Writing a convincing sales deck can be daunting, especially when you consider that it isn’t just the content that determines the persuasiveness of the presentation.
Nailing your sales deck is key to profitability because it is one of your most powerful message delivery options. Graphics, videos, and simplicity of design are all factors that affect a deck’s ability to convince the audience of the message.
Whether you choose to hire a designer or want to create the best sales deck alone, you can learn to spot value in sales decks and where to make crucial edits for conversion.
Let’s Talk Content…
All the sleek, beautiful graphics in the world won’t tell your audience what you’re selling. Content is a must. Andy Raskin, a pro in strategic messaging and positioning, wrote a valuable piece on sales decks and the 5 Elements of a Brilliant Sales Narrative. The five elements are:
We analyzed the first five decks according to the elements of brilliant sales narrative. Look for the “Content” section to see which of the elements were incorporated into the sales deck and what about the content is most convincing. Then read on to see why these 25+ sales deck examples are the best.
Who: Bing Ads
What We Love: This deck has one of the best things in design: white space. White space will likely be brought up again and again throughout this list of best sales decks because it is that crucial to the aesthetic of the presentation. White space allows the audience to direct their attention to the content or graphics. In this case, Bing’s graphics-heavy slides pop on the white background, and the illusion of space is prevalent despite some slides that would be a bit crowded with a different background.
Content: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Most Convincing Part: When Bing repeats “One size simply cannot fit all” midway through the deck after showing how advertising has changed over the years.
What We Love: LinkedIn’s presentation tells a story using full-size graphics that connect the content to the narrative. Each slide opens the eyes of the audience to the beauty of landscapes, people, and technology while telling a personal story that you can connect with in simple language. Each slide has a bare minimum of content. With up to two sentences per slide, the images are able to play the greater part in the storytelling.
Content: 1, 3, 4, 5
Most Convincing Part: When LinkedIn tells stories of people who used their “magic gifts” and found success.
Who: Cisco Service Provider
What We Love: Cisco uses white space, graphics, and dynamic content to make their pitch, but the best part about this presentation is the use of color scheme throughout. Whether it is a graph, a map, headers, or an image, Cisco carefully selected colors that show immaculate consistency.
Content: 1, 2, 3, 5
Most Convincing Part: When Cisco talks about targeting underserved geographies with new services.
Who: SAP Hybris—a German company dealing with e-commerce and product content management
What We Love: SAP Hybris created a dynamic sales deck template that is seemingly monochromatic, but they did something unexpected with it that draws the attention of the audience to key points. They added one color. SAP’s use of yellow to highlight important points throughout the presentation boldly tells you what you need to know, so if you get nothing else from the slide, you at least see the main point. It is a fantastic way to influence the brain to remember certain aspects of a pitch.
Content: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Most Convincing Part: When SAP’s midway slide header is “It works. Here’s proof,” then they present a case study in which 4.6x lift was experienced by a customer using SAP Hybris marketing.
What We Love: Dell goes dark with this sleek best sales deck. All white words and graphics burst off the page against the darkened backgrounds. The simplicity of the graphics juxtaposes the content in a way that encourages the audience to spend the time reading what Dell is delivering.
Content: 1, 3, 5
Most Convincing Part: When they show you their expectation for the next 15 years of IT innovation and then discuss the benefits of using the cloud.
What We Love: Asana doesn’t shy away from content like other companies are currently doing. With over 40 slides, Asana tackles their premium service in-depth, so the audience knows exactly what they are getting. The complete sentences and detailed information tell viewers that Asana is ready to provide them with answers, not leave them with questions.
Who: Confluent—a big data company launched in 2014 located in California by three LinkedIn engineers
What We Love: The lively use of graphics in Confluent’s pitch deck is contrasted by the one sentence, gray-on-white content. It’s reminiscent of the 1, 2, 3 punch in boxing. 1 – Give the audience a graphic they must explore. 2—give the audience content in short, succinct points with fewer graphics. 3—go in for the KO with a bold, large font statement. They’ll never know what hit them.
Who: Work-Bench—Enterprise VC located in New York City
What We Love: Work-Bench’s best sales deck is a model of what is trending right now in design: clean slides, pointed content, simple graphics, and plenty of white space. But this deck adds something extra to each slide in the form of highlighted and bolded points of interest. Using a blue block to emphasize headers and bold text to stress important points, Work-Bench delivers the pitch in an assertive, noticeable way.
Who: Wealthfront—an automated investment service firm based in California worth USD 7.5 million
What We Love: Similar to Dell, Wealthfront uses a dark background and light text, but in a stylish, trendy design. Using bright green as accent colors, the sales deck template draws attention to important information without being obtrusive. The dash of color keeps the slides looking organized as audiences can quickly filter the information they need to make their decision.
High-end designs are one sure way to improve sales pitches, but creating them can be a hassle for the less skilled. Superside designers are vetted and produce creative sales deck templates based on your specifications.
Who: Atlassian—Software development and collaboration company worth 619.9 million
What We Love: Simplicity meets its match with Atlassian’s pitch deck for Trello. It is minimalism at its finest. A plain navy-blue background, san serif white text, and concise content on each slide get to the point without the verbosity of other sales pitches. The Siberian Husky detail adds a bit of playfulness to an otherwise direct pitch.
Who: Verizon Enterprise Solutions
What We Love: Verizon is the red giant, and their branding is represented well in this deck. In fact, where other slideshows may steer clear of red because of its garish quality on the screen, Verizon has used the attention-grabbing color to its advantage. Each header is in red, and the red text is really all you need to read to understand the pitch. If the audience saw nothing on the slides other than the boldly-colored words, they would know the gist of the sale.
