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7 Tips for Successful Sales Presentation Skills

The traditional sales pitch has changed. Here are 7 tips to improve your presentation skills and turn your sales pitch into the conversation your customers want to have. 

The sales pitch has changed. And not just because it’s more likely to take place virtually than in a meeting room. Gone are the days of throwing information at your customer, wowing them (or baffling them) with pithy one-liners, then sweeping triumphantly out of the room. The pitch is no longer your mic drop moment. Rather it’s a conversation with the customer that should resonate with them long after you’ve had it. 

Key to getting it right is keeping your audience engaged. Listen. Ask questions. Offer real solutions. The longer you can keep their attention, the higher your chances of winning them over. 

Use these tips to create a sales presentation that will do exactly that.

1. Do your due diligence with customer research

Research is critical. Without it, you won’t understand your customer well enough to know what matters to them, let alone sell them your product. And with 88% of reps saying current economic conditions make it important to anticipate customers’ needs, you don’t want to be caught off guard. 

Well before your presentation, find out everything there is to know about your customer’s company, industry and competitors. When it’s time to pitch, your understanding of the customer and the landscape they’re operating in should be second nature. 

High performing sales teams are using AI to supercharge their insights into customer behaviour and preferences. The right technology can be a great sidekick when it comes to perfecting your pitch.

2. Talk to the right audience

The best presentation in the world will go to waste if it isn’t delivered to the right audience. Find out who the decision maker is. Who is actually going to approve the purchase? No one wants their time wasted.

3. Offer a solution

If you’ve done your homework and asked the right questions, you’ll know what problem the customer is struggling with. Now is your chance to acknowledge it and share a solution. Tailor your pitch so it speaks to the unique challenges of the particular customer and show them how your product can meet those challenges. 

Your pitch should be different every time you deliver it because every customer will have a different problem they need to solve. They won’t be interested in why you think the product’s great or why other customers like it. They want to know how it can help them.

4. Be ready to overcome sales objections

Fine tune your sales message so it addresses potential objections before they arise.  

The most common sales objections: budget, authority, need, and time (also known as BANT). Make sure your responses show value to your buyer. For example, does your customer currently use a competitor’s product that is similar? If so, demonstrate the features that differentiate your product. Are they struggling with their budget this quarter? Highlight the ways in which your product will save them money.

Your responses will sharpen over time as you receive more feedback. In the meantime, use your knowledge of the customer and the product to be prepared for the inevitable “buts”.

5. Listening skills are your key to success

It’s tempting to be married to your script and to race through it without drawing breath, let alone letting your customer get a word in edgewise. 

So put the script down. Check in with your buyer as you go. Listen carefully and respond with thoughtful follow-up questions. By tuning in, you can tweak your sales message so it sounds really attractive to that particular buyer. 

Go in with a view to having a conversation, not just delivering a presentation.

6. Be proactive and follow up after your sales pitch

Don’t wait for your customer to make the next move. Every sales pitch should end with a call to action that is relevant to the customer. Even if they aren’t ready to complete the sale yet, keep the momentum by nurturing their journey forward with a follow-up meeting or trial period.

7. Get a head start

This is your opportunity to get a referral to kickstart your next round of pitches. Ask customers you have a healthy relationship with for referrals to other prospects. If you’ve made that all important great impression, they’ll be happy to share the love.

But don’t go in cold. A name and phone number is good but a name and phone number plus an email introduction is way better.

You’re on

It’s time to get in the same room as the buyer and work your magic. Remember, be prepared and keep it concise. What do people like better than a great pitch? A short, great pitch. Don’t waste their time (or your’s) by padding it with unnecessary buzz words (“synergy” we’re looking at you). Keep their attention with a clear, relevant message. Because you’ve done your research, you know your customer, you know your product and you’re prepared to go off script if necessary.

For more insights into what separates high-performing sales teams from underperformers, download the latest State of Sales report.

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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