Sales decks are a critical selling tool. Not only are these slide presentations an effective way for you or your sales team to visually explain your product, by also demonstrating the problem it solves, they show prospects why they should buy it.
Visual presentations like sales decks build an emotional bridge with your audience. This makes them more memorable—and more persuasive—than verbal presentations alone. Studies show, in fact, that far more people (67% vs 50%) are convinced by verbal content when it’s accompanied by visual aids.
To ensure your slide presentation performs like it should, here are 7 common mistakes you should watch for, and how to keep them from spoiling your sales deck.
1. Failing to create a crisp, customized presentation
Mix a bland, generic pitch with too much information and you’ve got the recipe for an unimpressive sales presentation. If it’s worth making the effort to pitch your product, it’s worth taking the time to research your client’s problem and create a sales deck that addresses their needs and expectations directly.
2. Missing opportunities to switch out text for video
The idea that a picture is worth a thousand words may be old news, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Ditch text-heavy slides and consider going the extra mile by replacing some of your static content with embedded video—either in your cover slide, or at another impactful point in your presentation.
3. Overusing complex data or terms
To capture and hold the audience’s attention in any hard-to-get meeting, it’s important to strike a balance between talking down and talking over their heads. Don’t leave it to your prospective buyer to make sense of product-centric data, terms, or diagrams. Instead, focus on creating a sales deck that’s clear and engaging.
4. Settling for a visually fragmented sales deck
Scattered ideas and the inconsistent use of text size, colour, or font can prove distracting in a visual slide presentation. Take care that the quality of your sales deck content reflects the excellence of your product or service by ensuring it’s organized, cohesive, and professional.
5. Ignoring the importance of backing up and narrating data
Storytelling is a great way to guide prospects along the path from having a problem to resolving it, while highlighting the benefits they can expect to gain. Even the best narrative means little, however, without concrete proof. Make sure your sales deck includes data-backed evidence (like case studies or testimonials, for example) that demonstrates what your product has achieved for similar clients.
6. Diluting your message with other sales materials
Be careful not to detract from the targeted information in your visual presentation by throwing too much other sales collateral at your prospect. To help the message in your sales deck stand out, be strategic about when and how you share product brochures, whitepapers, datasheets or pricing guides.
7. Forgetting to include a final CTA
One of the biggest sales deck mistakes is NOT concluding your presentation with a clear call to action. Rather than simply thanking your prospect for their time, the final slide in your deck should describe exactly what you’d like them to do next—whether it’s set up a demo, request a sales proposal, or get their free trial underway.
Sales decks are a great way to get your message in front of everyone involved in a buying decision—and convince them to make a purchase. The more effort you put into making your deck the best it can be, the more sales you’re likely to win for your business.