Who: Tableau Software—Business intelligence and analytics company HQ’d in Seattle
What We Love: Tableau Software’s pitch is all about the content. Instead of relying on graphs and graphics to get the point across, over half of the slides are read-only. They don’t weigh the presentation down though. The content is straightforward and brief, so the audience can click quickly through to garner the information they need.
What We Love: Whereas the trend right now is to be graphically-heavy, Glassdoor’s pitch balances all-graphic slides and all-content slides perfectly. In most cases throughout the deck, graphic slides speak for themselves and are sans content while content slides do all the talking without the use of graphics. The audience can get a feel for the way Glassdoor works through images and gain a better understanding of the way it operates through the persuasive writing.
Who: Accenture Technology
What We Love: Accenture Technology forgoes the currently-popular minimalist style for a deck that is frenetic and energetic. The background graphics are frozen in action, giving the audience a lively dynamism that is often left out of presentations today. They don’t shy away from color in their text either, using green, orange, white, and blue to differentiate between information on the slide.
Who: BuzzSumo—website that helps with content marketing and SEO campaigns
What We Love: This pitch deck combines whimsical with uniformity. The bulk of the slides are fun Sumo caricatures pointing the way to the importance of the company and detailed descriptions of services provided. It is this perfect combination of creative and traditional that keeps readers interested in what BuzzSumo is all about.
Who: Socialcast—enterprise social networking and social collaboration founded in 2008
What We Love: Socialcast divides their sections by using title slides, and they assign a distinct heading color to differentiate between the sections. The color scheme changes too, making each section like its own presentation. In this way, Socialcast can deliver loads of information to the audience while avoiding the boredom that can result from a presentation that has matchy-matchy slides.
Sometimes good slides go bad. There are too many colors or layout ideas that detract from the professionalism required for a great sales deck. Superside designers are standing by 24/7 to help you brush up your deck to adhere to your company brand, style, or template.
Who: Ethos3—presentation designer agency located in Nashville, TN
What We Love: The engaging, clean style of Ethos3’s pitch deck is anything but boring. The presentation makes it all about the pitch outline through the use of fun but readable font and faded pictures. Unpretentious and orderly, Ethos3 created a straightforward, holistic presentation.
What We Love: FedEx is a company that knows its brand, and it shows in this deck. The company has unique colors schemes for all branches of its business—green for Ground, orange for Express, red for Freight, and Gray for services—next to their characteristic purple logo. In this deck, they use the hues to distinguish between slide sections, so audiences understand when the pitch for Ground has turned into a pitch for Freight.
What We Love: The uniformity of Oracle’s pitch deck is superb. Flipping between slides, it is clear that attention was paid to spacing, consistency, and professionalism. They streamlined the presentation by using only three colors: red, white, and black. This gives the deck an authority that it may otherwise have lacked in a busy or inconsistent design.
What We Love: HP goes bold from beginning to end which is a smart move for a deck pitching printing presses. The bright colored title and end slides encourage audiences to trust the ability of the presses to create vibrant prints.
Who: Tyson Foods
What We Love: This graphics-dependent presentation ticks the boxes for clarity and brevity. With less than 200 words throughout the 17-slide sales deck example, Tyson lets graphs and other visuals tell their story. It’s a daring decision to use so few words to describe their operation, but Tyson makes it work.
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What We Love: DuPont’s presentation packs a ton of information onto each slide, including some excellent attention-grabbing elements. One of the slides houses a YouTube video, a popular new feature of PowerPoint and other slideshow programs, to relay extra information to the audience. This use of multimedia is a star in any presentation and a great way to enhance the flow of facts.
Who: Michael Berl
What We Love: This polished presentation pitching Uber for business rides is a classic beauty. There are two great things about this sales deck example that would cause high conversions: the way the headers sell the proposal and the personal testimonies at the end of the pitch. You are sure to win your audience over when you can take them quickly through a proposal with dynamic headers and end with a proof of concept.
Who: Lilly Skolnik—director of business development at Immediately, a mobile platform for sales pros
What We Love: Skolnik uses a unique concept to illustrate the frustrations Immediately is trying to solve. Through the use of stock photos and callout bubbles, the designer of this pitch deck brought the issues facing their audience to life. Adding this personal touch is a great way to connect with your audience and drive home the importance of your product.
Who: ProdPad—product management software company in the UK
What We Love: The pitch deck for ProdPad follows the trend of minimalist design, but the real star in this presentation is the content. The friendly, informal tone seems more like talking to a friend over coffee than sitting in a meeting room getting pitched a product. The short sentences keep the audience engaged as they become familiar with the product and the added content in parenthesis feels like a trade secret being shared with you!
Who: AppsFlyer—company located in Israel that measures app data to analyze ad value
What We Love: AppsFlyer’s deck is graphics heavy, using little writing to substantiate what the audience is seeing on the screen. You may be wondering why we would love that, and the truth is, it allows for the pitch to be thrown back into the hands of the presenter via the speaker notes. While the audience looks at the images and screenshots of the product’s interface, the salesperson can do what he or she does best—pitch the product.
Though it may seem difficult to create sales deck templates that will convert, there are important takeaways from these 25+ sales deck examples:
Steve Patrizi talks about the new marketing sales funnel and where the sales team places in the process. He purports that customers make most of the decision to purchase before even reaching out to the sales team. Because of this, it is imperative your sales deck be on point and graphically interesting. The best sales deck can make all the difference in persuading people to purchase your product.
Looking for more powerful ways to sell? Here is our guide on outsourcing ebook writing to supercharge your sales funnel.
We sat down with Bill Macaitis, former Slack CMO, to chat about what it takes to success with ad design. Hear his tips and more in this Q&A style interview!