The question that has haunted B2B SaaS Sales teams since the dawn of Microsoft Powerpoint:
Sales Pitch decks: to use, or not to use?
The argument against: powerpoints are arcane; boring, old-fashioned, and a great way to lose the attention of a once-interested buyer.
The argument for: a solid slide deck will get the prospect in the right frame of mind and also allow the sales rep to learn more about the prospect and their situation before diving in to specifics.
I understand the validity of both of these arguments, so I want to propose something right down the middle: my 5 slide pitch deck.
I prep the prospect by informing them we will spend just 5 minutes going through 5 slides.
If they are engaged, asking questions, and things seem to be going well, I take my time to work through everything and the presentation can take 20 to 30 minutes.
But if it is clear the prospect is not engaging, I try to breeze through in less than 5 minutes, asking a few key questions to determine if they are in fact a good prospect, and if so move right into the demo.
Sample Slide Deck Layout:
Here is the layout that I use, and you can click here to download my template!
This is a text heavy version to help illustrate the approach, you may want to decrease text and add images. You will also notice this deck is not super formal, and it is designed to be adjusted for each demo.
Finally, you will notice that 3 out of the 5 slides pose questions. Again, the aim here is to refresh their memory, get them in the right frame of mind, and learn more about their situation and challenges before you present your solution.
Slide 0 – Title slide with logo
Slide 1 – What do we do? – 1 min refresher
Slide 2 – Questions for prospect (most important slide)
Slide 3 – Our framework for showing improvement / “where are you now?”
Slide 4 – Relevant success story
Slide 5 – Do you see the value? (in less cheesy words)
Just like in most aspects of sales, the important thing is that you really listen to your prospect.
The pitch deck presentation can be a great lead-in for a selling opportunity. But if you are using it as a crutch and just going through the motions while presenting it then you are wasting time and losing momentum in the process.
Used correctly, the short form slide deck will help you set up your positioning and ultimately run better demos.