An organization’s sales team can only meet their targets when a number of factors come together to achieve the one goal that matters: closing a sale. There are many factors involved in closing a sale including following your sales process. But when you review your sales process, key for the sales team is knowing how to use sales presentations as a proper solution presentation.
The topic is, of course, closely linked with the follow-up items of proposals and quotes. In addition, skill in preparing presentations, proposals, and quotes will help bring in the sales results you want. Far from being cold-formed and immutable, you’ll find there’s plenty of room for creativity and initiative in the detail of each.
So let’s take a tour of what these three “process tools” entail.
Sales presentation refers to a talk or visual presentation you give to stakeholders or customers. It will come into play at multiple points in the sales cycle. Here are examples:
- Capabilities Presentation – you are simply providing customers or prospects an overview of your capabilities. If you’re not using this as part of your Qualifying or Discovery process, you should be.
- Solutions Presentation – this is for more complex situations where you need to lay out a detailed solution, possibly to multiple stakeholders.
- Business Review Presentations – this is for existing customers and can be one of the most powerful tools in your sales arsenal. It builds on relationships and communicates the value you deliver to clients. It also finds new business opportunities.
- Demonstrations – you might have a product or service that requires a demo. Remember, this is a sales presentation and another opportunity to Qualify and start a Discovery with prospects and/or customers.
If you do presentations well, it can help build a connection with potential customers and distinguish your business from competitors. A good presentation sets the basis of business communication with prospects and customers.
On the other hand, a poor presentation will make you look unprepared. It leaves your prospect wondering if your company is the right one to do business with. If you use presentations properly, interactively, and listen as much as you talk, you’ll find great success.
How to use a sales presentation in your sales process
- Focus on solving problems and not deliverables: Use storytelling techniques and start with a problem that your solution is designed to solve. In other words, what pain points you’re relieving for the customer. Showcase what happens when a prospect uses your solution and what continues as a challenge for them if they don’t. And end with a clear call to action. You can use humor and real-world references to be creative, but solve their pain points in the process.
- Use visuals: Presentations with great messages and equally compelling visuals keep the recipient engaged to the end of your presentation. Again, choose your visuals and accompanying words creatively.
- Make it simple and brief: Your listener’s attention is easily divided these days. To grab their full attention, your presentation needs to be simple, brief, and to the point. Remove all unnecessary technical jargon. Focus on their needs and pain points. Prospects respond to people who focus on them.
What to include in your sales presentation
- Key data points about your capabilities
- Testimonials and case studies from your own customers to demonstrate your capabilities
- Customized content specific to your audience
- Clear call to action
- Tie-back to all the needs and pains you have uncovered in Discovery
Once you’ve developed the proper relationship and established a commitment to do business together, your prospect may ask or require you to provide a proposal. The sales proposal is a document that your sales rep uses to specify your products and services to a potential client. It’s your recommended plan to meet their needs. A good sales proposal will
- help you convince your prospects you’re the best solution available
- advise your prospect how you will implement your solution
- if not actual pricing, explain how your pricing will be structured
- inspire them to take action.
Sales proposals are different from sales presentations.
Sales presentations are directed towards a bigger audience to generate interest and bring awareness during the earlier stages of the sales process.
On the other hand, a sales proposal is a more specific suggestion or plan for a prospective buyer. It links directly to the needs or problems that this buyer is experiencing right now.
However, both are tools. Used correctly in the right order, they can generate the right amount of buzz and interest at different points in the sales process and therefore cause some action and move you towards closing a sale.
How to use sales proposals in your sales process
- Get to know your prospects: Research and understand your individual prospect’s needs and challenges. Use thought-provoking questions. Take note of the keywords they use to describe their situation. Then use those when preparing a proposal. This is another opportunity to be creative and customer-centric as a way of showing you understand. It can bring them quickly onside with your proposal!
- Include your unique value proposition (UVP): At this stage of the sales process, we want to impress the customer with reasons why they should choose us and not our competitor who has a seemingly similar solution. So, instead of using a vague statement to close, use a well-crafted one that highlights your UVP. Did we mention the need to be creative rather than robotic?
- Build a sales proposal template: Instead of using something new every time, build a sales proposal template that utilizes the best practices of copywriting. But then creatively customize it to every new potential client.
What to include in your sales proposal
- An executive summary
- Persuasive design, high-quality graphics
- Appropriate details in headings, short paragraphs, and bullet points
- Reason to buy (UVP)
At some point, once your solution is finalized and the implementation plan is set, it’s time to move your pricing from a general framework to a specific quote.
Sales reps should issue sales quotes in the final closing stage of a sales process. It’s during this stage that your sales rep invites a decision from a prospect.
When the prospect does decide to close and make a purchase, your rep (or perhaps your office) will provide a documented confirmation of what they’ve agreed to purchase. The perfect sales quote is therefore the one that meets your customer’s personal and business needs (expectations).
A sales rep also needs to recognize that closing one sale properly is more important than the number of quotes they issue in a scattergun approach. (We like to tell our clients that they’re in the closing business, not the quoting business – too many companies issue too many quotes too early in the process).
How to process and use sales quotes
- Presenting and proposing the quote: This is the first stage that prepares a prospect to close the sale. You’re inviting them to ask for a written quote to confirm price, and then pay for the purchase. Do not get caught in the deal-killing habit of sending a quote without reviewing it with your prospect or customer. That’s because the quote, in many businesses, is often your solution presentation.
- Price presentation: Once they’ve shown enough interest and desire, present the price with enough information for the customer to justify to themselves the figure! Buyers (even business ones) buy with a dose of emotion, then justify it with logic!
- Provide a quote: After you’ve gathered enough data about what exactly your customer is wanting to agree to buy, develop the draft quote in writing with your customer in mind. If possible, allow them to give their input. For instance, they might want to include some optional extras with the product or service.
- Close and follow up: The final stage of the sales quote process is to deliver the written quote on company notepaper or via email and follow up (creatively and subtly!) until the sale is made.
We Can Help You!
If you’re using sales presentations, proposals, and quotes and would like our expert help to revise them until they’re perfect for your own sales process, schedule a consultation with us today!