Ten Fatal Flaws of B2B Sales Presentations to Avoid

Sales Presentations remain the top method or skill you need to win over prospects or to take a customer to the next level of success. Therefore, it is an area you need to focus your attention. Learning how to make superior presentations means also knowing what not to do during your b2b sales presentations.

To assist you I want to share the Big 10 Mistakes people make during actual sales presentations. These mistakes lead to losing the business, sale or the account. Remember, your credibility is on the line every time you make the most of each opportunity – making certain to avoid these ten mistakes…

Ten Fatal Flaws of B2B Sales Presentations

  1. Data Dumps
    Features listed and given over and over cause the prospect or listeners to suffer from feature overload. The common signal given by your prospects is a lack of focus regarding your sales presentation. In fact, you will witness their eyes glazing over before your very eyes. Uncool and bad for your credibility.
  2. Trying to Impress with stuff
    Getting too fancy without the real content is another fatal flaw of b2b sales presentations. Being too slick rather than content and performance driven is a bad habit demonstrated by the losing teams most often. Gadgets and being too slick in your presentation will appear as fake. Be real and be yourself. Remember, they buy because of you – not your stuff.
  3. Busy PowerPoint Slides
    This one, I unfortunately mastered at one point in my sales career so I know how destructive it can be. However, just using the standard templates without some modification can equally backfire on you. Ever had a person come up after your presentation and tell you they like the template you are using – they used it at the Rotary Club yesterday. Customize your slides while remaining simple and clean in appearance.
  4. Unreadable Print / Fonts
    Have you ever seen a slide with multiple fonts – sizes – colors – and styles? Yeah, pretty bad stuff. Yet, sales people or worse – the marketing or graphics group – think it is really cool to use unusual and multiple fonts. Bad move – keep it simple and uniform. Most importantly make it easy to read. Watch out for contrast – dark on light backgrounds or bright light on a dark background are the best combination.
  5. Unrelated Graphics or Pictures
    Pictures or graphics having no relationship to your story or point are wasted on the group. It causes the people to daydream or create their own story in their head. Again, bad karma for your b2b sales presentation. Use your stories with related graphics or pictures to show emphasis to your points so the audience will remember the point easily.
  6. Blue Sky Statements
    If you make a blue sky statement or just simply state an opinion – like your opinion – without the details or data to support the statements, you have committed a fatal flaw during your b2b sales presentation. Always be prepared to support your statements with either details, data or other user testimonials. This point goes back to practicing your presentations – even better is to video a practice presentation so you can adjust what needs to be changed. Sales superstars never truly wing it – they prepare for opportunities.
  7. Unfocused Jargon
    Technical or industry jargon used without discretion can be misunderstood or even mislead the audience. You must remember “who is your audience?” I have seen technical people forget they are presenting to executives who have NO IDEA about the technical jargon being thrown around without any focus or explanation. The usual outcome is either a stall or the business goes to the one who does a better job making the sales presentation simple to follow and understand. Stories of usage or simplifying the linkage between the facets of technology using analogies is the strategy of the sales superstar.
  8. Bad Humor
    This one gets me and others every time. Bad or insensitive humor will set you up for failure every time. When used poorly, humor can set a perception about who you are or what you stand for that is completely inaccurate. The best humor is some of your real life observations. This way you are not repeating a joke the group heard from another presenter before you.
  9. Wrong Tone or Pace
    Setting a comfort pace is all about two things – being yourself and practicing your presentation vocal skills. When talking too fast, people cannot follow your points very well, note taking is minimized and you run the risk of getting out of breath and appearing uncomfortable or worse being seen as a control freak. If you talk too slow – you appear to be a low energy person or lacking in self-confidence to express yourself well. When you practice or video your presentations you get a chance to see how you influence the credibility of your information. The key here is to be authentic and real – speaking with authority and empathy at the same time.
  10. Rambling Oversell
    Oops! Done that and it hurts performance. This is usually a sign of the unprepared or the wing it person appearing to make a point. Unfortunately, overkill of a topic or point is bad for results. You either create a doubt about your solution or you bore the buyer so much they lose confidence in you and your solution. The key for b2b sales superstars is to keep your subject on track, short and to the point. And, when you make the points relative to the needs and wants of the decision maker – well – success is coming shortly.

Study these ten b2b sales presentation mistakes and make every effort to avoid them during your work. Learn the techniques used by the Sales Superstars and win more business and more accounts. In fact, an excellent idea is to do the opposite of the ten mistakes.

There you have it, make the b2b sales presentations of the Sales SuperStar.

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Voss Graham

Sr Business Advisor / CEO at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Your Knowledgeable Partner for Business Success and Achievement. Dedicated to helping others get to their next level of success. Award winning business advisor; coach to executives and business owners; Business Growth Strategist; and experienced using assessments for hiring & selection, evaluation of teams and improving communication. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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