B2B Sales

Sales Presentation Templates, Types, and Tips

Your sales presentation represents the tipping point of your sale. It is when you actually show the prospect how you intend to solve their problem or provide for their need. 

So, everyone who wishes to be a great salesperson must master the art of presenting. 

In this post, we will help you do that by providing you with sales presentation best practices, types, and templates to use going forward. 

What Is a Sales Presentation and Why It’s Important 

Before a presentation, your client is wondering, “Is this product/service right for me?” After, they should be thinking, “Why, yes it is!” 

A sales presentation is your opportunity to present your products and services to potential buyers in a way that motivates them to purchase. 

It usually includes slides, videos, case studies, statistics, demos, and any other materials that will help your buyer see the value of your solution. 

A solid presentation will educate them on how the solution works, what benefits they will receive, and how it aligns with their specific needs, wants, and goals. The keyword here is their

A presentation should be personalized to the prospect. Only then will it pluck their heartstrings and make them excited to buy. 

Up until the presentation, sellers have probably already engaged in one or two discovery calls with the prospects. 

The prospects have divulged their pain points, goals, and the characteristics of their business and its processes. 

If your sales presentation structure takes these facets into account, your audience will remain engaged throughout, and in the end, view you as a professional who cares about helping them. 

How to Structure Your Sales Presentation 

No matter what you are selling, there are some structural rules you can follow to produce a compelling sales presentation. 

First, keep in mind that people digest, remember, and connect with information best when it is presented to them in a narrative structure

This is important because you want your prospects to leave with a firm grasp on how your product or service will help them. 

Therefore, most sales presentations should follow this narrative structure, preferably copying the great epic dramas and using three acts, where the prospect is the protagonist

We will call these three acts SCR:

  • Situation: This is where you lay the foundation of the story. Show the prospect you understand their situation, business processes, goals, pain points, etc. End this by stating the gap between where the prospect is and where they want to be. 
  • Situation: This is where you lay the foundation of the story. Show the prospect you understand their situation, business processes, goals, pain points, etc. End this by stating the gap between where the prospect is and where they want to be. 
  • Situation: This is where you lay the foundation of the story. Show the prospect you understand their situation, business processes, goals, pain points, etc. End this by stating the gap between where the prospect is and where they want to be. 

Stories help us make sense of a senseless world. 

Structure your sales presentation like a good story, and you will have prospects who better understand how you are helping them travel from point A to B. 

What to Bring to Your Sales Presentation 

Should a commercial pest control company bring a cage of mice and a couple of mousetraps to their presentation with a restaurant owner? Probably not. 

Nevertheless, there are certain professional props you will need when giving your presentation, whether it is at the prospect’s office or yours.

Here are some common materials and equipment to bring: 

  • Handouts: Sometimes, you might want to print out your sales deck or case studies and hand them to each prospect. 
  • Product Samples: If you sell a physical or SaaS product, bring it along physically or virtually. Demo it for them. Help them envision themselves owning and using it. 
  • The Powerpoint Sales Deck: Have your PowerPoint sales deck ready. Make sure it’s packed with stats, testimonials, graphs, and visual elements. 
  • A Projector: Some offices might not have the technical capability to hook a laptop up to a larger screen, so ask before. If they don’t, bring a projector

Being prepared is key to presenting yourself and your brand as a professional. This is a chance to make a good first impression of what it is like to work with your team. 

How to Deliver a Great Sales Presentation 

Before diving into how to deliver a great sales presentation, let’s list out some things you should avoid doing, like getting their name wrong or living out the nightmare of forgetting to wear clothes. 

Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Don’t just read the slides.
  • Never overwhelm them with information.
  • You can’t just wing it. 
  • Avoid talking about yourself too much. 

Instead, to keep your audience engaged, leave a good impression, and win their confidence, follow these best practices when giving a sales presentation: 

Project Confidence: It’s okay to be nervous. However, there are some things you can do to come across as and feel confident. Dress well. Stand tall with your shoulders back. Make eye contact. And use your hands (e.g., extend one finger for point #1). 

