How to Create a Sales Deck That Closes

How to Create a Sales Deck That Closes

B2B and SaaS sales teams know exactly how important a strong sales deck is.

An effective sales deck will take key decision-makers through everything they need to know about doing business with you, including the deal currently on the table, how your product or service can benefit them, and why they need to choose you instead of a competitor.

So much time and effort goes into prospecting and nurturing leads, you don’t want to fumble the ball at the last minute with a not-strong-enough sales deck.

That’s what we’re going to discuss today. We’re going to talk about how to create a sales deck that will close deals— and we’ll look at examples and share a free sales deck template.

What Makes a Sales Deck Successful

One incredible sales deck may look different from another high-performing presentation, but all persuasive pitches include the six following components.

Clear Value Proposition

Your value proposition details the exact benefits and value that a customer would get by purchasing from you.

Let’s look at a brand like Kosli, for example, which offers continuous compliance software. Their product prevents DevOps teams from having to manually log each change… but that’s just a “feature.”

The value proposition is that their automated reporting streamlines audits and security compliance requirements while DevOps teams can deploy changes at scale.

Explain what your product or service is and how it addresses key customer pain points. Showcase how your value offer is unique, and what it brings to the table that others can’t.

Engaging Storytelling

When possible, craft a narrative that captivates the audience to keep them engaged (and help sell them). Stories are incredibly powerful in sales and marketing because they’re both relatable and memorable.

Use anecdotes, case studies, or customer success stories to illustrate your points when possible to strengthen your story and earn you some credibility.

The example below from Higher Logic features a case study exemplifying their point using a major brand name: HubSpot.


In the meantime, need case studies? Check out how to write sales-winning case studies.

Visual Appeal

Your sales deck should look great. Use visually appealing design elements like images, infographics, and consistent branding.

That said, do avoid clutter to maintain a clean and professional look. Spacing visuals out across multiple slides (and using plenty of white space) can help.


Data-Driven Insights

Back your claims with data, statistics, and relevant market insights. Everyone likes to claim they can “save money,” “save time,” or “boost productivity” — this is your chance to talk numbers and prove it.

When possible, use simple breakdowns, charts, and graphs to present your information clearly. Below is a great example of featuring data in a clear and easy-to-understand way.


Call to Action

Don’t forget your call to action (CTA). This clearly states what you want viewers to do next, whether it’s signing up for a trial, making a purchase, or even scheduling a secondary call or demo at a later date. Make it easy for them to take action, and let them know the next logical steps.


Tailored Content

This is a big one: Whether you’re using account-based marketing (AMB) strategies or not, you want to create tailored content by the time those leads are setting up sales calls with you.

Customize your sales deck for each audience, considering which decision-makers are involved, what their existing tech stack is, and what you know about existing pain points and objections.

Why These Techniques Are Effective

The techniques above are effective for the following reasons:

  • Engaging visuals and storytelling go hand-in-hand, capturing the audience’s attention while making the sales deck memorable. And it’s worth nothing that memorable is powerful.
  • Data-driven insights, transparent breakdowns, and case studies build trust and credibility, which are essential for closing sales.
  • Well-structured sales decks with clear value propositions and direct CTAs can eliminate any confusion.
  • Tailoring content to your target audience shows that you understand the prospect’s needs and increases the likelihood that you hit the right pain points to drive a sale.

Blockages and Obstacles to Effective Sales Decks

Creating an effective sales deck can be challenging due to the following obstacles:

  • Lack of clarity. If you aren’t able to identify or communicate the value proposition to your target audience, you likely won’t close the deal. Keep in mind that the pain point for the end-user may be different than that of the key decision-makers.
  • Information overload. I learned this while working as a jewelry sales-person, excited to go over the 4 C’s every time I sold a diamond; too much information can overwhelm the audience or dilute the key message. Stick to crucial information in your deck, and have additional resources on-hand if the lead has questions.
  • One-size-fits-all. This sounds great in theory, but you’ll often be met with disinterest if you aren’t tailoring the deck to the audience’s needs, industry, or target use cases.
  • Poor design. Unattractive, boring, or too-not-boring (aka cluttered) designs can detract from the message, and may you look either disinterested or unprofessional.
  • Failing to address objections. Certain buyer personas are going to have similar objections, so use that to your advantage. Proactively overcome objections as part of your presentation to increase the odds of getting the sale.

How to Create an Effective Sales Deck in 11 Easy Steps

Keeping the above in mind, let’s go step by step through the 11-part process that you can follow to create a killer, deal-winning sales deck.

1. Define Your Objective

Determine the specific goal of your sales deck, whether it’s to secure a meeting, close a deal, or raise funding.

