How to give a sales presentation remotely: 12 ways to crush your remote sales presentations
Remote work was a whisper for many years that suddenly grew to a thunderclap during the spring of 2020.
With remote work suddenly a necessary part of our lives, sales reps scrambled to continue doing what they used to do every day from the office: Make phone calls, have meetings, push numbers, close deals.
But there was one aspect that just seemed harder than ever: remote sales presentations.
Are you still struggling to give an effective remote sales presentation?
Well, now is the time to learn: Remote selling is here to stay.
In fact, in a study of B2B buyers by McKinsey & Company, 90% of B2B decision-makers expect the remote and digital selling and buying model to stick around for the long run, and 75% believe it’s just as effective (or even more effective) than pre-COVID methods.
More than that, only 20% of B2B buyers ever want to interact with reps in-person again, even after the COVID crisis is under control.
Feeling like it’s time to flex your remote sales presentation skills?
In this article, we’re going to talk about specific best-practices you need to have in place before the presentation, during your presentation, and after you finish the call.
Ready to become a remote sales hero?
Before the presentation
While you’re probably used to preparing a sales presentation that you’ll present in-person, running a remote presentation creates a very different environment. So, you’ll need to adjust your presentation to a remote setting.
Once you book a meeting, here are some things you need to have in mind before the presentation:
1. Create a sales deck that focuses their attention
In an in-person presentation, you may have worked with a larger screen or projected your presentation. In a remote setting that’s not an option: You’re sharing your screen with the presentation, meaning your slides are only as big as the screen they’re using.
So, don’t fill your presentation with over-cluttered slides. Basically, avoid this:
This goes for both text and visuals: Simple, straightforward slides are always better than trying to cram too much information into one slide.
An ideal sales deck pulls in your prospect’s attention and holds it there while you go through your points. Make sure your slides are a good mix of clearly-stated facts and visuals, a support system to what you’re telling them, and that there are regular pauses on impactful visuals that they can study while you speak. A visually appealing presentation template can help and make a difference.
Here’s what that could look like:
Need some help creating appealing sales decks for remote sales presentations? Download the free resource, Pitch: High-Performance Sales Deck Templates.
2. Make it clear this is a video-on call
Let’s face it: Being on-camera is uncomfortable.
That goes both ways.
So, why is it so important for both you and your prospect to have video turned on?
Here’s the data, according to our friends at Gong: When the seller has their webcam on, win rates increase by 94%.
If you like that, then you’ll love this: When the buyer has their webcam on, there is another 96% increase on win rates.
Seems crazy, right? Why does having video on make such a difference?
Simply put, because using video on a sales call the best replacement we have for speaking face-to-face with our prospects.
With video on, you can pick up on the subtle, nonverbal cues that your prospects are giving you, just like in person. You can read their body language and facial expressions throughout your presentation, and adjust your pitch as necessary.
Now that we know how important video is for your remote sales presentation, you need to make sure your prospect is prepared to turn on their camera once you’re on the call.
How can you do this?
Simply put, be clear on your invitation. Instead of asking them to ‘meet’ or ‘hop on a call’, use the phrase ‘video call’ or ‘video meeting’. Include the term ‘video meeting’ in your calendar invitation.
When it’s clear from the outset that this will be a video-on meeting, the prospect will be more likely to join with their video on.
If they don’t? Just ask them.
In most cases, if you ask, your prospect will turn their video on. Of course, if they really don’t want video on, there’s no reason to push the subject any further.
3. Do a practice run with a colleague
There is nothing worse than the agonizing seconds that pass while you try to share your screen, load a new window, or send a link during your remote sales presentation.
While we’re all still getting used to using these tools, you also don’t want to waste time on the call trying to figure out a tool or program that you’re not exactly familiar with.
That’s why, especially as you start to do your first remote sales presentations, you should do a test run with a colleague.
Find a practice buddy on your team and do practice runs through your presentations together. This allows you to figure out what buttons to press, see how long things take to load, test how the visuals look when you share your screen, and work through any issues with your connection or capabilities.
This is also a great way to find shortcuts that help you get through your presentations smoother and faster.
For example, did you know that Close CRM integrates natively with Zoom? That means you can schedule, set up, run, record, and review your meetings all from your CRM. Talk about efficiency!
4. Prep for minimal distractions
It’s already difficult to get your prospects to focus on a video meeting, so do your best to minimize the distractions you have control over.
For example, make sure your camera is well-placed before getting on the call. Your face should be center-screen and eye-level, and your background should be clean and tidy.
Also, make sure your computer is set up for minimal distractions. Since you’ll be sharing your screen to show the sales presentation remotely, you don’t want notifications, pop-ups, or messages to appear on the screen.
So, make sure to close out of all applications and windows that you’re not using during the call. Also, turn your computer notifications off so new messages don’t appear. Do this by turning on Focus Assist on Windows, or Do Not Disturb on Mac.
Starting your remote sales presentation
You’re on the call: It’s time to make this presentation shine!
But how can you engage prospects and capture their attention from the get-go?
5. Make sure everyone is focused on the call by engaging on a personal level
It’s tempting to jump right into the presentation, especially with the awkward silences that a video meeting almost always produces.
But you need to resist that temptation!
The whole point of doing a remote sales presentation is to connect with your prospect. So, before you dive into the information, try to connect on a personal level.
For example, ask them how they’re coping with the current situation. Offer some information about yourself and your situation, and they’ll be more likely to open up about themselves as well. By establishing a personal connection before you dive into your remote sales presentation, you’ll have captured their attention and ensured that they’re not scrolling through their Instagram feed while you’re talking.
6. Add impact to your main points by asking the right questions
You probably have two or three key slides that are the real money-makers. They may include some outstanding data points that prove the value of your product, or maybe some really great testimonials from happy customers.