Keep It Prospect-Focused: Rather than talking about how awesome your business is, keep it prospect-focused. Talk about their pain points and business traits and how your solution complements them.

Encourage Conversation: If they speak up and want to talk about a certain topic, oblige them and go off track. This will keep them engaged. 

Share Anecdotes: Share stories of how customers like them have achieved results with your solution. This builds credibility. 

Include Some Showmanship: Take notes from the great infomercials you have seen and include some product demonstrations. 

Provide Data/Statistics: Data and statistics that back up your claims will help you convince the audience that your solution is the real deal. 

End With Next Steps: Make sure you tell them what action you want them to take next. It could be scheduling a follow-up call or sending more material in an email. 

Follow these basic best practices, and you will get audience members who speak up, smile, and look pensive during your sales presentations. 

Sales Presentations by Type 

There are four types of sales presentations that you might encounter. 

Let’s go over them, list their pros and cons, and provide you with some example templates for each. 

1. Memorized 

The memorized sales presentation is the most highly structured type. Almost every word is planned and learned beforehand. 

During the presentation, the seller does 80-90% of the talking, while the prospect’s participation is limited. 

The reason why it is so highly structured is that it makes it easy to memorize and therefore deliver to hundreds of different prospects.

Because this type lacks personalization, it is best to save it for earlier interactions such as cold calls or trade shows, where you want to get the main benefits across quickly to spark interest in a lot of different buyers. 

It can also be helpful if you are meeting with a lot of low-ticket prospects.

Those are the prospects for whom you don’t want to spend lots of time creating new and personalized presentations. 

Here are some pros and cons of the memorized sales presentation: 

Pros

  • Increases confidence of an inexperienced seller, since they have done it so many times. 
  • It aligns salespeople throughout the department on messaging. 
  • It can deliver the main value proposition in a few minutes. 

Cons

  • It lacks personalization in accordance with the prospect’s needs, wishes, and business traits. 
  • It might touch upon features that mean nothing to the prospect. 
  • It discourages conversation between the buyer and seller, making it impersonal. 

A memorized sales presentation follows an outline. 

Usually, each slide will represent a phase of the outline, such as introduction, statistics, case study 1, etc.

The sales rep will memorize verbatim what to say during each slide. 

So, an example of this sales presentation might look like a 10 paragraph essay, each paragraph relating to a slide, which the rep has etched into their memory through repetition and practice, like a theatre performer. 

For instance, this sales deck for Snapchat ads might be presented to a lot of small business owners in the same exact way each time. 

2. Semi-Structured/Formula 

Both new and experienced salespeople can use the semi-structured persuasive sales presentation type. 

It is less structured than the memorized presentation, usually holding constant at the beginning of the presentation but engaging the buyer at an increasing rate as the presentation moves into its later stages

This creates replicability while preserving some room for improvisation and personalization. 

Pros 

  • It gives you more opportunities for seller/prospect conversation. 
  • You can be sure you are sharing critical information. 
  • It leaves space for the seller to answer questions and objections. 

Cons

  • Less flexibility than the need-satisfaction or problem-solution frameworks below. 
  • Not good for complex sales such as SaaS. 

This sales presentation type is best suited for those who have already built a relationship with the buyer, so very little back-and-forth conversation is necessary. 

The seller should already know the needs and wants of the buyer.

This often happens in the scenario where a past client is re-ordering a product or buying a new one from the same line. 

Large companies like W.B Mason, an office supplies company, might use this presentation method to quickly convince past customers to re-up on supplies they have purchased in the past (more pencils, paper, etc.). 

Example Template of a Semi-Structured/Formula Presentation 

The flow of this presentation type might look like this: 

Re-State Situation: “So, last time we met, you mentioned you were trying to grow your sales department?”

State Your Idea: “I had an idea about getting you some new office supplies for them at a lower price than usual.” 

Explain How it Works/Benefits: “We have a big savings deal currently, and if you were to purchase X number of desks and chairs, it would cost you less now than it will down the line.” 

Suggest Next Steps: “If you submit an order this week for X units, I can get you Y price, and they will arrive the following Friday.” 

