A good salesperson can sell anything, right?
Not necessarily. Sure, some people simply possess an aptitude for sales. But if they try using the same strategies to sell everything, they’re going to face some failures along the way— especially if they don’t understand how software sales differ from other sales.
The same strategies cannot reach customers shopping for software, for example, as can persuade those shopping for other goods and services. In fact, software sales best practices differ even from tactics used to sell hardware and other technology-based products and services.
Entirely different strategies are involved in making a sale without any sort of tangible product to display. The salesperson must find new ways to engage potential customers.
Without a physical product to share, software salespeople must rely on other methods of reaching a potential client’s senses. A sales deck serves as a key element in successful software sales. While slide presentations commonly are deployed to sell all sorts of products and services, they are particularly beneficial when used to impress software consumers.
Just how can salespeople use sales presentation software for sales presentations? Beautiful.ai not only makes it quick and easy to design professional-level slide decks, including software sales presentation templates.
Check out the following 11 ways to sell your platform with an engaging slide deck:
1. Know your customer
There’s no one-size-fits-all software need, and so there’s no one-size-fits-all customer. To design an effective sales presentation, you have to know your audience and customize the slide deck for each potential client.
Be sure to consider factors such as each customer’s technological aptitude and understanding, their problem to be solved by the software and the nature of their business. While you can design your own software sales presentation template— or choose from one that’s ready-made— and customize it for various uses, you must never recycle the same generic presentation for each potential client.
2. Engage your audience
An engaged audience is an audience more likely to purchase. While you might not have a physical product or service for your audience to interact with, you can still engage customers by turning a one-way presentation into a two-way dialogue.
Don’t wait until the end of the presentation to ask your audience for feedback, either. By asking questions from the start, you can adjust your approach based on what you learn about your potential customers.
Engaging them from the start also indicates that you actually care about what your clients think and value their opinions, which can then forge a measure of trust between merchant and customer.
3. Become a storyteller
Research suggests humans are hardwired to respond to stories, so it’s no wonder storytelling is such an effective selling tool. Case studies are a beneficial addition to a successful sales deck, particularly those to which the customers can directly relate – the closer your potential buyer can relate to the protagonist, the better.
By starting your presentation with a story, you can hook your audience and grab attention right from the start.
4. Focus on the customer’s problem
Because storytelling is such an effective sales tool, you might be tempted to weave a linear story introducing a product before detailing its benefits. That’s a good way to lose a customer before you even get to the gist of your presentation.
Instead, be sure the customer first understands the problem and how it applies to them. Make them really feel the gravity of the issue so they will be primed to then learn about the solution, which of course is the software you’re selling.
5. Show, don’t tell
It won’t matter how persuasive your sales deck is if you can’t hold on to potential customers’ attention long enough to present it. Capture and hold your audience’s focus by following the first rule in any writing or filmmaking class: Show, don’t tell.
Don’t tell your audience something if you can let them see it, instead— whether that occurs through descriptive text or visual aids and other vivid images. When presenting a software product, don’t tell your potential customers how it works if you can instead show them with images, video or even informative infographics and other data visualizations.
6. Put results before process
Just as a successful sales deck will present the customer’s problem before the solution, a software sales presentation should also present the desired results before detailing the journey getting there.
Customers will bore quickly with lengthy descriptions of how the product solves their problem before they see any results about which to become excited. While you want to describe the process in a story, you also want to flip the presentation, so you detail the final destination before explaining how to get there.
7. Support it with data
Numbers rarely lie, which is why statistics and other numerical data are powerful tools of persuasion. Unfortunately, too much qualitative data and metrics can also put practically any audience to sleep— but that doesn’t mean data shouldn’t be a key element of your sales presentation.
Instead, make the numbers come to life and illustrate your story by transforming them into engaging infographics. Beautiful.ai’s free PowerPoint-alternative presentation software features a plethora of infographics among our library of smart slides. Just enter the data and watch our AI-powered software transform it into lively infographics, including Gantt charts, scattergraphs, donut charts, line graphs and even pictograms.
8. Use appropriate social proof
Audiences consistently can be swayed through the testimonials of other customers. After all, that’s the entire reason companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor even exist. But social proof also can carry risks if not used appropriately.
Generic name-dropping can be a turn-off to potential customers, especially if they can’t relate to the names being dropped. Instead, include testimonials from satisfied clients who share your audience’s needs, challenges and problems.
9. Establish value before cost
Mentioning the cost of a software product before establishing its value is a quick way to watch audiences lose interest. Nobody wants to think about spending money on something they don’t think they need, no matter how good a price.
Instead, wait to talk about pricing until after you’ve shown customers the value the software offers them. Make them want the product first, then you’ll find your audience more open to its cost.
10. Call to action
As an experienced salesperson can attest, it’s not enough to present a problem and solution, build value and even shower the customer with supporting data. No sales presentation is complete without the always-pivotal call to action. What do you want your audience to do, and how should it oblige?
If you want them to buy the product, what steps should they take to do so? Do you want them to sign up for a free trial, or provide their credit card information today? Are there specific steps to activate the software product? All of these steps are a part of your call to action.
11. Keep it under 10
A sales presentation exceeding 10 minutes is typically a sales presentation that doesn’t succeed. Audiences better respond to sales pitches of nine or fewer minutes. People simply don’t possess the adequate attention spans to focus for much longer.
If your sales presentation must exceed nine minutes, be sure to change the pace around the 10-minute mark and integrate a video or some type of interactive segment that gets the audience engaged and refocuses its attention.