The introduction in a sales presentation is typically too long – and focused almost entirely on the history, size, leadership team, and financial metrics, of the presenter’s company.
After the introduction that goes on for too long, a standard sales presentation then looks at features, often in a somewhat haphazard way.
Again, this feature-centric way of presenting information is focused on the product, and not the audience’s needs. Those sales presentations that do make the structure visible – by using agendas – usually make the mistake of using headings that mean more to the presenter than the audience, or that are so dry that they do absolutely nothing to help sell. The penultimate slide in a typical sales presentation is called something like ‘benefits’ or ‘summary’, and attempts to describe what’s in it for the audience.
Then, finally, instead of a closing slide or clear next step, a rather flat ‘Any Questions’ slide, just hanging there to allow sales reps a way out of having to ask for the business. So, that’s an outline of the typical structure of a sales presentation; too long, too hard to follow, and not built around the audience’s concerns.
The introduction ought to build credibility – but the way to do that is by showing that you understand the prospect’s challenges, that actually the standard ways of meeting these challenges don’t work, and that the prospect may need to do things differently. After looking at the challenges your prospect is (most likely) facing, you need to introduce the benefits of working with your company. This helps in two ways – first, the advantages or benefits are stated early enough to be noticed, and second, the agenda is now audience-focused, not product focused. If you need to convince your prospects to do things in a different way (Why change) and to do them with you (Why us) there are two approaches. The content that describes features in a typical sales presentation needs to be reworked to be effective.
One of the slides from a recent presentation I designed for a corporations quarterly report. Unfortunately, sales representatives in nearly every field (car sales, insurance sales, door to door sales) have earned themselves a reputation. When making an investment that is critical to the long-term success of your company, such as manufacturing ERP or MES software, you cana€™t afford to settle for the easy a€?Yes.a€? Recently, more and more ERP vendors are distracting prospects with showy demos and big discount offers without taking the time to properly examine the businesses they are wooing.
I have personally seen this scenario too many times when prospects have come to us describing how their legacy ERP provider said yes, when the answer was really no, and now they are saddled with a system that does not perform as promised.


Now this wouldna€™t be a fair blog post if I didna€™t mention that the responsibility of finding good fitting software goes both ways. Business Process Needs Analysis: Before you begin researching new ERP vendors, make sure you have your everyday business process requirements for each department documented.
References: Be sure to check references of companies in your specific industry that are using the version of the software you will be on.
Development Partner: When custom development is necessary to solve a critical need, how open is the prospective ERP vendor to helping solve your problem? Find the ERP vendor that is honest in their evaluation of what they can offer your business and encourages open, realistic discussions regarding your expectations. I worked closely with sales and product management to fuse messaging and brand into a clean design that easily conveyed the company’s value. Then, the introduction ought to shape the prospect’s way of seeing things so that when they think about the capabilities they are looking for, their thinking is aligned to your offering. The benefit slide ought to move from the end, to be used as an agenda that’s shown as we segue between sections. Instead of using every advantage of benefit as an agenda with far too many parts, create a clear hierarchy, and divide your presentation into 3-5 sections.
Either use two sets of segue slides – the first looking at why change, and the second looking at why us; or, extend the introduction and look at why change in that section, and then only use a single set of segue slides to answer the question Why Us? The features and advantages need to be closely linked to the needs and requirements of the audience.
Not ‘Any Questions?’ but a slide summarising the value proposition, and then another slide with a very clear recommendation of what should happen next. I have been making sales presentations for over 10 years, and what has consistently worked for me is a variation of your outline. You aren’t necessarily trying to persuade them that the product is great, only that they should stock it.
Please download the latest version of the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, or Windows Internet Explorer browser. They have become known as a€?Yesa€? men (or women), known for saying a€?Yesa€? to anything you need, regardless if it is possible or not, in order to close the sale and move on.


The result of these grand promises is a poor fit and the unsuspecting companies become victims of bait and switch (and you can Google the ERP lawsuits to prove it). They were forced to change their processes and sink a lot of money into customization before deciding to scrap the system altogether and search for a better solution. A good ERP vendor will sit you down with one of their technical sales specialists and take the time to understand your business and your needs. If you dona€™t know what features you need, how can you investigate if the software can deliver it? Unique ERP vendors encourage user-suggested development and work hard to make the software work for you.
This benefit slide ought to be written to answer the key question around which the sales presentation revolves – Why Change? That means using each slide to tell the story set out by the key sales messages in your agenda slide – answering the question Why Change? Arguments might be around meeting an unmet need, the promotional plans you have, etc (not in class, but in real-life). A good ERP vendor is looking for a long-term relationship that benefits both sides, not a one-stop sale. In real life (not a course) one would rarely present a $5 product face-to-face to the consumer.
Everyone either owns a key-chain or knows many others that do; family, friends, professors, employers, or just people that you interact with on a daily basis. Can you offer some advice on a basic outline with key points that should be covered for presenting this product?
If so, do you have any particular basic PowerPoint models to recommend?Thanks for your advice.



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