know what’s coming, they're on the lookout for the elements and topics you mentioned. This increases their comprehension and engagement. Plus, stating an agenda makes you look organized and professional.

Use the "purpose, benefit, check" method when setting the agenda:

  • State the Meeting’s Purpose: Preview the main topics you'll be covering. “We’re here to go over how {product or service} can help you overcome {problem or challenge}.”
  • List the Benefits of Attending: Explain how the prospect will benefit from being here. “Besides learning about our solution and how to use it to reach your goals, you’ll also come away with valuable industry insights that will change the way you think about {topic}.”
  • Check for Alignment: Make sure you’re all on the same page with a simple check. “Does that sound like a plan?”

Once your prospect agrees, you can dive into the problem.

Talk about your prospect’s problem that you found during your discovery call or another method. Mention what you believe is causing it and the negative consequences the prospect will experience if they let it remain unsolved (including any relevant statistics). Because the problem is likely why your potential customer is in the meeting, dedicate five minutes to laying out their pain point and discussing it a bit if your prospect has anything to add.

This could sound like "During our discovery call, you said you're trying to reach {goal} but you've been experiencing {challenge}. It sounded like your main concern is {implications}, and the problem is stemming from {issues/pain points}. Anything I'm missing?"

In a few sentences, tease three benefits they could enjoy if they simply solved this problem. Paint this better world as desirable and free of the pains caused by their current problem. Then, introduce your product or service and take two minutes to explain how it solves the problem and helps reach the promised land.

For example, "If you were to solve this pain point, you could {benefit 1}. {Product or service} is designed to {high-level purpose/benefit 2} for {role or company type} so they can {more impactful action/benefit 3}. Specifically, it does this by {product/service overview}."

If you'd like to dive deeper into how your product works, you could extend this to a 15- to 20-minute product demo instead of a two-minute overview. Plan this beforehand so as not to run over the time you've allotted.

If there are specific ways in which customers similar to the prospect have used the solution to their advantage, share them in the presentation. This can include social proof like testimonials, case studies, and anecdotes to show how buyers love your solution.

A good way to state this is "One of our longest clients is {similar company}, which {brief, relevant company description}. Before working with us, they were also having {similar problem}, but they've solved it by using our {feature and brief explanation}. I could see your team loving {feature}, too."

Your relationship with the prospect, the amount of people in the room, and the price of your product or service will determine how you end your presentation and make your ask. If you're presenting a pricey B2B solution to three executives, your CTA will be different than if you’re presenting a B2C product to a 1,000-person audience.

Here are three ways to close your presentation:

  • Strong CTA: Make a direct ask like “Over 500 satisfied clients are currently using our solution to {function/benefit}. Are you ready to join them?” or “Are you ready for us to draft up a proposal so you can rid yourself of {pain point} once and for all?”
  • Open-Ended Question: Ask an open-ended question that will prompt them to think about and discuss their key takeaways. For instance, you might ask, “How did I change the way you think about {topic}?” Higher-priced items that need further evaluation use this.
  • Objection-Response Question: If you sense any objections lurking behind their eyes, ask, “Based on what you’ve just heard, what would hold you back from buying today?” Then, you can address the concern or hesitation while you have them in the room.

In almost all cases, it makes sense to end your spoken presentation by inviting the prospect to ask questions, either before or after you give a CTA such as accepting a business proposal.

As we've shown above using bolded prompts, it's a good idea to create a standard outline of your presentation and generally what you'd like to say to every prospect, then use that as a script template and leave room for personalization to each prospect. This helps you stay on track and sound confident while making the prospect feel as if the presentation were developed just for them.

How to Create a Winning Sales Presentation

Before delivering your sales presentation to a room full of buyers, you have some preparation to do. This includes creating the bones of your presentation, personalizing it to your prospect, and designing a sales deck to support your talking points. Check out the slider below for an overview of each step, or dive right into steps and how to do each.

Craft a General Presentation

First write an outline of the sections and topics you want to cover in every presentation, including a script template to guide your words. 

Personalize the Presentation

Learn about the attendees via a discovery call and independent research, and tailor your presentation to the prospect.

Gather Supporting Materials

Gather relevant marketing messaging, photos, data, and anything else you’ll need to deliver your personalized presentation.

Create a Personalized Sales Deck

Build out the visual slideshow you’ll use during your presentation. 

