Sales Techniques & Strategies

Sales performance: Tips for creating a sales deck that closes more deals

Jonathan Hubbard
Jonathan Hubbard
March 1, 2024

A sales deck is a slide show which sales reps use during a product demonstration, new range presentation, or sales pitch to engage prospects and reinforce their talking points. 

However, if your reps are using a poorly designed sales deck, they’ll struggle to get purchase with their prospects, and sales performance may suffer. If you’ve got waning sales performance, reviewing your rep’s sales decks should be on your list. 

In this article, we’ll give you 4 criteria every high performing sales deck should meet.

Sales performance checklist: Are your reps sales decks checking these boxes? 

The sales deck should tell a ‘problem→solution’ story

After a new range presentation, your rep remarks to you that despite their existing relationship with the customer, it was difficult to engage them, no matter how many anecdotes were told. Surely there’s a more effective way to capture attention?

Fortunately, reps can use narrative structure to re-engage their audience with creativity and clear direction. Using a problem→solution story structure can spark curiosity among a rep’s audience as they wait to know how a product can solve their problem. 

Build out a story sales deck by recognising and empathizing with the prospect’s problem. Identifying the prospect’s problem should be easy if your reps are logging detailed call notes. Next, outline costs for not solving the problem and the failings of other solutions. To finish, the rep presents their product as the best solution.

Use case studies/testimonials as proof

Despite having statistics for ROI evidence in their sales decks, reps are still being asked the same product questions: Is it popular with your other clients? What do they say about it? The reps are struggling to shift stock and you’re beginning to notice sales performance is flatlining. 

To break a prospect’s barriers to change, reps need to use social proof in their sales decks, through either case studies or testimonials to justify the product solution their story identifies.

Reps could contact their top customers and ask how well the product contributed to their sales performance, or what their customers have to say about it. After setting up a testimonial slide in their sales decks, reps won’t be faced with additional questions. 

Incorporate visual metaphors to drive engagement

The sales decks your team produces for new range presentations have images, but you don’t think they’re enough to make an impact on customers, and some appear to be purely decorative. How can their sales decks be visually modified to generate buzz and help close deals?

Humans are excellent visual thinkers- sales reps can use this to explain complex ideas in an appealing way using visual metaphors. Visual metaphors use pictures or videos to stand in as a symbol for something else: think of any car advert where a cheetah is used to represent performance. 

Ask your reps to identify each product’s largest benefit: how would you visualize that benefit? What image can you produce that’ll get the product to stick in the prospect’s mind?

Sales deck is personalized to the prospect

Reps are seeing great results with sales decks for wholesaler product demos, but struggle to gain purchase when presenting account managers the same content. You know that without getting through to these key decision makers, sales performance won’t grow quickly.

Reps should adapt sales deck material and story structure to their audiences as no audience is the same: an account manager needs different information to be convinced to purchase compared to a branch manager. 

For existing customers, reps could use customer data and details captured in call notes to justify additional spending on a product, perhaps sales are down on last year’s and there’s room for a deal? 

Using story structure, justifying claims with social proof, and explaining points with visual metaphors are key steps which can help a rep’s sales deck contribute to sales performance. 

However, if you want to help reps personalize their sales decks to customer needs, you’ll need the up-to-date sales gap insights offered by a sales performance app. Check it out here.

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