The sales rep relies on their existing relationship with the client in order to offer an additional solution that would benefit them.

3. Need-Satisfaction 

The need-satisfaction sales presentation is often the most difficult to master, and its deployment should be reserved for more experienced sellers. 

It is essentially a back-and-forth conversation between the buyer and seller.

In it, it is the salesperson’s job to guide the buyer towards revealing a certain need to which the seller can provide a satisfactory solution. 

Sellers uncover this need or pain point by asking open-ended questions.

At the same time, they are adapting and changing their trajectory as they learn more about the buyer’s answers, questions, and objections. 

Pros 

  • Very good for relationship building. 
  • Effective for complex or technical sales. 
  • Can be useful in tandem with SPIN Selling
  • Helps you learn about the customer’s specific needs and pain points. 

Cons

  • Sometimes you dig for a problem but never find one. 
  • Can forget to convey the most critical information. 

An example of how this might look is if a software seller had a meeting with a prospect whose reason for taking the meeting was to see some new technology. 

Before demoing the product, the seller would initiate discussion and try to tease out the buyer’s true needs and problems, so that they can customize the demo for the prospect. 

Example Template of a Need-Satisfaction Presentation

Here’s what a need-satisfaction presentation might look like in practice.

Identify the Need: First, ask questions to learn more about the customer’s business so that you can find a need to solve. 

Agitate the Need: Through conversation, help the customer see how problematic this pain point or need is, and how it’s holding them back. Make them dissatisfied with their current situation. 

Share Your Idea: Explain that you have a solution to that need. Tell them the benefits. Paint the image of the wonderful world they will enjoy after that need is met. 

Show Solution: In a slideshow or demo, show them how your product or service works to satisfy their need. 

As you can see, this type of presentation is very customer-centric and relies on the specific information that the customer provides during the preliminary conversation.

4. Problem-Solution 

The problem-solution presentation is just as flexible as the need-satisfaction type. 

It basically follows the same conversational framework, but the final presentation of the solution is even more personalized, including an analysis of the specific problem. 

The main difference between the two is that, in the problem-solution presentation, a seller is trying to help the buyer see a problem that they might not even know exists, nor understand, nor know how to solve. 

Pros

  • Great for presenting yourself as an expert. 
  • Well-suited for highly complex or technical sales. 
  • You give an in-depth analysis of specific problems and solutions.

Cons 

  • It sometimes requires more than one person to handle the sales cycle (e.g., pre-sales/account executive). 
  • It is time-intensive and could take several months packed with meetings with different members of the team. 

You might find this type of sales presentation in a marketing consulting sale. 

Perhaps the buyer is unaware that their lack of branding is killing their ability to grow. 

The seller has to first convince them with stats, data, and industry expertise that this is, in fact, a serious problem. 

They then have to think of a strategy designed specifically for them to overcome it. 

Finally, they have to present the analysis of the problem and the associated strategy. 

Example Template of Problem-Solution Presentation

Here’s the flow of a problem-solution presentation, which could last many months. 

Convince Buyer to Allow an Analysis of the Problem: First, you have to provide enough evidence to get them to let you try to research and solve the problem. 

Run the Analysis: A more technical member of the team might handle this. An example could be running a compliance report on a property owner’s buildings to find the cost of violations. 

Agree That it’s a Problem: Present your findings and get them to state their belief that this is a problem they think is worth solving. 

Prepare a Proposal: Think up your solution and share the idea with the buyer. 

Present it: Finally, show your solution in a slideshow or demo. Show them the value you bring to the table. 

This type of presentation requires a lot of effort on your part, but because it is so specific in providing value to the customer, it has the potential to result in a fruitful, long-lasting relationship.

Sales Presentation Templates by Situation 

As a sales rep, you encounter many situations where you have to reel off information about your product or service in a way that sparks interest in the buyer. 

So let’s go over some sales presentation templates by situation. 

1. Elevator Pitch 

An elevator pitch is a short 10-30 second pitch that encapsulates what your product or service is, the problem it solves, and the benefits it provides. 

