Sales strategies will vary depending on the organization and their target market. How a sales team structures a b2b sales deck differs from how they’d talk to a b2c prospect. However, the end goal is the same: win more deals and grow the business.
Consider this your ultimate guide to sales, and your sales presentation cheat sheet.
Business-to-business sales occur when companies sell products and services to other companies. When businesses purchase everything from office supplies to food service to legal representation, it falls under the B2B sales umbrella.
When a company purchases the merchandise it will later sell to its own customers, the transaction is also a type of B2B sale. While their brands are often lesser known than those sold to consumers, many companies primarily exist to do business with other organizations.
Business-to-consumer sales are just what their name implies: sales activities that occur with a company as a seller and an individual consumer as the buyer. Many of the world’s most popular brands market to consumers.
In fact, any purchase made by a person for non-business use would be considered a B2C sale. This would include everything from buying groceries at the supermarket to ordering household goods online, buying a haircut or even a new car.
B2B sales vs. B2C sales
What is the difference between B2B and B2C sales? While the B2B and B2C share some similarities – they both center on selling to target customers, for example – there are important differences between the two sales models.
When engaged in B2B sales, teams are likely working with business leaders or professional buyers whose life’s work involves getting the best possible deals from salespeople. A different strategy is required than when selling to a soccer mom at the grocery store. The two types of consumers have different motivations, goals and even purchasing power.
Other common differences between B2B sales and B2C sales include:
The B2C market includes a much larger population of potential customers. Obviously, there are a lot more people than there are businesses.
Because buying decisions at a business are rarely made by an individual, the B2B sales funnel consists of a much longer process than the B2C sales funnel, where the customer is usually the sole decision-maker when it comes to buying a product or service.
Sales teams are more likely to make an effective emotional connection with customers in the B2C sales realm. Consumers are more likely to make purchasing decisions at the spur of the moment, moved by an emotional sales pitch. B2B clients, on other hand, are more likely swayed by logic and reason when making informed business decisions.
What is an inside sales rep?
Inside sales have evolved greatly in recent decades. It wasn’t all that long ago when an inside sales representative was little more than a telemarketer, and little skill was needed beyond a professional phone presence and a drive to meet sales quotas.
Today’s inside salespeople are tech-savvy, taking advantage of selling avenues through phone, email, chat, social media and presentations. Top-performing inside salespeople boast an aptitude for selling and a positive attitude to keep pressing for another sale in spite of a likely series of rejections. Sometimes, inside sales can open doors to a career in outside sales with its larger transactions, greater profit and increased income.
Other qualities of a successful inside sales representative include:
- Perseverance, motivation and dedication
- Research and analysis skills
- Effective questioning and listening skills
- Aptitude for social media
- Empathy for prospective clients
What is an outside sales rep?
An outside sales representative meets with prospective clients in the field and acquires clients from face-to-face interactions. Responsible for creating positive customer experiences and buying journeys, an outside salesperson must rely on not only effective verbal communication, but also efficient nonverbal signals.
The sales process begins with a well-developed phone presence before transitioning to more personal interactions. Appearance and personal presentation are key to successful outside sales, as are energy and enthusiasm.
A successful outside sales representative must impress potential clients not only when introducing themselves and their products and establishing a customer relationship, but also maintain that positive relationship to ensure future business.
Other key characteristics of a successful outside sales representative include:
- Strong and effective interpersonal communication skills
- Motivation and drive
- Ability to work independently
- Goal and detail orientation
- Willingness to work within a team
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Inside sales vs. outside sales
In the modern sales environment, the line between inside and outside sales continues to blur, as companies adopt sales strategies incorporating elements of each. As the combination becomes more prevalent among businesses in practically any market, the skills of an inside sales rep and an outside salesperson also become more interchangeable. On the same coin, both techniques may rely heavily on presentations as a vehicle to present and sell their offering to prospective clients.
Sales enablement is the process of providing sales teams with all the tools they need to be successful.
Common sales enablement strategies include training, curated content and technological tools, but sales enablement elements also include any resources that help a sales team do its job to the best of its ability. In fact, sales acceleration software could be considered a sales enablement tool in its own right.
Sales teams choose to invest in sales enablement strategies for a variety of reasons. By properly training and informing teams, sales managers can ensure their reps are read for new client relationships. And by supporting sales teams' efforts, sales reps feel valued and are more likely to be motivated, engaged and eager to help the company succeed.
Studies show that it can take up to 10 months for a sales rep to be successful in a new role or business. Part of that 10 months will likely include sales pitch training. Setting your sales team up for success— and teaching them how to make a proper sales pitch deck— is just as important as bringing on experienced account executives. In order for them to hit the ground running, they’ll need the right sales collateral, a supportive sales enablement strategy, and strong leadership that teaches them what to include in a sales pitch and how to move leads along through the sales cycle.
Creating winning sales presentations
Consider these five things when teaching your team how to make a sales pitch.
Use a template
Templates are a great way to inspire your sales team who may not have a background in design (most don’t) or know how to make a sales pitch. Templatized sales decks offer a great jumping off point for sales reps who aren’t familiar with how to write a sales pitch, which information to include in their deck, how to structure their story, or how to design a professional looking slide. Plus, without having to spend hours designing a deck from scratch, it frees up more time for junior sales reps to research their audience, rehearse their pitch, and nail the delivery.
Set a theme
While you want your sales team to feel comfortable and independent in their pitch efforts, you also need to make sure that their deck is aligned with the company branding. There’s no room for Frankendecks on a sales team, especially if you’re gunning for conversions. Instead of giving each salesperson a blank canvas to start from, it’s smart to set a company-approved theme so that they don’t have to guess which colors or fonts they should be using in their sales pitch.
Utilize data visualization
Is there anything worse than staring at a sheet of data and having to turn that into a decent-looking chart from scratch? Talk about a time-suck. Not all junior sales reps will know how to create charts and graphs that make sense, and that’s okay. Data visualization can help even the most inexperienced presenter make the most of meaningful data. Data visualization is important in any pitch deck because it shows growth, growth opportunities, competitive analysis, market fit and demographics in a more visually-appealing and digestible way. It’s a more effective way to show how your offering could benefit the prospective customer.
Allow for customization
Of course, even with the guardrails of Beautiful.ai’s templates and themes, each junior sales rep should be able to customize their decks how they see fit. All pitch deck templates should be tailored to the client, and junior sales reps should have the freedom to customize each deck themselves to add a personal flare. Allowing them to decide what to include in a pitch deck, and having a bit of creative license, shows that you trust them and their ideas.
Collaborate with the team
Collaboration is key, and being able to work in tandem on a pitch deck with other members of the sales team can result in big wins. By allowing other team members to contribute to your deck, or enabling junior sales reps to repurpose existing company slides, sales teams can create something brilliant in half the time. This leaves more time to fine-tune your story and practice your pitch.
Top tips for closing deals
Communication is the Northstar of a good sales strategy, and can be the difference between closing a deal and losing it to the competition. Presentations act as a platform for sales teams to communicate how their business, brand, service or product will positively influence a buyer. Good presentation structure and design can help push the sales conversation forward.
At its core, your presentation is about the buyer. Keep these three things in mind before starting your next sales deck; 1) preparation is key, 2) customize the experience, 3) tell a compelling story.
Learn more about what sales leaders say on sales presentations and closing deals here.