The Most Effective Sales Stories Speak to Specific Stages of the Sales Pipeline

July 13, 2021

Your sales pipeline is not a one-stop journey. You can’t talk to all of your sales prospects the same way. Depending on where your prospects are in that pipeline, you need to tailor your sales story to that stage.

We’ve seen too many opportunities missed by sales teams throwing everything but the kitchen sink into their presentations right off the bat. This is usually a symptom of an underdeveloped pipeline. The sales team doesn’t understand what information will resonate with a given prospect at a specific point in their journey.

Take a look at our strategy for developing the right type of presentation for where your prospects are in the engagement process. Keep their journey in mind, be ready to make some adjustments on the fly, and give your prospects the refined sales approach they cannot resist.

What Do You Reach for When a Prospect Says “Send Me Your Deck”?

If your answer is “the only deck I have,” you’re stumbling out of the gate. You absolutely should not reach for a 30-slide PowerPoint the first time your prospect asks for more information. You need to be thinking about who you’re sending that deck to, when you’re sending it to them, and why you’re sending it to them.

A critical piece of this is developing different sales decks for different stages of the sales pipeline — and even for different verticals — depending on the prospects you’re going after..

But that capability isn’t going to solve your problems if your sales team isn’t thinking about their messaging strategically.

We asked one of our own clients what we could do to make Nuvue even better. Their answer wasn’t so much about adjusting the platform itself, but about helping their team to use the platform more effectively. We realize that a lot of companies probably struggle with similar issues — what to send their prospects, and when. So let’s take a look at what we’ve seen work firsthand.

1. Develop a Presentation User Experience (UX) That Aligns with Your Sales Pipeline and Verticals

You can’t just set your sales prospects on a set course and tell them you’ll meet them at the other end. Getting them started on the journey is just the first step — you also need to meet them at every additional step along the way. To do that, you (and your sales team) need to completely understand your sales presentation UX, and you need to align that UX with your sales pipeline and verticals.

  1. Ask yourself how long it takes to get to a client. For some larger companies with a bigger brand, this may be a shorter timeframe with fewer meetings and touchpoints than it would be for small or mid-sized businesses.
  2. Analyze the different prospect touchpoints involved in the process. Does the sales process start with a cold email? If so, what comes next? Is there a demo? Or a supplemental deck that dives deeper into the details? Think of the sales process as a book, and each of these meetings is its own chapter. You don’t want to cram the whole story into a single chapter. Figure out what those individual chapters are and cater your sales content to them.
  3. Determine if the conversations are always the same or if different verticals require different messaging. It’s key you send the right information to your prospects depending on where they are in your pipeline. For every touchpoint of every vertical, you need to be clear on what messaging is necessary. That’s the only way to nudge prospects along the journey the way you want to in order to close the deal.

2. Define Typical Prospect Engagements and Build Specific Presentations and Assets for Each Touchpoint

Building off of step one, dive into what each touchpoint along the sales journey will entail. This may vary from client to client — both in terms of how many touchpoints there actually are, and in terms of what type of sales content makes the most sense at any given step in the process.

Let’s take a look at an example of this strategy and what sales collateral you should include at each step:

  1. Cold email: At this initial stage, you might send a simple five-page deck outlining a relatable problem and introducing your solution.
  2. Followup email: Following up on that cold email, educate your prospect with a case study featuring client testimonials supporting the solution you introduced in your first email.
  3. Book the demo: Once you’ve got the meeting with the prospect locked in, you can dive a little deeper into how your product or services actually work — and how they address the prospect’s problems.
  4. Demo followup: Following a successful demo, clients often ask for the nuts and bolts specs or the pricing sheet for  your product or services. Now is the time to give those details to them — not at the beginning when they don’t even know what it is you’re offering them.
  5. Closing the deal: At this stage, you need to have your forms, contracts, and other documents packaged up and ready to go for the client. You’ve done the work — don’t fumble with your close.

3. Deliver Your Presentations Strategically Throughout the Process

You can put in all the thought and effort possible to ensure you’re giving your prospects just what they need, when they need it, but still come up short. Even if you enlist a team of sales presentation experts to help you develop your presentations for different touchpoints, it’s ultimately the delivery of those presentations that can make or break the deal. Don’t overlook how vital the strategic delivery of materials and the way in which you track results is to the process as a whole.

  1. Consider the actual presentation itself. In what format are you sending your presentations? How heavy is that PowerPoint you plan on sending out? Is it going to load quickly on a mobile device? Is it designed responsively so that it looks great on any device your prospects may be viewing it on?
  2. Consider how you’re tracking engagement. If you’re not tracking engagement with your sales presentation materials, the whole strategy starts to fall apart. If your prospect doesn’t look at that first cold email, it doesn’t make sense to jump into a case study, does it? You need to nurture them a bit more with a reminder about that initial communication.

Learn how you can use benchmarks to evaluate the performance of your sales decks here.

What are Your Sales Presentations Saying at Different Touchpoints?

We understand why sales teams feel like more information is good information. It’s the way things worked in sales for a long time. But it’s just not the case anymore. The idea of the most robust sales presentation being the best sales presentation in every single scenario is outdated.

Your prospects’ time is fragmented. You need to break your story up into bite-sized chunks, and you need to feed those pieces to your prospects at the right time in their sales journey.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to break your sales book up into digestible chapters, and how to ensure your prospects are left looking for the next installment, let’s talk. Nuvue gives you the tools you need to tell your sales story in a compelling manner to keep those prospects turning the page.