We get it—sales presentations can be scary. While 77% of the population fears public speaking, it’s an essential component of B2B lead generation. A high-quality sales presentation and sales meeting agenda is critical to score business deals with leads.
Believe it or not, even some of the most successful sales experts fear public speaking, especially since there’s a business deal on the line. By setting up a sales meeting agenda—either internally or with prospects—you increase your confidence going into the meeting, reduce the risk of a prospect no-show, and boost the likelihood of closing business.
In this article, we’ll focus on the following topics:
A sales meeting agenda is a personal outline that helps you properly align messaging, stay organized, and perfectly time what you say and when you say it. A sales meeting agenda isn’t necessarily shared with the prospect, but it allows you to stay on track with your agenda items and gives prospects a reason to attend your meeting.
Preparing for sales meetings with potential clients can be stressful and overwhelming. By creating a first sales meeting agenda, you have a better idea of what to discuss during the sales presentation. This allows you to come into the meeting confident and ready to pitch your company’s product or service to the prospect effectively.
Unfortunately, many companies are ghosted when it comes to sales meetings. More often than not, prospects don’t attend sales meetings because they don’t think they’ll be beneficial or something they’d be interested in purchasing. In addition, a key decision-maker (KDM) may agree to a sales meeting to get sales reps off the phone. Then, when it’s time to have the meeting, they stand up the internal sales team members because they forget about it or don’t see it as a priority. Setting a sales meeting agenda increases the likelihood of prospects attending the meeting because they believe it’s something that they, their company, or their employees could benefit from.
Before kicking off the meeting, be personal and build a rapport with the prospect. This could include small talk about them, their colleagues, the company, or any other form of small talk to loosen them up and feel more comfortable with you.
While building a rapport and being personal is important, don’t overextend the small talk and stray away from the meaning of the call. After a few small topics of conversation, gather yourself and center the discussion on the point of the call.
Before presenting a sales pitch to a prospective business, determine what you want from the first sales meeting. Are you looking to see if they’d even be a good fit for your business? Are you hoping to submit a proposal? Do you want to close business right then and there?
Whatever your goal is from this sales meeting, it’s essential to have one overarching goal you hope to achieve after meeting with the prospect. The goal of your sales presentation should serve as its foundation. This way, everything discussed in the meeting is relevant and relates to what you hope to achieve from the sales meeting.
When a sales development representative (SDR) is pitching the prospective business, have them set an agenda for the meeting and share it with the prospect. A 2017 study from the Harvard Business Review shows that it’s important to assign action items and share meeting agendas with prospects because they’re more likely to attend the sales appointments and suggest other discussion topics. In return, this could lead to more closed business because you’re sharing content that resonates with them and their business’s needs.
After you establish a goal for your meeting, create a list of talking points to help you achieve this goal. Having an outline of discussion points will ensure you don’t run out of things to say. It also serves as the framework for a productive meeting and a checklist to make sure you touch on everything that’s meaningful to the prospect.
While creating a topic of discussion is important, make sure you don’t write it as a word-by-word script. This makes the sales pitch seem less natural, inauthentic, and just another sales presentation. An outline helps you properly align your sales pitch while staying personable, relevant, and making it more of a discussion rather than a presentation.
For example, let’s suggest that you’re presenting a sales pitch for your HVAC company. Overall, the goal of your sales presentation is to determine whether or not your businesses could be a good fit for each other. In that case, you could ask the following:
- How many heating and air conditioning units they’re working with
- How often they get the heating and air units serviced by maintenance professionals
- What their top concern is with their current HVAC service provider
- Why they’re looking for an alternative HVAC service provider
By asking the following talking bullet points, you can spend your time pitching the prospect more effectively and converting them from a lead into a long-term customer.
KDMs are busy people and don’t have time to sit through an all-day sales presentation. While sales presentations are crucial for your business, KDMs have a lot of other responsibilities they need to tend to as well. When setting sales meetings with prospective companies, make sure you are respectful of their time.
As you run through your sales presentation and talking points, time out each slide and how long you intend on talking about that slide. This ensures that you stay on track and don’t go over your allotted time with them. If you have a slide that encourages open conversation, set aside some additional time in that section, so they have enough time to speak and answer your open-ended questions thoroughly.
For example, if you schedule an hour-long meeting with a prospect, structure the bulk of your meeting to last for 45 to 50 minutes. This provides flexibility if they’re running late to the meeting or have additional questions.
As mentioned above, make sure you take time in your meeting to ask the KDM questions and give them enough time to respond. This should be practiced in every slide to encourage conversations and answer questions that they may have.
If you wait until the end of the meeting to open up the floor for conversation, they may forget questions they had about previous slides. By continuously asking questions throughout the sales presentation, you encourage conversation and let them know that you’re actively listening to their wants, needs, and concerns.
For every sales call, email, or meeting, you or your sales team should set a call to action (CTA). By identifying a CTA, a prospect knows what you want them to do with the information given to them.
Without a CTA, you risk having a conversation with no end goal. Sure, you might have had a good discussion—but was it actionable? Did something actually come from this conversation, or was it just a waste of everyone’s time? A CTA during each touchpoint is crucial because it keeps the momentum alive and ensures that each conversation is valuable.
At the end of each sales presentation, your CTA should set up the next meeting with the prospect. While a CTA is important for each touch-base meeting, it’s especially significant for the end of the sales presentation. Since you both took your time to attend the meeting, it’d be a shame for the time and work that went into it to go to waste. By scheduling the next meeting, you know you have time to spend with them again to submit a proposal and close a deal.
While sales presentations can be scary for even the most successful salespeople, setting a sales meeting agenda makes it not-so-scary and enables you to have a more effective sales pitch. Setting a sales meeting agenda boosts your confidence going into the meeting, minimizes the risk of a no-show, and increases your chance of closing business.
When creating a sales meeting agenda, remember the following tips to make it successful:
- Quit waiting for the “perfect time” to make a pitch
- Uncover prospect needs and pain points
- Find value in conversation transitions
- Help leads understand why they need your business
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our outsourced SDR teams prospect, nurture, and set sales appointments with qualified leads for businesses in various industries. If you need reliable sales reps to set sales meeting agendas with high-quality business opportunities, contact us today!