Woman presenting to a team of coworkers in a bright office.
Sales pitch decks are powerful tools that can show prospective clients the business is prepared, competent, and understands their needs. — Getty Images/katleho Seisa

No matter the industry, a sales pitch must answer one simple question: Why is this solution to a problem better than every other one?

By using a sales pitch deck to define a business’s services and prove it has the best solution, sales teams can answer this question and more. A pitch deck is typically a slide presentation or video that acts as support material for a pitch or demonstration. It uses visual aids to highlight essential information about a business or product to prospective clients.

Whether you’re pitching a prospective client, an investor, or a business partner, sales pitch decks are powerful tools that can showcase the uniqueness of a company’s offerings and show prospective clients the business is prepared, competent, and understands their needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an effective sales pitch deck to close the deal.

[Read: Pitching Your Product to a Retailer? Here's How to Do It Right]

Steps to creating a sales pitch deck

Pick a presentation platform

Many major companies use presentation platforms such as Google Slides, Visme, Canva, Microsoft Powerpoint, and Prezi to create powerful decks. However, choosing a platform will depend on your team’s needs. While certain platforms offer cloud-based services and team collaboration tools, these advanced services usually come with a subscription fee.

Pick your narrative structure

Narratives in a sales pitch deck can have either a problem/solution structure or an opportunity structure. The former is well-suited for companies with a specific problem, whereas the latter is better for those in an industry that is experiencing a major change or for companies that have a complicated product to sell.

Perform customer research

Find out what consumers are looking for in a product or service by conducting customer research, then create a pitch deck that demonstrates how you can deliver what they need. The pitch deck should explain who your target market is, what the competition looks like, and where there are opportunities to succeed in that market.

Create your narrative

Include a sufficient amount of information in your pitch deck, but don't overload it with text — this can distract from your presentation. Instead, keep slides simple and have a distinct point on each one. Use attractive visuals, and include customer testimonials and statistics that appeal to your audience.

Be sure your sales pitch deck is accessible on mobile devices — according to Story Doc, 32% of pitch decks are viewed on mobile, rather than desktop.

After the presentation, provide the client with a separate, more in-depth deck that covers the talking points discussed throughout the meeting with additional details included.

Getting feedback from customers is the best way to find out what they’re thinking and provides companies with valuable information that can then be infused into a sales pitch deck.

Beta-test with existing customers

Beta-test your pitch deck on existing customers to find out what they like and what needs improvement — then, use that information to strengthen your deck.

Getting feedback from customers is the best way to find out what they’re thinking and provides companies with valuable information that can then be infused into a sales pitch deck.

[Read: B2B Sales Tools for Your Remote Team]

Anticipate questions and answer them

Potential clients may have questions about the product when viewing a pitch deck, or questions specific to how your product helps their business.

Take time to observe your sales pitch deck and address any unclear areas. Proactively answering questions before being asked demonstrates your company’s preparedness and knowledge.

Ensure its customized to the prospective client

Help prospective clients see your value by individualizing each pitch deck to address a business’s unique needs.

People want to feel like they’re important — nobody likes to feel like “just another business.” If a pitch deck is standardized and doesn’t provide the listener with relevant information, they may feel undervalued.

Restate your pitch, value proposition, and testimonials

Ensure the potential client understands what they will get by choosing you – and what they’ll lose if they don’t.

You can do this by restating your pitch and value proposition in your pitch deck. Demonstrate to your audience how your company alone can solve a problem they’re facing and include testimonials to back up your claims.

[Read: How to Develop an Inexpensive Sales Strategy for Your Startup]

Include a call to action

A strong pitch deck needs a call to action (CTA) to close the deal. The CTA should come on the final slide of a pitch deck to inform listeners of what to do next. It lets your prospective clients know where and how to take action, pushing them to complete the deal.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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