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The Sales Hacker Deck On Sales Decks

Learn how to build ridiculously compelling sales decks based on super tactical examples from industry leaders, so you can put it into practice immediately and start winning deals!

1 of 41
THE DECK ON SALES DECKS
Tactics and Templates to build better sales collateral
HOW-TO GUIDE
Updated February 2018 | Author: Alli McKee
Why “We Just do Demos” is not enough anymore
B2B Sales is becoming increasingly complex, with an
average of 6.8 buyers per deal (up from 5.4 two years
ago). You need a Sales Deck to carry your message from
the buyer you met with to the buyer you didn’t.
The more people involved, the lower the likelihood of
closing. Without materials to spread the message for you,
you’ve just made your customer into a sales rep...with
zero training or support. That’s a game of telephone.
Source: HBR The New B2B Sales Imperative; Making the Consensus Sale
How most of us get Sales Decks wrong today
“When you’re building your next sales
deck, keep one thing in mind:
Prospects don’t care about your
product.”
-Courtney Chuang, DocSend
TOO MUCH TEXT +
INFORMATION
CONFUSION OVER
DELIVERY FORMAT
PRODUCT DRIVEN,
NOT STORY DRIVEN
“We found that by limiting the words
on a slide more attention is spent on
the conversation created by our slide
deck rather than it becoming the
focus.”
-Julian Besonen, Apruve
“Maybe your marketing team made
you a beautiful one but they're ONLY
meant for explaining live, not
showing to a decision maker offline, on
their own time with no guidance.”
– Cole Fox, LeadIQ
Source: Input from industry experts, Example Deck: Microsoft 365 Sales Presentation
How to build two versions of the
same deck
HOW TO BUILD OUT
YOUR STORYLINE
How this Guide will help you build your next deck
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE +
VISUALIZE CONTENT
HOW TO FLEX FORMAT +
DELIVERY METHOD
How to Customize Content
Customizing Brand
How to Visualize your Product
Using Simple Visuals
TOO MUCH TEXT + INFORMATION CONFUSION OVER DELIVERY FORMATPRODUCT DRIVEN, NOT STORY DRIVEN
The CXO Deck
The Budget Holder Proposal
The Practitioner Demo
Chorus.ai offers software that provides conversation
intelligence for sales teams
...using examples and tactics from these companies
Instead of traditional marketing and sales platforms
that rely on forms and follow ups, Drift connects your
business with the best leads in real-time.
DocSend is a content management and tracking
solution that helps teams find and share the sales
content that closes deals.
Apruve is a B2B credit network that lets sellers extend
risk-free revolving lines of credit to their business
buyers.
Performance advertising software for finding target
audiences and automating advertising tasks on
Facebook, Google, and Instagram.
GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service
offering distributed revision control and source code
management functionality of Git.
Source: Crunchbase
How to Build Out your Storyline

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The Sales Hacker Deck On Sales Decks

  • 1. THE DECK ON SALES DECKS Tactics and Templates to build better sales collateral HOW-TO GUIDE Updated February 2018 | Author: Alli McKee
  • 2. Why “We Just do Demos” is not enough anymore B2B Sales is becoming increasingly complex, with an average of 6.8 buyers per deal (up from 5.4 two years ago). You need a Sales Deck to carry your message from the buyer you met with to the buyer you didn’t. The more people involved, the lower the likelihood of closing. Without materials to spread the message for you, you’ve just made your customer into a sales rep...with zero training or support. That’s a game of telephone. Source: HBR The New B2B Sales Imperative; Making the Consensus Sale
  • 3. How most of us get Sales Decks wrong today “When you’re building your next sales deck, keep one thing in mind: Prospects don’t care about your product.” -Courtney Chuang, DocSend TOO MUCH TEXT + INFORMATION CONFUSION OVER DELIVERY FORMAT PRODUCT DRIVEN, NOT STORY DRIVEN “We found that by limiting the words on a slide more attention is spent on the conversation created by our slide deck rather than it becoming the focus.” -Julian Besonen, Apruve “Maybe your marketing team made you a beautiful one but they're ONLY meant for explaining live, not showing to a decision maker offline, on their own time with no guidance.” – Cole Fox, LeadIQ Source: Input from industry experts, Example Deck: Microsoft 365 Sales Presentation
