15 Tips for a Great Business Proposal Presentation

Kevin Payne

Written by:
Kevin Payne

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Getting invited to do a live business proposal presentation may seem to be the end of a long and arduous journey to closing a deal with a new client.

Yet, the reality is that many of these slip away after a business presentation.


Why do so many business proposal presentations fail?

It all boils down to the confidence level of the sales reps.

An overconfident sales rep comes with many presumptions. When something unexpected happens, they either freeze or become defensive.

On the other hand, a sales rep who doubts their ability unconsciously makes this apparent to their audience. Either way, the results aren't pretty.


3 ingredients of a successful proposal presentation.

There are three critical components of a great business proposal presentation:

  • Content. This is what you’ll be sharing to those listening so that they can make a well-informed decision after your presentation.
  • Visual Design. This includes slides, images, and other visual materials you’ll be using during your presentation to support the content of your presentation.
  • Delivery. This refers to the actual process of how you conduct the entire business proposal presentation.

These three components work like table legs.

The table can stand if it’s missing one leg, but it won’t be as sturdy.

In the same manner, you can come up with a business presentation even if you lack one of these ingredients. However, it won't be as effective.

Here are 15 tips to ensure all the three "legs" of your business proposal presentation are in place so that you can successfully close more deals.


1 Do your research.

Over half (51%) of consumers expect that companies should be able to personalize products and services based on what they need by 2020.

If you want to close more deals, you need to dig deeper by researching as much as you can about the client or company that you're presenting to.

Aside from learning the key decision-makers’ demographics, ask yourself these questions to guide your research:

  • What is the company's most pressing problem?
  • How do they prefer to receive the information?
  • What do they want to achieve?


2 Provide the attendees with a written proposal.

Companies appoint an average of five people to make key decisions.

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So it's possible that at least one wouldn’t have received the business proposal you’ve sent.

Providing a copy of the business proposal on the day of your presentation makes sure that they have something to refer to when they meet to make their decision. It also shows you're well-prepared for the presentation, giving them an excellent first impression about you and the company you're representing.

Also, since 70% of sales reps would come to a sales meeting or presentation ill-prepared, paying attention to this tiny detail shows that you mean business. These key decision-makers will appreciate the effort and will reward you with their attention.


3 Plot your presentation with an audience journey map.

An audience journey map helps you structure your business proposal presentation.

It works very much like creating your buyer’s journey in that it takes your prospects—in this case, your audience—down your marketing funnel.

Each of the four types of audience journey maps commonly used by sales reps helps you deliver your business presentation so that your audience can easily relate to what you're saying.

That way, you're able to connect with them and get them to convert into your clients.


4 Inject stories in your presentation.

Storytelling helps make it easy for your audience to understand your presentation because our brains were trained to process information shared in a story.

Long ago, people would share news and try to explain natural phenomena like lightning, rain, and even the seasons. We’re still following suit centuries after. Whether you're sharing the latest news to a close friend or telling your boss how the presentation went, you're likely going to be telling a story.

Injecting stories also helps your presentation become 22x more memorable to your audience. This is crucial because key decision-makers will only consider those pitches that left a lasting impression on them.

When telling stories during your presentation, always make it a point to put the spotlight on your audience. By making your audience the “hero” of the stories you share during your presentation, you’re able to connect with their emotions, which is the biggest motivator that drives people to buy and even make repeat purchases.


5 Focus on the benefits, not the specs.

Even though the key decision-makers come from different departments within the company and have specific needs, they share one question: "why should we get this product?"

Bombarding them with the nitty-gritty about the specs and features of your product isn't the way to answer this. Instead, focus on the benefits they'll get.

The best example of this excerpt of Steve Jobs introducing the very first iPhone back in 2007.


Even though Steve Jobs mentioned some of the technical aspects of the iPhone, he didn't focus on that. Instead, he focused on the benefits you’ll only get from the iPhone.

The result?

Jobs’ presentation made people want to get the iPhone that it sold 1 million units in just 74 days.

Plus, Steve Jobs’ presentation style is so effective that it’s now being taught in top universities like Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.



6 Opt to use presentation templates.

Standard PowerPoint templates have now become quite cliché and can dilute the overall impact of your presentation. If you want to look professional, you need to go beyond PowerPoint.

