by John Biggs
Every company dreams of having a sales deck that not only explains its product but persuades potential clients to believe in its value. While I’ve seen countless decks, none struck me as profoundly as the one from Zuora, a subscription management platform. Special thanks to my buddy Paul Walsh for bringing it to our attention.
Understanding the Deck’s Magic
Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand why most decks fail. Typically, they don’t address the audience’s context and are self-serving. A powerful deck should resonate with its audience, positioning the product as a solution to their problems.
This deck stands out because it isn’t just about the company or its product; it tells a story. It guides the viewer through a narrative that connects their current situation to a brighter future made possible by your platform.
1. Name a “Big Change” in the World: The deck opens with a statement about a transformative shift in the business landscape. It discusses how we’re moving from a product-centric era to a subscription-based one. By presenting the idea of this massive change, the deck immediately grabs the viewer’s attention.
2. Show the Downside of Not Adapting: The deck emphasizes the potential consequences of not evolving with this shift. Businesses that fail to adapt to the subscription model/AI usage/content creation paradigm risk becoming obsolete.
3. Introduce the Promised Land: The deck paints a picture of success. The “Promised Land” is a future where businesses can effortlessly transition to and thrive in the subscription economy. It’s an enticing vision that this deck promises to deliver.
4. Position Features as “Magic Gifts”: The deck doesn’t list features but presents them as tools that can guide businesses to the Promised Land. It’s not about the features themselves, but how they can transform a business’s operations and potential.
5. Present Obstacles and Overcome Them: Any logical viewer will have objections or reservations. The deck preempts these by identifying potential hurdles businesses might face in the subscription world and how their platform can address and overcome each one.
6. Introduce Evidence as Proof: The deck reinforces its narrative with success stories and data. This evidence backs up their claims and showcases their platform’s tangible impact on real-world businesses.
Start with a Big, Relevant Change: Effective sales decks address something bigger than the product. They tackle significant shifts in the landscape that the target audience can’t ignore.
Don’t Focus on the Product, Focus on the Future: Powerful sales narratives look beyond the product. They envision a brighter future, which the product can help achieve. In this case, it’s the allure of successfully navigating the content economy.
Tackle Objections Head-On: It’s crucial to anticipate and address potential objections within the sales deck. By providing solutions to these reservations, you build trust and credibility.
Back Claims with Evidence: Bold claims need support. By providing success stories, data, or testimonials, you solidify your narrative and instill confidence in potential clients.
This deck stands as a testament to the power of storytelling in sales. Instead of a self-centered approach that harps on features, it’s a compelling narrative about change, challenges, and the brighter future they can help achieve. By taking this audience-focused approach, you can craft a sales deck that’s not just informative, but deeply persuasive.