1. Write Your General Presentation Outline & Script

First, incorporate the common sections of a sales presentation outline — write the main points you want to hit and a general script of the words you want to say, but leave room for personalization to each prospect. Here is a potential outline of the spoken portion of a sales presentation: 

  • Small Talk and Introductions: Build rapport, thank your prospect for attending, and introduce yourself and your business using an elevator pitch.
  • Agenda-Setting: Remind the prospect of the purpose of the meeting and why it's good they're attending. Get their buy-in to move on and talk about the problem.
  • Your Prospect’s Main Problem: Summarize the prospect's problem that you learned about during discovery, plus the implications of leaving it unsolved.
  • Solution and Benefits: Talk about a better world in which the problem is gone, using about three benefits. Reveal your product or service and pitch how it solves the problem.
  • Social Proof: Share a case study, testimonial, and/or anecdote from a company or person that's similar to your prospect to help prove you can help them.  
  • Call-to-Action: Wrap up with a closing statement that includes a CTA inviting them to begin this partnership or take another action.

The outline of a sales presentation will vary across different businesses and presentation situations. Generally, though, you’ll be presenting your product or service in front of a group of decision makers in an office room, so the above is a potential sales presentation outline of the main points to hit for this situation. You can always modify your general outline later on.

Pro Tip:

If you include some of the above elements within stories, your audience will be more engaged and interested. For example, when giving your company overview, tell a brief story about the issue or opportunity that prompted your founder to create the business and how it's changed over the years to reach its current state.

2. Personalize the Presentation

Once you've developed a general presentation structure that you can reuse for each prospect, use a discovery call and online research to learn about the specific prospect to whom you're presenting. This will help you craft a personalized presentation that captures your audience’s attention and makes them feel understood. It will also ensure the lead is qualified before you start building a presentation for them.

Research these three areas to fill in the blanks within your presentation: 

  • Your Prospect’s Business: Learn about their company size, mission, sector, and goals, plus their internal processes. This will help you plan your small talk and select relevant social proof. 
  • Your Prospect’s Problem: Learn all about their pain point and its associated consequences. If you know the specifics, you can bring up targeted problem insights and solutions. 
  • Who Is Attending: If the decision maker(s) are from high-level management, focus on how you’ll help them achieve long-term goals. If they'll use your solution day-to-day, focus on efficiencies and problem-solving.

While this is most helpful to personalize the general sections you planned out in the previous step, it can also help you to add more sections or modify your outline if needed. It'll also support the next step in which you gather relevant information that will impress your prospect and make the presentation feel even more personalized.

3. Gather Supporting Materials

Now that you’re familiar with your prospect and their needs, begin gathering the materials for the elements you want to include in your sales presentation. You can get these online, in your CRM, or directly from your data, marketing, and/or customer success team.

The best personalized presentation materials and information to gather include: 

  • Case Studies or Testimonials: Find a great story or review from your current customers who are similar to the prospect.
  • Client or Product Photos: Highlight clients using the product or service by gathering photos from marketing or the client themselves.
  • Data or Statistics: Collect ROI, industry trends, or other data that supports your claims about the prospect's problem or your solution.
  • Marketing Messaging: From your marketing team or your content, find the solution's benefits, unique selling proposition, and story details that will be most relevant to this prospect.
  • Props or Demonstrations: If your product lends itself to physical or virtual demonstrations, gather the required materials or set up the virtual environment. 
  • Graphs: Create graphs that back your claims, illustrate trends, and supplement your stories. If you say Facebook ad prices are trending upwards, place a graph of this on the slide. 

Because you might have to get this material from another department or person or even create it yourself, it’s best to handle this at least two or three days before you plan to begin building your sales deck so you can plug them in immediately when you create the deck.

4. Create a Personalized Sales Deck

A sales deck is the slideshow that acts as a visual backdrop and guide for your sales presentation, usually created using sales presentation software like PowerPoint. It should be about 10 slides in length, light on text (fewer than 30 words per slide), heavy on images, diagrams, and other visuals, and personalized to the prospect's situation so they feel understood and can imagine how your solution will help them.

These are a few ways to personalize the sales deck for your prospect:

  • Add Them to the Cover Slide: Your cover slide should include your company name and logo, but adding your prospect's will help them feel more engaged at the start of the presentation.
  • Include Components of Their Current Situation: When talking about the problem and its implications, add related images and light text to your problem slide to drive the point home. 
  • Highlight Specific Use Cases: Think of ways you envision your prospect using your solution to their benefit, and add related images or videos of those features to the solution slide. 
  • Add Similar Customers' Images or Logos: When you talk about a case study or testimonial of a company like your prospect, show images of them to promote legitimacy.

Just like your presentation outline, consider creating a general version of your sales deck and leaving a few prompts that you can simply personalize for each prospect. This will help you keep the overall structure that you know to be effective while also helping the deck feel as if you crafted it especially for the prospect.

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Additional Reading:

For help on creating the best sales deck for your presentation, check out our detailed article on how to create a sales deck. There, you'll find key steps as well as templates and examples to craft the best one possible.

How to Properly Deliver Your Sales Presentation

An effective sales presentation is personalized to your prospect and makes them active participants, sparking questions from them and prompting run-off conversations about their specific interests. This helps you build a relationship. Let’s go over some key tips for delivering a sales presentation that wins over your audience.