Visme offers a comprehensive library of business presentation templates that you can quickly customize to match your brand and use for your business proposal presentation.


7 Use slides to highlight and support your presentation.

Presentation slides serve two purposes: highlight the most critical points that you want your audience to remember, and support these points by providing your audience with visuals.

Overloading your slides with lots of bullet points and text makes them look cluttered. They can also overwhelm your audience, causing many of them to space out.

When preparing for your business presentation pitch, make it a point to use large font sizes. Not only will this make your text eye-catching, but it’ll also force you to use as little words as possible.


8 Use images in moderation.

Studies show that your audience remembers 65% of the information you share when you include an image. However, this number drops the moment you use clichéd or poor-quality visuals.

Use images only when necessary and make sure that they're essential to your point.

For example, if you’re doing a business proposal presentation for a local SEO tool, you can include logos of the different local SEO tools available when you lay the foundation on what makes yours better than your competitors.

Visme gives you access to millions of free presentation images!

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9 Show videos during your presentation.

Videos are a great addition to any business proposal presentation. They keep your audience entertained and interested to learn more.

People consume content differently. Injecting videos in different parts of your business presentation ensures that you feed your audience with important information in a format they can quickly digest.

Videos also work great if you're planning to give your audience a walkthrough of your product's features, like this one from Spark CMS. It minimizes the risk of running into technical problems.



10 Provide social proof.

72% of customers are more willing to trust and do business with a company when they’re shown testimonials of satisfied customers.

On top of that, adding testimonials also allows you to develop a sense of FOMO among your audience, especially when they see one of their competitors are using your product. This can help you push the key decision-makers off the fence, and give them even more reason to get your product.


11 Practice, practice, practice.

Speaking in front of an audience is a nerve-racking experience, even for seasoned sales reps.

And while practicing won't cause your stage fright to disappear completely, it can help you feel more confident about what to say during your presentation and how to say it.

A great—but challenging—way to practice for your upcoming presentation is to do this in front of children.

That's because kids have a shorter attention span and a limited vocabulary range. So if you can keep their attention throughout the course of your presentation and they remember some of the things you said, you'll be able to handle those key decision-makers.


12 Arrive early.

Ideally, you should be at the venue at least 30 minutes before your schedule. This will give you enough time to test your presentation and the equipment you’ll use to make sure that they’re working.

It will also give you time to compose yourself and calm your mind, allowing you to think more clearly when you start your presentation.

Arriving early will also show those attending your presentation that you value and respect their time.


13 Provide your attendees with next steps.

Don't assume that your attendees would know what they should do next once the presentation is over. Tell them!

For example, if you mentioned that you’re offering them an introductory discount, explain to them the steps they need to take to avail it.

You can also tell them how long will this offer last. This helps you create a sense of urgency so that you don’t have to wait a long time before they give you their response.


14 Bring a copy of the contract.

Even though only 2% of your closed deals will happen at the end of your business proposal presentation, that shouldn’t stop you from bringing a contract for them to sign.

After all, nothing’s more frustrating than to hear the words “when can we get started” or “where do we sign” and not have a contract on hand for you to close the deal.


15 Don’t forget to follow up.

This is perhaps the most crucial step to closing more business proposal presentation deals because 80% of sales happen after the fifth follow-up call onwards.

Balance is the key. Follow-up calls should be frequent enough that the people you’ve presented to remember you. At the same time, it should be spread far apart so you don’t come across as pushy or annoying.


Close more deals with these business proposal presentation tips.

An excellent business proposal presentation includes content that combines data and stories in a structure that’ll take your audience through your marketing funnel.

Make sure it also has high-quality and original images, videos, and slides that are informative and eye-catching. How you deliver your presentation also makes a huge difference.

Most of all, engage with your audience throughout the presentation. Make them feel that you're there to provide a solution to solve their problem, and not just to hit your sales quota.

Start creating your next business proposal presentation with Visme's pre-designed templates. You can customize anything and everything, add animations and interactivity, and end up with a killer proposal presentation that's worth every minute of your clients' time.

Sign up for a free Visme account today and get started.

Did you find this article helpful? What do you struggle with the most when it comes to business proposal presentations? Drop us your feedback, questions and comments below.

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    About the Author

    Kevin Payne is a content marketing consultant who helps software companies build marketing funnels and implement content marketing campaigns to increase their inbound leads.

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