As a sales manager, you’re used to having all kinds of conversations with sales leadership, including forecasting and opportunity reviews on large, high visibility, high-value opportunities, sales pitches, cold calls, networking chats, and more. No matter how comfortable you are with these conversations, even the most seasoned sales manager can sometimes start sweating at the prospect of running a long-form sales pipeline presentation.
What do you need to run a presentation like this? Is PowerPoint dead, or is it expected? How long should you prepare to talk? Who needs to be involved in the meeting? Once the questions start piling up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
This post will walk you through everything you need to know to conduct a killer sales pipeline presentation. After reading, you’ll be ready to walk your leadership team through the best presentation of your life.
What Should Your Sales Pipeline Presentation Include?
A sales pipeline presentation is a conversation about the pipeline's health, integrity, and value. The reason to review the pipeline is to ensure you are tracking toward your sales goals and targets.
When you are reviewing each individual’s pipeline, you are checking the health, integrity, and proof the salesperson has enough opportunities that they can reach their targets. By confirming the pipeline is sound, you are preparing to brief your sales leadership team, who are responsible for ensuring your company reaches its net new revenue goals and ensuring they reach its growth goals.
Remember, a sales pipeline presentation isn’t a pitch. Instead, this presentation is a form of reporting and, when necessary, an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments while there is still time.
Depending on how many salespeople you have on your team, you can expect these conversations to take an hour or more, depending on how much detail your leadership team expects around the pipeline and how interested they are in large deals.
1. Establish Pipeline Location
Before making a sales pipeline presentation, you need to establish some baseline information bout your pipeline.
It’s best to start with the total value of the deals in your pipeline. Your sales leaders will want to know you are leading your team in creating more than enough opportunities to reach your team’s goal. Providing evidence that you can lose deals and still make your goal a priority.
Second, you want to show you have the right mix of deals. Depending on what you sell, you may have offerings for very large clients and offers for SMBs (small and medium businesses). You might also have certain products or services your company needs to sell to meet its goals. When this is true, you should be prepared to share each category as its own pipeline, giving your leadership team confidence you are building the right pipelines.
It’s also common to show your pipeline by your opportunity stages, even though the sales conversation is mostly nonlinear. By providing a view of stages, you can show what will close soon and what deals will follow them. Sales leaders want to see something that looks like a conveyor belt with deals smoothly moving forward.
It’s also good to show the averages of each stage of your pipeline. You should also prepare for the questions you can expect about your largest deal and your strategy to ensure you and your team get it across the line on time.
2. Tell a Story
People remember stories better than they remember information passed along in any other way.
If you want to make your pipeline presentation stand out, start with a story that starts with your vision for your team, your expectations of your team, and how you support them as they prospect, create opportunities, and capture enough of them that you beat your goals.
You will score points by explaining how you lead your team and the expected results. This context will help your audience of sales leaders better understand what they are looking at when you present your pipeline.
For example: If your team is generating too many small deals, you’ll want to explain how you are changing their targeting and disqualifying the too-small deals that will not contribute enough to make it worth the salesperson’s time.
You might also have to explain that the two gargantuan deals are not the core of your strategy to reach your goal, especially if they are competitive deals that may be challenging to win. You may also have to provide answers on what you are doing to sell a product your company has prioritized.
3. Help them Visualize Success
Visuals can make your presentation more interesting and compelling. The more you can show the data and what it suggests, the better the presentation. Provide visuals to help your leadership team to see how your pipeline has integrity and enough deals to cause you to be successful.
A visual of the total pipeline and the value by stage is helpful, as it provides a snapshot of the health of your sales funnel. Adding a graphic that shows your average sales cycle on different categories of deals can show that you have time to move these deals to the “win” stage with time left over.
One thing sales managers don’t do well is ask their salespeople to ask their prospective clients when they want to go live. One of the ways you create concern about your pipeline is to show close dates that are the last day of the month, the quarter, or the year. The more you can turn a placeholder into a solid client commitment, the greater confidence you give your sales leadership team.
4. Involve Sales Leaders and Ask for Help
What’s the best way to ensure a presentation hits home? Involve the people to whom you are presenting.
You want to prove you are on the right track, but when you know the preferences of your sales leaders, you should prepare your pipeline in a way that speaks to them. You also want to use your pipeline presentation to ask for the help or resources you need to ensure you reach your goals.
Asking a senior sales leader to reach out to their peer in a large deal may help you win a competitive deal. You might also need help acquiring more talent to be able to reach your goals. Like any presentation, you want your audience to listen forward, not lean back.
Improve Your Sales Pipeline Presentations, Cold Calls, and More
These tips can help you craft an incredible sales pipeline presentation that will help you prove you are going to reach your goals. However, implementing these tips is just the beginning if you want to improve your sales results on the whole.
Improving your sales conversations, close rates, and more starts with giving your team the right language to advance sales. My Talk Tracks provide you and your team with the language you need to confidently move sales forward, overcome objections, and book meetings 24/7.
Check out my Sales Accelerator program today to see how your team can learn the mindset, language, and practices they need to succeed in any sales environment.