The pitch deck is more than just a gorgeous design. It is in PowerPoint format (usually) and one of the many assets that Sales needs to introduce customers to your company, its products, solutions and benefits. (Or perhaps it is needed to attract investors but that requires different information - this blog is for Sales.)
In our experience, the pitch deck is often created by Sales, doesn’t follow best practices for messaging and doesn’t align to the company branding. When the pitch deck is created by Marketing, Sales often feels it’s less relevant, or needs to be customized in some way and then it ends up looking unstructured and unprofessional.
So, to avoid these issues we recommend the following best practices:
- Consult with Sales for the input on what content should be included. We find it is easiest to prepare the outline of what is required in the pitch deck and work with Sales to fill it in. Sales should help ensure that the messaging is geared towards the problems solved or benefits rather than a listing of features or specifications.
- Provide a few blank slides with the corporate font and brand guidelines pre-populated. Sales will need to add custom slides (particularly around specific challenges and a specific recommendation). It will happen and recognizing this and enabling it in such a way that branding will remain constant eliminates a couple of the problems mentioned above.
- Address common questions or issues. We spend a lot of time debating if a pitch deck should address known deficiencies. We believe it should, by indicating where the strengths are and not being afraid to say when the product or solution is not suitable. We find companies of all ages and sizes will get distracted by opportunities that they are not best equipped to deal with. Calling that out in the pitch deck helps qualify opportunities and ensure the conversations are happening early in the sales cycle before a lot of time is committed.
So what to include? Here is what we include in a pitch deck:
Company Intro and Problems Solved/Value Proposition (It might surprise you but we don’t include the elevator pitch in the pitch deck)
Summary of Products and Solutions (that matches the hierarchy from the website)
Customer Logos with Testimonials
Summaries of your most popular/applicable Case Studies
When to Purchase/When Not To Purchase
Contact Information of the Presenter and (when applicable) the Larger Team
Some other tips and tricks:
- Include as many metrics and quantified statements as possible. If you can’t quantify the statement, consider avoiding it.
- Make sure the information is applicable to your customer personas. Is this the level of information they want? Does it address their problems or your features?
- List the experience of key members of the team in a succinct way.
- Decide if your product and service is new or unusual enough to have additional background information such as why you’re here, the history of the market or how the product works. Include this information if you are spending a lot of time educating your prospective customers.
- Design is important. Ensure it follows your brand guidelines, has a lot of white space and can be read from the back of a large room (a good rule of thumb to keep your copy succinct and your font large.
And one final thought, check how long it takes to present. If it’s more than 20 minutes, review the checklist above and remove some of the information.
For more practical information on 17 other common marketing tactics, download our eBook, Coming from Experience: 17 Winning Marketing Tactics from the B2B Experts or call us today for an assessment of your existing marketing and a strategic and tactical plan.