  • 4. How to build two versions of the same deck HOW TO BUILD OUT YOUR STORYLINE How this Guide will help you build your next deck HOW TO CUSTOMIZE + VISUALIZE CONTENT HOW TO FLEX FORMAT + DELIVERY METHOD How to Customize Content Customizing Brand How to Visualize your Product Using Simple Visuals TOO MUCH TEXT + INFORMATION CONFUSION OVER DELIVERY FORMATPRODUCT DRIVEN, NOT STORY DRIVEN The CXO Deck The Budget Holder Proposal The Practitioner Demo
  • 5. Chorus.ai offers software that provides conversation intelligence for sales teams ...using examples and tactics from these companies Instead of traditional marketing and sales platforms that rely on forms and follow ups, Drift connects your business with the best leads in real-time. DocSend is a content management and tracking solution that helps teams find and share the sales content that closes deals. Apruve is a B2B credit network that lets sellers extend risk-free revolving lines of credit to their business buyers. Performance advertising software for finding target audiences and automating advertising tasks on Facebook, Google, and Instagram. GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service offering distributed revision control and source code management functionality of Git. Source: Crunchbase
  • 6. How to Build Out your Storyline
  • 7. Why a Storyline Matters in your Sales Cycle “Once we overhauled the DocSend discovery deck, we saw our completion rate triple. This meant prospects were actually finding our story compelling enough to complete the entire deck. This was crucial because it meant prospects were ready to convert to the next stage of the sales process." – Sonja Jacobs Source: Docsend ‘Ditch the Pitch’ DECK COMPLETION RATES Without Story ~20% completion With Story ~60%+ completion
  • 8. The Mindset Shift: Building a Deck for the Conversation, not for the Document “With your messaging, positioning, and content laid out to support the Why, How, What flow, you will see more engaged conversations.” -Matt Gingerich, Bombora WHY Value you provide HOW Flow of slide titles WHAT Text+Visual Slides Source: Simon Sinek “Start with Why”
  • 9. The 3 Frameworks GOAL Support Purchase Usage Big Change in the World Why care? Stakes Show the Better Way Obstacles that make it hard Proof you can do itBenefits to Overcome them Problem to be solved Who has the problem? What does it cost the org today? Shortfalls of existing solutions Your Solution Overview Confirm the problem Shortfalls of other solutions Proof that you’re better How it Works Logo Slide Demo What’s changed to make yours Proof that you’re better What your solution costs CXO Deck Budget Holder Proposal Practitioner Demo Source: Andy Raskin’s Strategic Narrative framework, Peter Kazanjy’s Founding Sales Deck, Stick’s Sales Deck research
  • 10. Audience CXO VP, Director Manager, IC 1-10MM 10-100MM 100M+ The Budget Holder Proposal The Practitioner Demo COMPANY SIZE The CXO Deck The Budget Holder Proposal The Practitioner Demo The CXO Deck The Budget Holder Proposal The CXO Deck The Budget Holder Proposal What to use when
  • 11. STORYLINE 1: The CXO Deck Source: Andy Raskin’s Strategic Narrative framework, Peter Kazanjy’s Founding Sales Deck, Stick’s Sales Deck research Big Change in the World Why care? Stakes Show the Better Way Obstacles that make it hard Proof you can do it Benefits to Overcome them Opening
  • 12. Show the Better Way What’s in the CXO Deck Big Change in the World Why care? Stakes Obstacles that make it hard Proof you can do it Benefits to Overcome them Explain the big shift that makes your product not only “cool” but critical. No mention of your company. Show winners and losers, and why this matters. What happens if they don’t accept this change? What would life be like after this change, if they take the high road? Still no mention of your product. Explain what makes this Better Way so hard to achieve. Who’s the enemy? Demonstrate evidence that you can make it happen with quantitative or qualitative proof. Reveal the benefits of your product as keys to unlock this future and make success attainable. Source: Adapted from Andy Raskin’s Strategic Narrative framework
  • 13. Examples: Big Change in the World THE OLD WORLD THE NEW WORLD Source: Drift’s HyperGrowth Keynote Deck; DocSend’s new Sales Deck
  • 14. Describe the Old World Beginning State We are living in a [New State] World Describe the New World After Change, at the Individual Level Template: Big Change in the World Source: Stick.ai template