Start With Highly Personalized Small Talk

Depending on your prospect, you may want to begin your sales presentation with a rapport-building question that asks about their personal life such as “How was the football game last weekend?,” or they may respond better to a more professional question like “I saw you opened a new office in {location}. Congrats! How's it progressing?” Starting off the presentation with the right type of small talk can help your prospect relax and drop their “No one can sell me!” attitude.

Use a Conversational Tone

Resist the urge to speak too formally. It's important to be respectful of your prospect, but positioning yourself as their peer will help them picture you as both a subject matter expert and a quality potential partner. Stick to simple language and try to sound more casual so your prospects see you as a pleasant person to work with rather than a stuffy salesperson.

Switch Speakers Often

If you’re presenting with multiple people, it makes sense to switch speakers whenever you move on to the next main point. When assigning main points to different team members, take into account their levels of expertise and enthusiasm for given topics. For example, if one of them spent days analyzing the prospect’s main problem, let them take that part. Genuine confidence is powerful. For this reason, also let your best closer make the closing statement.

Encourage Questions Throughout

Consider building in extra time so you can encourage your audience at the beginning of your presentation to ask questions and make comments while you’re presenting. This makes your presentation more of a conversation and lifts the audience's engagement level and comprehension. Say something like, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make comments throughout. If there’s something you want to discuss in greater detail, let me know.”

Follow Typical Presentation Best Practices

As you go through the outline and any supporting materials (e.g., a slide deck) you've created, keep in mind the communication tactics that help your presentation go smoothly. Here are some best practices for delivering your sales presentation in a way that both captivates and sells the audience:

  • Leverage Body Language Tactics: Put your shoulders back, smile, and feel free to move around naturally. Use your hands to emphasize key points or transitions. The Presentation Training Institute has additional tips on body language for presenters
  • Maintain Eye Contact: Alternate eye contact between the people in the room. Try your best not to leave anyone out for too long. 
  • Keep Things Moving and Changing: Don’t spend more than a few minutes discussing a slide. When you frequently change the visual stimuli, you maintain the audience’s attention.
  • Be Confident: Avoid apologizing if you make a mistake. This indicates nervousness or discomfort. Instead, take it in stride and keep presenting with confidence.

Learning these presentation tips can also help you be a better salesperson in general since they can be applied outside of presentations, as well.

Go Off Script When Needed

The presentation outline, the sales deck, and any sort of script that you write all contribute to a well-organized presentation, but a truly professional presenter knows that it's important to be flexible throughout the presentation. If your prospect asks a question that you were planning to answer later in the presentation or not at all, consider taking a moment to address their curiosity or concern. This will help them feel more engaged and view you as a helpful potential partner.

Ultimately, go with the flow. Expect the unexpected to occur, like a confusing question from the audience. If you lack the knowledge on the specific subject, say you’ll do some research and send them the answer in a follow-up email. They’ll understand.

Top 3 Sales Presentation Software

Most of your prospects will better follow what you're saying and understand your product and what it does if they can view a visual slide deck as you speak. While there are many sales presentation software options out there, we've found Visme, Google Slides, and Prezi to be some of the best ones in terms of key factors like cost and features. We've briefly covered each platform below:

Visme

Google Slides

Prezi

Visme is an online software that allows you to create, store, and share visual materials such as sales presentations and infographics. Its searchable library contains over a thousand presentation layouts and themes to get you started, and its free educational resources such as tutorials, webinars, and courses make it a great option for those new to sales presentations. Visme has a free version and available upgrades.

Visme Presentation Software

Google Slides is a free slideshow tool that helps you create simple, professional-looking sales decks to accompany your verbal presentation. Start with one of their templates, then invite your team members to collaborate on the slides in real time. Slides is a great option for Google Suite users since it integrates seamlessly with other Google apps.

Google Slides for product demo

Prezi is a highly interactive presentation builder that uses features such as zooming in and out to keep the viewer engaged. Because the zoom function is nonlinear, you can bounce between slides as your prospect asks questions, helping you to keep the conversation flowing and give the buyer more control than they'd normally have in a typical presentation. The basic platform is free, but you can upgrade for more functionality.

Prezi Free Presentation Software

When choosing the right platform for you, consider factors such as your budget and any particular features you need. Also think about the number of employees who will use it, their level of experience with presentation software, and whether they'll use the software for their own individual presentations or collaborate on a presentation as a team.

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Additional Reading:

For more on these platforms plus additional options, read our independent editorial review of the best presentation software available. In the article, we cover their pricing, core features, ease of use, and more, plus each option's primary use case.

