Pitch decks are a tool to help make your sales calls more effective. A deck can tell a story, illustrate key points, provide social proof, and display impressive data. If you’ve been having a hard time closing deals on recent sales calls, you may need to rework your pitch deck for more visual impact. Here’s our step-by-step process for making a successful sales deck — plus tools and examples to make it easy!

What is a Pitch Deck or Sales Deck?
What Should a Sales Deck include?
How to Make a Sales Deck
Plan Your Narrative
Gather Elements
Build Your Deck (Free Tools!)
Get Inspired By Pitch Deck Examples
What Comes After the Sales Deck?

What is a Pitch Deck or Sales Deck?

A pitch deck is not your entire sales meeting. Rather, it’s a supplement to your conversation — a visual aid, not something to read verbatim. 

What Should a Sales Deck Include?

There’s no one set way to make a sales deck. You can choose any format or structure that makes sense for you and your prospect. At their core, decks typically include:

  1. Opening slide
  2. Overview of meeting agenda
  3. Background on you or your company
  4. Discussion of problems and pain points faced by the prospect
  5. Solutions you or your company can provide
  6. Social proof, examples, and data to back up the pitch
  7. Benefits of working with you or your company
  8. Presentation wrap-up and next steps

The way you present this information may vary based on the prospect’s industry and role. A top executive may want to see different data points than a mid-level manager, for instance. 

How to Make a Sales Deck

Start by building out the base narrative you’d like to convey in your presentation, and create slides that support this narrative visually. You may wish to include a mix of images, charts, graphs, and text. Keep the pitch deck’s slides light on text and heavy on graphics, though — it’ll be much easier for your prospect to process the information this way on a sales call. 

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1. Plan Your Narrative

Your deck’s narrative should center around two main points:

1. What is the prospect’s main pain point?
2. How can you solve it?

It may sound harsh, but prospects don’t care about your product. They care about what it can do for them. Keep that in mind when building your deck.

Your pitch deck’s slides should support this narrative, positioning the problems and solutions from their viewpoint. Sales Hacker makes a great point about modifying your slide deck’s supporting details based on your prospect’s role and their company size:

  • For C-level prospects, approach the problem from a high, broad level. Use your story to show how you can overcome big obstacles for them. 
  • When talking to financial decision makers, emphasize how your solution can improve ROI and decrease the idea of any risk. Share costs, competitor comparisons, and social proof to back this up. 
  • If you’re talking to a manager or practitioner, focus on how your solutions will improve their day to day operations and efficiency. This is a great chance to pair your pitch deck with a product demo.

It’s best practice to have different variations of your pitch deck for different “personas” you’ll be pitching to

If you’re not sure how to approach the pitch deck for a new prospect, look back at your experiences with prior leads. Identify past pitches to prospects in a similar role or industry — what resonated well with them? What missed the mark? Depending on your relationship with current clients, you may want to talk to a few of them for ideas about what they’d like to see if you were to pitch them today.

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2. Gather Elements

Think about how you can present important data points visually. This could include photos, charts, graphs, flowcharts, and infographics. If including social proof or testimonials from a similar client, grab that person’s photo or logo to increase how trustworthy the content feels. 

By customizing your decks to match a prospect’s brand, you can use prepared elements in a way that feels fresh and makes a strong visual impact. Modifying your graphics to use a prospect’s brand colors is a simple way to do this. Canva and Adobe Color offer free tools to help you make a color palette from an image — upload your prospect’s logo or a screenshot of their website to get colors for your presentation. 

How to build a sales deck for free

When using images and graphics you find online, make sure that the content is royalty-free for commercial use and free of watermarks. Storyset, Freepik, Pexels, and Unsplash are great sources for visuals that you can use on any project.

3. Build Your Deck

Make your pitch deck in slide format using a program like PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, Canva, or Paste. You don’t need to be a graphic design master, either — there are lots of great templates available to help you create attractive decks in just a few clicks. 

  • Canva has pre-made slide decks, graphics, and charts you can customize right in your browser. 
  • The Slidesgo library is full of free deck templates for PowerPoint and Google Slides. You can search by industry, color, or type and customize from there. 
  • Creative Market is a great source to buy slide decks designed by professional graphic designers. Most decks are $30 or less, and you can use the template many times.
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Keep your slides easy to read by keeping text over a contrasting background, and never placing text over a photo. 

Get Inspired By Pitch Deck Examples

Still stumped about how to begin creating a pitch deck that packs a punch? Look at other companies’ decks for inspiration!

What Comes After the Sales Deck?

By ending your deck with a wrap-up and clear next steps, you can bring the sales meeting toward a natural close. Your prospect may have some follow-up questions — while some leads sign on the dotted line after one call, many will want a bit more discussion.

Create a second version of your pitch deck that contains more written notes and offer to send it to them so they can share it with other stakeholders. Don’t pressure your prospect to make a decision at that moment. Instead, schedule a followup in your CRM or prospecting tool. 

If your prospect declines to sign on as a client after your sales call, it’s not the end of the road. Keep lines of communication open by scheduling regular check-ins or adding them to a nurturing sequence — and we can help with this! When you use Growbots for prospecting, it’s easy to maintain communication with warm leads over time.

Curious how Growbots can work for you? Sign up for a demo and let us show you! You’ll meet with a dedicated strategy consultant who can show you the ropes — and if you decide to work with Growbots for your prospecting needs, they’ll be on hand every step of the way.

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Chris Zawisza

Chris Zawisza

Head of Sales @ Growbots - laser-focused on the growth of Growbots’ customer base. Always eager to brainstorm and explore new ideas.