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Sales Deck: Definition, Purpose & Use

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

A successful sales deck focuses on your customer, not your business. In this lesson, you'll learn more about the sales deck, its purpose, and how to successfully use it, to appeal to prospects and generate conversions.

Dell's Deck

When computer company Dell is trying to sell its products to businesses and organizations, it implements a tactic known as a sales deck. Designed with a dark background, and words and graphics in white that command the viewer's attention, the most memorable part of the presentation is actually the company's glance into the future.

Sales experts who have reviewed Dell's sales deck presentation say, that the best part of it, is when the company presents what they expect to be the future of innovation in the computer world, and the benefits to a business that Dell's products can bring.

That's a classic example of a best practice in using a sales deck: Directing the business you're trying to engage to the future, and how purchasing a particular item will benefit them.

Not familiar with the idea of a sales deck? Good news, this lesson is devoted to all things sales deck, including what it is, its purpose, how it's used (and maybe a way or two you don't want to use it). Read on to learn more.

What's a Sales Deck?

Sometimes referred to as a pitch deck, a sales deck is simply a sales presentation that allows a sales professional to share information about a company and its products and services, with potential clients and customers. It usually takes the form of a PowerPoint (PC) or Keynote (Mac) presentation and is delivered in a face-to-face meeting. It can also be printed and shared for clients to access once a meeting has concluded. The pitch deck earned its name because it is part of the pitch delivered when trying to convince someone to buy a product, or service, or even invest in a company.

A sales deck is displayed in a series of slides, with an assortment of text, graphics, imagery, and statistics designed to educate and persuade an audience to your side. Ultimately, the goal is to earn a conversion, or sale, from the presentation.

How to Use a Sales Deck (And Why You May Not Want To)

There's a fine line between how to use (and how not to use) a sales deck. Even though the word ''sales'' is in the title, selling is really the last thing you want to do in an effective presentation. Rather, your sales deck should showcase what the benefits are, and the reasons why, your product or service should be considered by the customer. Presented correctly, the sales deck could sell itself without you having to twist anyone's arm.

Use a sales deck too early in the sales process, and you run the risk of customers tuning out. Why? Because they don't yet know enough about you to care or understand why the details you're sharing are important. Using it too early may also signify that you're only interested in making a sale, and not really interested in what the business' challenges are, and how you can solve them.

Another no-no in the world of sales decks is talking too much about your company, and not enough about the customer's goals and objectives. It's often been said that people buy benefits, not features. If your sales deck is feature-heavy, the business may not be able to see how it can benefit them specifically, and be turned off. It's best to develop a sales deck that focuses on the value you can offer to the company specifically, rather than facts and figures about your own.

Here's the best way to make use of a sales deck.

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