To create a winning sales presentation, where you begin will be determined by where you are in your sales process. For the purpose of this article, we have concentrated early on in the sales process and this advice is likely most relevant for your initial 'face to face' prospect meetings, although some elements read true wherever you are in the sales process.

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An experienced sales person will tell you that in order to present your solution, you must first understand your prospect client's problems; what is their pain point that you can provide the solution for. The challenge with this thinking is two fold: 

Firstly, your prospect might not be prepared to openly share those problems with you until they understand more about the organisation you represent and your credentials, especially if you have been proactively selling and you're not a well know brand.

Secondly, the prospect might not be aware that they have a problem in an area where you can add value. A good example of this is our own proposition around interactive sales presentations. When we first talk to clients, it is rare that people recognise what is wrong with the way they currently create and deliver sales presentations. It's only after we share our methodology, techniques and client examples that they see a more effective way of presenting.

Showing that you can add value 

Success in creating a compelling proposition comes from being able to recognise where you add value and what your strengths are. Try this simple experiment, ask a handful of your colleagues to write down (without talking to other colleagues!) why clients choose to work with your organisation. I'm confident that across this group you will generate at least 15-20 different reasons, far too many to remember for your internal team never mind your prospects!

Now do the same exercise with a handful of your clients and compare the two sets of answers, I suspect you will be amazed by what you see. Of course there will be some great content, but there will also be too many reasons, many of which are weak and not relevant to prospective clients. I would strongly advise that you make a conscious effort to ensure all your team are delivering the same high level sales messaging, especially early in the sales process. I've seen so many great sales opportunities destroyed by teams who, during or after the pitch presentation, contradict each other and confuse the buying organisation.

Demonstrate experience and interact freely

Your challenge is creating compelling content that engages your audience and demonstrates how you could help them and have helped other organisations solve similar business problems with genuine solutions, and proof that you can deliver. I would always recommend creating an interactive sales presentation with 4 or 5 key selling messages to give you a great start early on in the sales process. The interactive nature of the presentations we create allow you to navigate to the relevant part of the value proposition based on the conversation, there is nothing worse than being forced to watch and listen to content that's not relevant to you!

Include value proposition messages 

Examples of value proposition messages in an interactive sales presentation could include 'Reduce Costs', 'Improve Productivity', 'Better ROI', 'Faster to Market', 'Generate More Leads', 'Better Brand Awareness' to name but a few. When we do this with clients we always make sure we do the 'so what' test. One could argue that the example 'Better Brand Awareness' fails the 'so what' test. What the presenter might actually mean by 'Better Brand Awareness' is 'Generate More Leads' because of the significant increase in your Brand Awareness and capabilities.

Whatever your sales message, make sure you are true to yourself and true to your proposition. If not you will only come undone later in the sales process and will have wasted yours and your prospects time.

Written by Richard Newman April of 2017