  • 15. Examples: Obstacles + How to Overcome HOWTO OVERCOME Source: Drift’s HyperGrowth Keynote Deck OBSTACLES
  • 16. Examples: How to Show Proof Source: Drift’s HyperGrowth Keynote Deck; DocSend’s new Sales Deck The classic logo slide highlighting names of recognizable customers Volume ResultsSocial Proof Highlight the number of customers using your product (with press to help) “Dogfooding” your own product or sharing results from other customers
  • 17. STORYLINE 2: The Budget Holder Deck Source: Andy Raskin’s Strategic Narrative framework, Peter Kazanjy’s Founding Sales Deck, Stick’s Sales Deck research Who has the Problem What does it cost the org today? Shortfalls of existing solutions What’s changed Proof that you’re better Your Solution Overview Opening Problem to be solved What your solution costs
  • 18. Problem to be Solved Who has the problem? Shortfalls of existing solutions What’s changed to make yours possible What your solution costs Your Solution Overview Focus on which stakeholders in the organization feel this most deeply What are the alternatives to your product, and why don’t they work? Has there been a shift in the world that has made your product’s tech possible? Explain the use cases of the product at a high level. Who uses it and how? Source: Pete Kazanjy’s Founding Sales Deck and First Round Review’s “Building your Best Sales Deck Starts Here” What does it cost the org today? Proof that you’re the best option What’s the cost - in time, tools, or talent - of this problem today? Qualitative (logos and quotes) or Qualitative (Case Study with ROI) proof your solution works. Confirm a problem they’re looking to solve, or inform them of a problem they don’t realize they have After demonstrating the value you’ll create, explain the value you plan to capture via pricing. What’s in the Budget Holder Deck
  • 19. Example: Explain the Problem Source: Chorus.ai Start by meeting the customer where they are, showing them something they know. Provocative Selling: How to Explain a Problem they don’t know about... yet Shock them with something they don’t yet realize: the value and/or volume of the problem. Reveal the solution they didn’t know was possible, and explain the implications of it for their business.
  • 20. Template: Cost of the Problem Today Source: Stick.ai template Prospect Logo This problem costs $X today Statistic Cost driver two Statistic Cost driver one Statistic Cost driver four Statistic Cost driver three Your LOGO
  • 21. Example: What’s Changed Source: Lightning AI Start with the Status Quo: A statement that captures current state that they can’t refute Frame the big change as a simple question (rather than announcing technical buzzwords) Explain this new state of what’s possible, not necessarily mentioning your product yet “WHAT IF” APPROACH
  • 22. Example: Your Solution Overview Source: Apruve, Lightning AI If multi-stakeholder product, use a timeline/flowchart to take them through the user flow to simplify a complex system If a tool that fits into a complex stack, map out the other players and how you would fit into their existing ecosystem or toolkit USER FLOW MAP OF LANDSCAPE
  • 23. Template: Proof that you are the best Option Video or Photo Footage of Customer Simplified Product Screenshot LOGO Value-based Outcome Achieved Describe Product Benefit that made it possible: Quote Describing Action taken by Customer Source: Stick.ai template
  • 24. STORYLINE 3: Practitioner’s Demo Source: Andy Raskin’s Strategic Narrative framework, Peter Kazanjy’s Founding Sales Deck, Stick’s Sales Deck research Confirm the Problem Shortfalls of other Solutions Proof that you’re better How it Works Logo Slide Demo Opening
  • 25. Confirm the Problem Shortfalls of other Solutions What makes you the best option How it Works Logo SlideDemo If they are looking to solve this problem, they’re evaluating other solutions. Show why they aren’t good enough. Given that landscape of existing solutions, why are you better than the rest? More granular explanation of how this product works to prove to practitioners and/or technical users that implementation is feasible. Social proof is most powerful here, so a wall of familiar and similar logos is the best way to give your user confidence in their ability to get value out of your solution Core purpose of this meeting is to get into the product and show them how it works in practice. Focus on one user’s perspective or persona to avoid confusion. What’s in the Practitioner’s Demo This audience knows the problem exists, and is looking for a solution. Start by confirming that.
