Sales Enablement

Use Benchmarks to Evaluate Sales Deck Performance — and Iterate to Keep Them Performing

June 25, 2021

Telling your sales story successfully and representing your brand identity accurately are the hallmarks of a great sales presentation. Those aren’t the only important aspect of your sales presentation, though. You also need to understand how your prospects engage with your presentation and, most importantly, how your presentation performs. Tracking prospects’ engagement with your sales presentations is crucial to measuring your ROI on those sales decks.

Story and content are king when it comes to sales decks and presentations. But every king needs his queen. In this case, her majesty is tracking engagement with and the performance of your presentations. Benchmarking engagement and conversions helps you put your sales content into real life context, and also connects it with opportunity outcomes. You need this data to iterate on your content and to improve it, in turn improving your sales story and, ultimately, your presentations’ ROI.

How is Your Sales Deck Performing? Here’s What to Evaluate.

You have the ability to create rich and immersive sales materials thanks to today’s technology, and that has fundamentally altered the way in which we market and present sales stories. After investing so much time in developing your sales pitch and integrating a sales enablement platform, your Sales and Marketing leaders must use hard data to help align your sales story with the sales funnel. This requires that you adapt your sales story accordingly.

The sales pipeline has always been about prospecting, nurturing, and closing leads. Modern sales enablement and CRM platforms allow us to track this sales funnel every step of the way. They also provide us with granular data on every interaction a prospect has with your sales deck.

If you’re not engaging with what technology can tell you, you’re missing out on key insights regarding the overall performance quality of your sales decks.

What to Ask When Considering Sales Presentation Performance

  • What results are you seeing from a presentation?
  • Are you observing a solid level of engagement?
  • How long are prospects looking at your presentation?
  • Is the story you’re telling too long?
  • Are your prospects focusing on what you want them to?
  • Are your prospects being directed to the right price sheet?
  • How does all of this inform your subsequent presentations?
  • How does all of this data track back to your CRM?

Don’t Waste Time Fishing for Feedback. Move the Conversation Forward Based on What the Data Tells You.

Even just a few years ago, nobody really cared whether or not you could track prospects opening your deck. You might even send that deck as a PDF, following up with a “hey, what caught your eye?” email.

With the technology available today however, we already know what caught the prospect’s eye—or we should, anyway, if you’re asking the right questions and looking at the right data. The question is what you do next, not what did the prospect do with the deck.

Because your data shows where prospects dropped off, where they focused their time, etc., the ball is really in your court in terms of how you follow up. You can move the conversation along without stopping to ask them what they think. Your sales team can even send the next, most appropriate deck to keep the process moving forward.

Take an Iterative Approach to Your Sales Presentations

Think your sales decks are a set it and forget it undertaking? Think again. The days of the “pitch and pray” approach are over. If your sales presentations aren’t performing the way you want them to, run it all the way back up the ladder to the king — content.

The information you’re getting from your data should guide the decisions that you make surrounding your sales deck content. Again, ask yourself some basic questions that your data and technology can answer.

  • What are people looking at?
  • Are they opening the presentation at all?
  • How long are they looking at it?
  • Are they bopping around?
  • Is there a bell curve to their engagement with your sales content? Or are the last five slides being completely ignored?

Using this data, you should be actively engaged with the constant upkeep of your sales decks — continually adapting and tweaking your presentations to ensure they’re reaching the right audience at the right time in the sales funnel. Just be sure these changes are consistent and you maintain control over the sales story being told.

Think of it this way — you didn’t build a website and then just leave it in that initial state, right? Of course not. You publish fresh content on it, you add navigation items as your products/services expand, you keep your “About Us” and staff pages up-to-date. While you may not have to worry about SEO, your sales presentations still function as a living document the same way your website does, and that cannot be ignored.

Making the Right First Impression with Your Sales Deck

It all boils down to this: that sales deck you’ve so meticulously crafted is where the rubber first hits the road. You want to make sure it’s making the right first impression. And if you’re not sure how your sales deck is performing, you have no way of knowing whether or not this is the case.

There is always going to be some level of subjectivity when it comes to evaluating what is essentially a creative asset. But there is also hard data you can use to approach that subjectivity. Look at your top sellers’ decks. Which ones are they presenting most frequently? How do their decks differ from your struggling sellers? Attribute some of their overall performance to the content they’re presenting — it’s not all about individual sales acumen. Figure out what works, then make it work for you and your organization across the board.

Think of your sales deck as the first few pages of a script, and consider the function of those pages. You want to hook the prospect right away. There’s a reason why Hollywood execs A/B test film edits with audiences and change storylines. You don’t always nail it the first time. Use the data you get from your audience to guide the cuts and edits you need to make until you’ve got a real summer blockbuster on your hands.