Whatever those essential slides are, you want to be absolutely sure your prospects are paying attention when you present them.
How can you do this?
Captivate them by asking the right questions.
For example, let’s say you’re about to present a slide that shows how, on average, your customers see a 50% increase in productivity using your solution.
Before switching to that slide, put that value into context by asking questions:
Rep: “Another important aspect of our solution is productivity. How much time would you say you spend sending emails back and forth to schedule meetings, get updates on projects, etc. each week?”
Prospect: “I probably spend about 10 hours a week doing that.”
Rep: “And the other managers at your company probably spend about the same, correct?”
Prospect: “I’d guess so.”
Rep: “So in total, the management at your company spends about 500 hours a week on repetitive communication. How would you like to put 250 of those hours back into actual work?”
Prospect: “That would be great!”
At this point, you’ve capture their attention, and they data they see in the next slide will have an even greater impact on them.
7. Use your sales deck as a guide to the conversation, not a conversation replacement
Your sales presentation shouldn’t do all the talking for you.
Instead, use your remote sales presentation to guide the conversation.
In other words, you need two separate documents open during your presentation: The deck, and your own personal sales script.
Screenshare the deck, but keep your script somewhere close by where you can refer to it during the presentation. Using a script keeps you on track and helps you control the conversation so it heads in the right direction.
Think of your presentation as a visual aid: The real impact should be from what you’re saying, and the slides are there to cement those ideas in the mind of the prospect.
Ending your remote sales presentation
You’ve started strong, so now it’s time to end strong.
Here are three steps to end your remote sales presentation with a bang:
8. Summarize the main points after you finish presenting
If you take away anything from this article, it’s this: Main points stick better than small details.
See what I did there?
You have certain main points that you want your prospect to remember and think about after the presentation. So, pull those main points into one final conclusion slide. For the best results, pick no more than 3 points to highlight from your presentation.
Your prospect isn’t going to memorize the specs of your product or the stats that show how valuable it is. What they’ll remember most are the benefits you’re promising for them personally.
Those are the main points you want to highlight.
9. Go through the virtual close
Your prospect is in love with your product. They’ve spent the time listening to your presentation, and they’re interested.
How long will it be before that interest wanes? We can’t say for sure. But isn’t it better to close while the prospect is seriously considering your product?
It’s true: You probably won’t get a fully closed deal during a remote sales presentation call. But you can use this time to go through the virtual close.
Simply ask your prospect this question:
“What needs to happen for you to become our customer?”
They’ll probably give you some ideas, like another decision-maker who needs to sign off on the purchase. Then ask again:
“So after that, what needs to happen to close the deal?”
By digging with these questions, you can see exactly what the purchase process is for this company. That gives you clear direction as you discuss next steps, and helps move the sales process along at a much faster pace.
But there’s another added bonus: By going down this virtual road with your prospect, you’re getting them to imagine themselves purchasing your product.
Imagination is a powerful tool for a sales rep. Use it wisely.
10. Set clear next steps
Since you’ve already done the virtual close, you know what needs to happen for this prospect to become a customer.
So, set specific next steps by saying something like this:
“Great! So, since [decision-maker] also needs to sign off on this purchase, why don’t we set up a product demo at the end of this week and include her in it? Would Thursday afternoon work?”
Using what the prospect has told you, set a clear due date for the next step in the sales process. Then, everyone leaves the meeting knowing exactly what they need to do.
After the presentation
Your presentation is finished! Cue the awkward Zoom wave.
But don’t let that ‘End Meeting’ button fool you: You work isn’t quite done yet.
Here are two more things you need to do once your video meeting is over:
11. Set a specific follow-up schedule
Following up is key to closing the deal. No matter how excited your prospect seemed by the end of the call, don’t rely on them to take the next steps.
Start by sending a quick review of the call once you’re done.
If the prospect doesn’t respond or take the decided next step in 2 days, send another follow-up email.
After 4 days, send another.
After a week, send another.
Then, two weeks.
Hopefully, at this point you’ll have a response. If not, keep sending follow-ups once a month.
This frequency really works: Learn more about how in our free book, The Follow-Up Formula.
Want to save time on all these follow-ups? In Close, you can create email sequences to send out to certain prospects.
These automated emails can be filled with personalized data and sent out automatically at the right time, meaning you can save precious time writing follow-up emails and get back to actual selling.
The email sequences on Close have been invaluable. They have enabled us to streamline and more efficiently manage our work flows, and have personally allowed me to improve my productivity by at least 50%.
- Conal Maguire, Business Operations Manager, TalentPool
12. Learn from recorded remote sales presentations
Did you know that, when your CRM integrates with Zoom, you can see the recordings of your video meetings right in the same page as your lead information?
Sure, we all feel awkward watching a video of ourselves. But this is really the best way to learn from your mistakes and improve in the future.
So, while it may be painful, make sure to set aside some time every week to go through your remote sales presentation recordings. Pay attention to what you said and how the prospect reacted. Test different intros, endings, or questions to see what gets a better response.
Then, you’ll be working towards a better version of yourself.
You can win at remote sales presentations
The best tip I can give you is this: Your sales mindset can make a huge difference!
Don’t be afraid to try new things and implement these best practices into your own remote sales presentations. Do the right amount of prep work, start your presentation strong by using questions, end with a summary and virtual close, and remember to always follow up.
With these tips, you’ll be able to win at remote sales presentations.
(Psst… Want to get a headstart?)
For your presentation to be truly stellar, you need to have a jaw-dropping sales deck. Get started with the 6 sales deck templates in our latest resource: Pitch: High-Performance Sales Deck Templates.
Download for actionable templates, a live deck teardown, quick-start checklist, and more! Ready to take your presentations to the next level?