4 Reasons Why Sales Presentations Suck

After our initial discovery call to understand the client’s priorities, we secured a follow up meeting to talk through the solution and project a bit more and sent out our recap. In this case, the goal at the end of our presentation is to schedule a follow up demo & technical deep dive bringing in our sales engineer and a technical resource on their side. With the need identified, now is our chance to shine and move this opportunity along in the process. Unfortunately, there are a few challenges that can keep us from getting there.

So what are the roadblocks?


Schedules are packed and time is precious. I’ve found myself working 50+ hours a week at times (as I’m sure you have) and the last thing we want to do is sit in another meeting or on another conference call. People are tired of being talked at and many presentations aren’t engaging or educational. This can lead to 30–60 minutes with a checked out audience that will leave our sale stalling out.


Slides are often so cluttered with information and jargon, it can be hard to understand the presentation or follow along. I’ve been on both sides of the table and many of the presentations I’ve heard are so focused on feature/function/product they turn out to be just plain boring. We’ve all been sitting on mute listening to a pitch and by the time the speaker gets through there is about 3 minutes left before the meeting is over; this is a huge no no.


It was Albert Einstein who said “if you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough.” How many times have we heard a pitch and it seems like the presenter doesn’t really know the topic, or at best, it sounds like (or they are) reading off of a talk track. Even if our marketing or sales enablement team is putting together some “great” collateral for us, as a sales rep, it’s critical to take the time to really understand what all of this information means. Additionally, even if we do know the information, we should be practicing the presentations before ever giving them in front of a client. People can tell when we don’t know our stuff and it’s a serious shot to our credibility.


Another big issue with presentations is that they aren’t tailored to the audience. Who are we presenting to? If it’s a VP of Marketing we probably don’t want to make it too technical. On the other hand, if they are expecting a technical discussion and we designed it with the VP of Marketing in mind, the presentation won’t go deep enough on the technical side. It’s absolutely crucial that we do enough discovery on the first call to understand what their priorities are, define a next step, understand who’s going to be involved, identify their expectations of the next step and know will happen if it all goes well.

So how do we overcome these challenges? Check out this step by step guide How to Build a Badass Pitch Deck! Thanks again for joining me again on my sales discovery series!