  • 26. Example: Confirm the Problem Source: Chorus, GitHub Overview Deck If you’re selling to an audience who’s already looking for a solution, you don’t need to re-convince them of the problem. That’s just frustrating. Here, Github doesn’t make the case for version control (that’s a no brainer). Instead, they explain what they are by labeling their offering within familiar terms: they’re a repository hosting service. STAKE YOUR SPOT IN A CATEGORY
  • 27. Example: How it Works Source: Chorus, GitHub Overview Deck If your product integrates within an existing stack, use familiar screenshots with simple callouts (note: not of your product, but of a familiar interface). For technical products, use a structural diagram to lay out the architecture with supporting details, as if in a product spec. SCREENSHOT + CALLOUTS STRUCTURAL DIAGRAM
  • 28. Template: Demo Overview Source: Stick.ai template Prospect Logo What we will cover in today’s Demo Benefit 1 as answer to Problem 1 Your LOGO Benefit 2 as answer to Problem 2 Benefit 3 as answer to Problem 3 Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2 Screenshot 3
  • 29. How to Customize + Visualize Content
  • 30. How to Customize Content AGENDA MID-PRESENTATIONOPENING “My top advice - nail your disco questions and put them in the agenda slide. You'll save so much time and start off a conversation so it doesn't feel one-sided.” – Colette Nataf, Lightning AI “Personalization, and more personalization….we utilize slide #7 to re-capture the attention of our prospects and refocus on their company/needs.” – Julian Besonen, Apruve “Your first slide needs to be about what you've learned from YOUR CUSTOMERS. Use the voice of your customers to give you credibility.” -Douglas Landis Source: ClearSlide Webinar, Lightning AI, Apruve
  • 31. Template: Opening Source: Stick.ai template Prospect Logo What we have learned about [Prospect] Your Logo Key Learning 1 In their words Key Learning 2 In industry expert’s words Key Learning 3 In their words
  • 32. How to Customize with your Prospect’s Brand Source: Colors that Convert by Stick.ai Use your prospect’s primary brand color and logo to customize your sales deck to their brand, rather than your own. Note: the tradeoff is you lose an opportunity to push your own brand, but gain an opportunity to build the relationship. BRANDING
  • 33. How to Visualize your Product Idea with Metaphors “You wouldn’t invite your customers into an empty store, so why would you do that with your website?” In a recent keynote, Drift CEO David Cancel makes the problem palpable with this image, no matter how familiar you are with Drift or Marketing technology. VISUAL METAPHORS Source: Drift’s HyperGrowth Keynote 2017
  • 34. How to use Simple Visuals COMPARISON PROCESSRELATIONSHIPS Comparing two states as diagrams (hierarchical on left vs. customer- centric cycle on right) shows the “why” instantly. Flowcharts and funnels clarify complex processes into simple steps. Contently uses a Venn Diagram to show the new state of the world and how stakeholders interact. Source: Contently, Zuora, LeadCrunch
  • 35. How to Visualize your Case Studies Case Study TemplatePersona Map Replace your generic quote + logo case studies with ones that explain (1) the Outcome achieved, (2) the Customer’s Action it took to get there, and (3) the Benefit/Feature of your Product that made it possible. For a product that impacts multiple roles or personas in the org, map out the roles, and then link each “button” to persona- specific case studies Source: Chorus.ai
  • 36. More Visual Formats to Try Source: Stick.ai OPENING PROBLEM SOLUTION HOW IT WORKS LISTMAPPROCESSHIERARCHY
  • 37. How to Flex your Format based on Delivery Method
  • 38. How to Build two versions of the same Deck Title and supporting text boxes should be self- sufficient so a reader could understand Keep only keywords to guide the conversation, else your audience will be reading not listening “Can you send me something I can send to my boss?” “Here are a few slides to guide our conversation” Source: Stop Presenting that Proposal! by Stick.ai
  • 39. Source: Stick.ai templates Prospect Logo Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Your Logo Consectetur adipiscing elit. Aenean Ullamcorper turpis vel euismod aliquam. Aenean Eros velit, vulputate non suscipit. Template: Slide to Present
  • 40. Source: Stick.ai templates Template: Slide to Send Prospect Logo Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet Your Logo nulla urna. Vivamus quis felis nulla. Duis sollicitudin nibh vitae pharetra pretium. Pellentesque ac augue eu nunc volutpat pharetra non ut augue. Morbi accumsan turpis quam, sed vestibulum metus consectetur at. Aliquam viverra pretium massa. Proin enim est, porttitor at. Consectetur adipiscing elit. Aenean Ullamcorper turpis vel euismod aliquam. Aenean Eros velit, vulputate non suscipit.
  • 41. Thank you to contributors Pete Kazanjy Andy Raskin Julian Besonen Colette Nataf Alexandra Kane Sonja Jacobs Cole Fox Dale Zwizinski Jeff Sauer Russ Heddleston Mike Haylon Eric Charles Doug Landis Ledi Imeraj Richard Harris Jeremey Donovan Matt Gingerich Gaetano DiNardi Alli McKee About the Author: Alli McKee is the CEO and Founder of Stick, a visual communication platform automating design, starting with presentations for B2B sales and marketing teams. Connect on LinkedIn to read more daily updates on startups, sales, marketing, and design.