It is useful to have one of these handy in your pocket whenever you might encounter a potential buyer, for instance, at a tradeshow or a networking event

A good elevator pitch should be: 

  • Succinct: Keep it short and to the point, or else the listener’s attention might drift. 
  • Customer-Focused: Make it about your customers, the problems they have, and the results they see. 
  • Actionable: Include a call to action.

Here is an example of an easy template you can use to create a solid elevator pitch. 

State the Problem Your Customers Have: “A lot of property management companies struggle with enforcing their standard operating procedures across their building staff.”

Briefly Explain What Your Solution Is: “So they come to us for our {product or service}.”

Inject Some Credibility: Over 1000 companies currently work with us, including {well-known brands A and B}.

Describe Your Value Proposition: Our solution helps them easily implement and enforce SOPs across their team and see 2x the efficiency, and are therefore able to double the size of their building portfolios without hiring new staff.” 

Offer a CTA (Call to Action): “Would you be open to a meeting to discuss the solution more in-depth?” 

In an elevator pitch, you have to be persuasive in a short amount of time in order to get a potential customer to take action.

2. Cold Sales 

Cold calls need to convince a stranger that you are worth talking to. This can be tricky. 

A good cold call script quickly informs the buyer that you have done your research about their business and that you solve problems relevant to them. 

With a cold call, you should usually only script the first few sentences. The rest should be improvised according to what the prospect says. 

Script the first sentences of the pitch using this framework. 

Introduce Yourself and Company: “My name is {Name} and I head up new business for {Company Name}.” 

Open With Common Pain Points: “The reason for my call today {Their Name} is because a lot of {prospect’s position or type of business—e.g., VPs of Sales} are struggling with {Pain Points A and B}.”

Mention Any Research You Did on Their Business: From what I read about your {some research}, it seems like these might be on top of your mind. Is that the case?”

From there, try to connect with the buyer and learn more about their business. 

If they do have the problems you mentioned, quickly tell them how your company can solve them—using your elevator pitch. Then, ask for a meeting. 

For more about effective cold calling, check out our article on cold calling best practices

3. Written 

A written pitch has to be brief and compelling, since you are without the power of tone, facial expression, and human presence. 

You will often find a use for written pitches in your sales emails or proposals. 

Here are some steps for crafting a good one:

  • Do Your Research: Before sitting down to write your pitch, learn a bit about the prospect and their company. 
  • Mention Something About Them: To grab their attention, mention something about them like, “I noticed on your LinkedIn that you recently acquired a new software company.” 
  • Lead Into Your Solution: “We work with a lot of companies to help them with mergers such as these.”
  • Mention Benefits: “Our clients see {list salient benefits}. 
  • Ask For a Meeting: “Would you be open to a meeting with us to learn more about our service?” 

Essentially, you want your message to leave an impression on the customer so that they feel inclined to reach out to you.

How to Follow up After a Sales Presentation 

Your presentation isn’t done when you click through the last slide. You still have to follow up to continue selling your idea to the prospect. 

Here are some tips for what to do after you have made your sales presentation. 

  • Send The Sales Deck: Email the deck you used during the presentation. They can pass it around internally. 
  • Send Testimonials: Share some case studies or testimonials that you think will shorten the distance their faith must leap. 
  • Answer Any Questions They Had: Sometimes, there will be questions you can’t answer during the presentation. Answer those in email form after. 
  • Ask For A Follow-Up Call: Ask them if they want to have a follow-up call where you will answer any questions or concerns they have had since the presentation meeting. 

Taking these actions will demonstrate your professionalism to your buyers. Plus, it will help them justify the purchase to themselves and the rest of their team. 

Listen When They Speak 

Contrary to what one might think, the most important skill required for giving a great sales presentation is the ability to listen, not talk. 

When your prospect speaks up, don’t railroad past their statement in order to continue with your presentation.

Instead, pause and really listen. What they are objecting to or asking about sheds light on what matters most to them. 

Once you know that information, you will be able to craft a much more personalized and effective presentation—while speeding up the process with these templates.