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Reviving the Power of B2B Sales Presentations: Strategies for 2024

Elevate your B2B sales strategy by mastering the art of the impactful presentation.

In the past, your prospective clients would require you to provide a presentation. Most of these sales presentations were so similar that any competitor in your industry could use the exact same slide deck by simply swapping out the logo and company name. To present, you would need to build a slide deck you believed would cause your client to buy from you instead of from one of the other salespeople competing for the business. Like everything in sales, at some point, these overly long presentations became tiresome to contacts, who started asking salespeople to put away their laptops and forget about the PowerPoints.

Just like certain styles fall out of fashion only to become popular again in the future, it seems that buyers and decision-makers are once again looking for a presentation to go with a proposal. A number of salespeople report that their prospective clients have requested a presentation in a conference room where the task force sits around a large conference table with a projector pointed at a screen.

One group of salespeople was asked to present. Their slide deck was quite long, and the decision-makers sat through the entire thing. They were impressed with how thorough the presentation was compared to what was shared by another group of salespeople who showed up with a single slide. The contacts thanked the team with the long presentation, and said that the other group that presented made the decision makers ask all the questions.

Stories like this are becoming more and more common. Another group had a different client ask for a presentation, and afterwards the main contact asked for a copy of it. Another contact asked a salesperson to provide a copy of their presentation without presenting it.

Recognizing Buyer Intent in Sales Presentations

If you pay attention to shifts in how buyers make a change in their business, you will notice they are trying to make a rare decision they intend to get right on the first attempt. Without talking to the prospective clients who asked for presentations, we can be certain that they are trying to make the best decision, one that will ensure they are able to acquire their desired outcome.

We hear a lot about buyers doing their own research on sales organizations. For years, we have been told that buyers are no longer interested in meeting with salespeople. Now that that’s changing, we have evidence that doing their own research isn’t working for them. If this trend continues, buyers and decision makers may want to spend more time trying to choose the right strategic partner, one they trust to be able to improve their results.

Delivering Certainty amidst Uncertainty

In a time of great uncertainty, decision makers seek certainty. The request for a sales presentation suggests that decision-makers and their stakeholders are trying to understand how you and your company deliver the results they need.

The request for a sales presentation means a number of your competitors will also participate in this contest. The winner is likely to be the one that solves the problem of certainty and proves they are the right fit.

Essential Components for Effective Sales Presentations

The first thing you should establish is that you invite your contacts to ask questions as you work through the sales presentation. You want to answer as many questions as possible.

Most sales presentations start with some information about your company. You should try your best to limit this to a very few minutes. Too much time here means you will have less time for the topics your contacts find more helpful. One of our clients spends two minutes on their company, which should be plenty of time to cover this information in a way that is relevant to your contacts.

If you are following the legacy approach, you will have a slide that shows the logos of a large number of your largest clients. This is designed to prove that your contact can trust you with their business. This, like other strategies, screams an answer to the question “Why us?” You should limit the time you spend on this part of your presentation as well because prospective clients are more interested in hearing about what you can do to help them with their problems.

Finally, you are supposed to introduce your solution, which is what you are going to sell to your prospective client. However, you may do better to postpone discussion of your solution and instead spend some time talking about the client’s problem, proving you understand it better than your contacts do. In doing so, you are likely to score points. It is important that early in the sales presentation you establish why the client should change because this sets up the next topic.

If I were your sales manager, I would have you transition from the client’s problem to the future state your contacts are pursuing. This is a better introduction to your solution because it allows you to present your solution as the bridge between the client’s current problems and the results they need. Once you have described the client’s desired future state, you can present your solution.

Depending on what you sell and how you deliver it, you may want to include a section of your presentation that addresses the milestones you and your prospective client will work through together. You are also going to describe the investment the client will need to make. You might also build an FAQ section to handle the questions you expect your contacts to ask. You would do well to leave as much time as possible for questions.

After reading this article, spend some time with your sales presentation and determine what your client needs to see and hear for you to give them the confidence and certainty they need to move forward and prefer to buy from you.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 20, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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