Last updated: 6 tips for crafting a killer sales presentation

6 tips for crafting a killer sales presentation


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Do your salespeople know how to present like superstars? Or do they resemble walking, talking brochures?

The era of the salesperson as “information provider” is long gone. Prospects get plenty of information about offerings online; they don’t want to waste their valuable time listening to a presentation that’s little more than a data dump. Yet I see still see many salespeople who start a presentation by saying, “First, let me tell you a little bit about our company.” That one little sentence is all it takes for an audience to tune out.

It’s bad enough to think about all the potential leads and deals you’re losing as a result of poor presentations. An added downer is the money you’re wasting. Here’s how sales strategy consultant Jacco van der Kooij broke it down in this blog post on

Assuming a company uses conference rooms for its internal presentations and inside and field sales representatives for its external presentations, it will find itself investing the following:

  • $273,000/year per conference room on internal presentations
  • $88,000/year per field sales professional on client presentations
  • $12,400/year per inside sales professional on client presentations

A company that employs five outside reps and two inside reps will spend nearly $1 million annually on presentations. (If you want to estimate the amount your company is investing, use our online calculator.)

If you want your salespeople to craft and deliver better sales presentations that win attention (and deals), here are three elements to think about.

1) Body language

When presenting in person, your body language transmits a tremendous amount of information. Most salespeople don’t receive technical training on the mechanics of how to present in person. As a result, they make rookie mistakes (slouching or speaking too rapidly, for example).

Sales presentations can trigger anxiety for many salespeople; that fear is often conveyed unwittingly through physical gestures. Years ago, actor John Cleese (who also owned a sales training company) shared with Selling Power his tips for maintaining a confident, calm demeanor during a stressful presentation or situation.

“If you want to maintain composure under pressure, I recommend that you don’t fiddle. Try to keep your hands still. Move as little as you possibly can because it looks better. If you’re going to make a gesture, make it an easy, fairly big one. Try it in front of the mirror. Don’t make short, small, jerky, restrictive movements.”

2) Focus

This tip comes from LaVon Koerner, Chief Revenue Officer of global sales consulting firm, Revenue Storm. In a blog post on, he said that salespeople need more preparation for sales meetings today. Asking, “What keeps you up at night?” and plying prospects with gifts or rounds of golf aren’t going to cut it anymore. You should walk into a presentation already knowing what your customer’s business problems are, and how your company can solve them. Above all, keep the focus on your prospect.

“Don’t make the critical error of talking about yourself, your company, or your products. The harsh reality is that no one cares about you until they understand what you can do for them. Do your homework, leave the logoed mug and your capabilities presentation at home.”

3) Storytelling

Tom Drews, founder of What Works! Communications, told Selling Power that salespeople can learn a lot from Hollywood.

“Rather than starting with an amazingly boring agenda, present a provocative question, the prospect’s most painful challenge, a quote, a testimonial, or a customer success story. The most successful Hollywood movies will meet the audience’s most important needs. Whether it’s to escape from the world, to laugh, or to cry, we go to the movies for a reason. Before you even think of delivering a presentation online, you absolutely must know what is most important to your prospect. If you can find that out, and really drill down on their situation, the problems they face, the impact that has on their business, and their ultimate needs, then you are guaranteed to get their attention and have a much better chance of winning their business.”

Think of all the sales presentations you’ve ever had to sit through. What was it about the good ones that made you sit up and take notice? What was it about the bad ones that made you want to curl up and take a nap?

More options. More conditions. More stakeholders. More circling-back.
Modern selling is anything but simple.
Intelligent sales enablement starts HERE.

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