3 Best Sales Presentation Examples From Top Companies

You can learn a lot about sales decks and presentation skills by reading through exceptional sales decks and watching great sales presenters. Here are example sales presentations from Facebook, Zuora, and Steve Jobs (Apple), and what makes them so successful. Click the images below to see each example presentation.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Presentation

LinkedIn Sales Navigator sales presentation

First off, LinkedIn does a great job of using color to create a visually appealing slideshow of their LinkedIn Sales Navigator product. As for the presentation, they begin with an elevator pitch that gives context to the prospect. Then they talk about the current environment of their customers (salespeople), emphasizing that sellers in this age need to be focused, informed, and trusted.

After backing this claim with data, they introduce their solution and describe how it can help them be more focused, informed, and trusted, dedicating one slide to each attribute. They repeat these three words throughout the presentation so that they stick in the prospect’s mind. This is a good example of using three key benefits and the power of repetition.

Zuora Sales Presentation

Zuora sales presentation

Zuora does a fantastic job in this sales deck of using little text and still making a big impact. The presentation begins with an explanation of a big change (the new subscription economy) in the customer’s industry. This hooks the audience immediately, since it’s top of mind.

Zuora then goes on to explain how there will be winners and losers in this economy and offers case studies of companies who have used this change to their advantage. Then, they show how their solution can help the prospect do the same.

Steve Jobs Sales Presentation

Steve Jobs sales presentation

In this presentation, Steve Jobs introduces the first Apple iPhone. The presentation is an illustration not only of what it means to present with confidence, wit, and charm, but also of solid presentation structure. Steve begins by building credibility, listing past successes. He then describes the problem with current smartphones — their static, plastic keyboards. After dismantling the competition, he introduces the solution to the problem and its many benefits.

Examples such as these are a great place to get inspired and think of similar ideas for your own presentation outline or presenting style. Seek out as many examples as you need, then pick a few key tips to keep in mind as you get ready to host your next few sales presentations.

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Additional Reading:

To get inspiration from additional great presentations, read our article on the top sales presentation templates and examples. In it, you’ll find key templates as well as video examples of real companies that follow each framework.

Top 4 Sales Presentation Tips

We listed best practices for delivery above, but there are also best practices for preparation that can help you get your presentation in good shape before your attendees arrive in person or virtually. These include planning a certain closing technique, rehearsing your presentation, sharing your sales deck in advance, and testing the technology. Keep these four main tips in mind, especially after you finish creating your presentation and start getting ready to deliver it.

Plan a Personalized Closing Technique

It's important to personalize your sales closing technique to your prospect. As you personalize your CTA, consider the relationship you have with the prospect plus what's realistic.

For example, if you have great rapport with them and you think they might buy soon, you can try an assumptive close, using language that assumes they'll make a purchase. If you don't know them as well or they seem like a tougher client, you may want to try using an inoffensive close to reiterate your product's benefits and ask if they'd be open to receiving a business proposal.

Rehearse Your Presentation

Practice your sales presentation at least five times all the way through. Do it alone first and then in front of others so they can spot your weak points. The reason you are rehearsing is to memorize the material enough so you can field questions and comments throughout the presentation, then easily get right back on the track.

For instance, if a CEO in the audience says “That’s a super cool idea” during your presentation, you won’t have to bulldoze to the next slide in order to keep your rhythm and memory if you’ve rehearsed properly. You can pause and discuss it before picking up where you left off.

Share Your Sales Deck Beforehand

Share your sales deck with the attendees two days before the meeting. In most cases, they will look it over and build interest. Some won’t read it, but it’s courteous to give them the option. Most importantly, emailing your deck to the attendees will also help them prepare any questions, so the discussions will be top-notch.

If you know a lot about the prospect’s current situation, day-to-day, and goals, take this approach a step further and send them a written vision statement that explains how you see this product or service changing their life or business. It can be as short as a single paragraph or as long as a page. It’s meant to show the prospect that your presentation will be personalized to their needs.

Prepare & Test the Technology

Your presentation could be in-person in an office or meeting room or virtual via a conferencing platform like Zoom. In both cases, it’s crucial to prepare the environment and smooth out any wrinkles by testing the technology. If in person, make sure your screen and projector or laptop and the necessary cords are functioning properly. If virtual, test the conferencing software, your mic, and your webcam. In both cases, ensure your slideshow is ready to go.

You'll naturally come up with additional best practices as you give more presentations, but even implementing these four can drastically change the success of your presentations.

bookmarks

Additional Reading:

For more information on creating and optimizing your sales presentation, check out our article on the top sales presentation tips and ideas from verified experts.

Bottom Line: Sales Presentation

Your audience should come out of your sales presentation different than they were at the beginning. Give them insights about their industry, a deeper understanding of their problem or challenge, and ideas about how they can reach their goals and dreams with the help of your product or service. If you follow the steps and tips we’ve presented to you today, you should be able to do just that.

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