Your sales presentations put not only your communication abilities to the test but also your ability to prepare and construct a story that engages your audience. A sales deck may make or break opportunities. No matter how great your service or product could be, your chances of closing a sale or getting a next appointment are reduced dramatically if your presentation isn’t clear.  

However, mastering the proper balance in the sales presentation design stage takes some time. That’s because an effective sales deck requires a high level of detail and originality, but it’s achievable. This article shares five features an effective sales deck should possess. 

1. A captivating cover slide 

The cover slide in a sales deck is what your prospect will see first when you meet them for a presentation or when they open your deck in an email. For this reason, your cover slide should make it clear that your organization is relevant to the prospect’s needs and particular field.  

For branding purposes, include your company name and logo in the cover slide. Draw attention to it with some appealing graphics or an intriguing title. You can always look for sales deck examples for some inspiration. 

2. An elevator pitch 

An elevator pitch is a brief statement that explains whom you help, how you do it, and the gains your prospects get from your solution. Your sales deck must begin with an elevator pitch that gives a bird’s-eye view of your solution. It serves as a preview of what you have in your deck, setting up the foundation for your presentation.  

You may also include your unique selling proposition to make your elevator pitch more compelling. This is a statement that explains why consumers should buy from you rather than from your competitors. 

Suppose you’re offering a packaging solution to a long-distance transport company. Your elevator pitch can be “Our quality packaging solutions are fit for long-distance shipping companies in keeping goods from damage while in transit.” This gives an overview of your solution in relation to the prospect’s business. 

3. A compelling storyline 

The most effective sales decks are those that immerse the audience or readers in a narrative. The story should demonstrate how your solution changes the prospect’s business from its present, challenging situation to where the prospect wants it to be. When information is provided in the form of a story, humans are more likely to understand it. (1)

With a story, you’re likely to keep your prospect more engaged throughout the presentation. There are two main ways you can present your narrative. You can opt for an industry change/opportunity or a problem/solution approach. Here’s how to go about each.  

  • Industry change/opportunity approach

This structure begins by introducing a major industry shift and chances to profit from it. You then demonstrate how your offering can assist the prospect in becoming one of the big winners from the transformation.  

Use the market change/opportunity approach to show the large picture benefits your prospect will gain if they get on board and take action. The perfect time to use the industry change/opportunity approach is when the industry is going through a change.  

  • Problem/solution approach 

This is where you start by highlighting the problems your prospect is facing in their business. Then you demonstrate how the business would run better if that problem didn’t exist. In the end, describe how your solution or product will assist them in achieving their goals. 

4. A show of social proof  

Naturally, people are skeptical about salespeople or anyone who seems to have an agenda. You must demonstrate to the prospect that you have a solution that can solve their challenge and deliver the promised benefits. This works best to include research data, summaries from case studies, reviews, testimonials, or other types of proof to back up your claims. 

However, make sure your proof is relevant to the prospect’s situation and you’re using the best social proof you have. You can list your social proof on one slide near the close of your presentation or integrate it into various elements of your deck. If you don’t think you have enough proof, try finishing your sales deck with something that instills some confidence in your offering. (2) 

You can offer a type of security that gives your prospect a safety net, such as a money-back guarantee, free trial period, or free shipping. This will also help you to demonstrate that you have enough trust in your solution. 

5. Call to action 

This is the part where you state the action you want the prospect to take after they’ve seen your sales deck. Be descriptive yet clear on what action you need your audience to take. You need to give the audience guidance. Your prospects will welcome the clarity you provide in what they’re expected to accomplish next because you’re the leader in the room. This is the first step in breaking the buyer silence cycle barrier. (3)


Sales decks are becoming a vital part of internet sales. Creating engaging presentations to back up your sales pitch can help your brand become memorable. This can ultimately help you close more deals. Remember, prospects see a lot of sales decks. While each company’s sales decks will tell a unique tale, these fundamental components and best practices will aid in articulating your stories effectively and memorably. 


  1. “How Great Storytelling Can Make Your Business Stand Out”, Source: 
  2. “18 Ways to Use ‘Social Proof’ to Boost Your Marketing”, Source: 
  3. “What Is a Call to Action?”, Source:  

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