Good news: Once you have basic sales decks mapped out for any objectives that apply to your business, you can easily store them in a content management solution like Content Camel so you can copy and customize them later on.

2. Know Your Audience

Intensive audience research is important. Ask yourself the following questions, using lead forms, client communications, social media profiles, and company research to answer them:

  • What products will this client most benefit from, and which use cases are most valuable?
  • What are the client’s biggest potential pain points and needs?
  • How can my product resolve those pain points?
  • How can the client benefit from our products or services?
  • Who are the key decision-makers I’ll be speaking to, and how do their pain points differ from those of the end-user?
  • What objections are these decision-makers likely to have based on their buyer personas?

Write all of this down so you can incorporate it into your presentation.

3. Craft a Compelling Story

Develop a clear and engaging narrative that highlights the problem-solution dynamic.

This is a good flow to start with:

  • Showcase the pain, challenges, and frustrations that the client is likely experiencing upfront. This can trigger the pain and drive urgency, as well as showing the client that you “get them.” At this point, you’ve got their attention.
  • Highlight the gap of where they are and where they want to be. Note how your product or solution can help get them there. When possible, show the impact of doing nothing, with data.
  • Introduce your solution. Think of presenting your product or service as “the easy” button, or a low-friction way to solve pain points involved.
  • Highlight impact. Go into more detail with your product or service, showing graphs, charts, and financial breakdowns of how you can really resolve the client’s needs.
  • Overcome objections. This can be interspersed along the way, but proactively overcoming objections before the client asks can build trust.
  • Review the sales offer. What’s included, how much will it cost, and how would upgrading work.
  • End with the CTA. Tell users very clearly what the next steps are and how to take them. You can also end by asking if there are any questions. ** **

4. Create Visual Content

Once you have the basic map of your sales deck, you can start by creating the visuals. Make sure that you’re using consistent branding across all of your slides, and use images, graphics, charts, infographics, and data visualizes strategically.

If each slide looks a little different than the one before or after it, that will keep potential clients engaged.

5. Back with Data

Incorporate relevant data, statistics, and market insights to support your claims. This is the point where you’ll drop that data (and potentially the visualizations) in throughout the sales deck at the most hard-hitting places.

6. Address Objections

Anticipate and prepare responses to common objections or concerns your audience may have.

We know that some potential clients of Content Camel, for example, wonder why they shouldn’t just use Google Drive since it’s free. That’s an objection, and we overcome it by reminding them of potential security and access issues, along with a lack of collaboration features that we offer. By stressing how we can improve content organization, collaboration, and access in a superior way to the free tool, we overcome that objection.

You can use a slide title like “Why Not Google Drive?” or “But Google Drive is Free?” to acknowledge and then overcome the objection.

7. Include a Strong Call to Action

Clearly state what you want the audience to do next and make it easy for them to take that action. That’s it- no more explanation needed.

8. Test and Refine

Solicit feedback and conduct A/B testing to refine your sales deck for maximum effectiveness. Ask other sales professionals you trust to review it, and if you know anyone that aligns with your target buyer personas, ask them to take a look.

After presenting the sales deck, you can also consider what questions customers still asked, or what they seemed to not be as interested in. That can help you improve the pitch deck for the next go around.

9. Customize for Each Audience

As we already discussed, tailor the content and messaging to the specific needs and interests of each prospect.

Small companies are going to have different concerns than larger enterprises in many cases. Differences based on industry, tech stack, and use case should all be considered. This is where your research should shine through.

10. Adapt As Needed

Sometimes, life likes to toss in the occasional plot twist. When new decision-makers, influencers, or company information enters the sales process, you may need to adapt your pitch deck. If you stay on top of these changes, you’re more likely to win the sale.

11. Practice and Rehearse

Ensure your presentation is smooth and confident by practicing your pitch multiple times. Ask a coworker to go through the call with you, asking you questions throughout and providing feedback. Each time, look for potential typos or errors that you need to resolve.

Practice, after all, makes perfect.

The Sales Deck Template to Get You Started

Still feeling overwhelmed? We’re ready to make it even easier for you!

Download our free sales deck template to get started, and customize away!


Creating a compelling sales deck requires careful planning, dedicated audience research, engaging content, and effective design.

By following the 11 steps laid out above and considering the potential obstacles (and the common sales deck pitfalls discussed!), you can increase your chances of delivering a persuasive pitch that drives results.

And, as you’re creating custom pitch decks, make sure that you keep them organized. Content Camel can help, allowing you to tag sales decks based on client type, objective, and more. Your sales team can collaborate on existing decks and make urgent requests from marketing as needed. You can get started free today.

Ready to start creating customized, high-performing sales decks? Download our free sales deck template here.