How to structure an effective sales presentation

How To Structure An Effective Sales Presentation 

To process information effectively, people need structure. Every film, book and TV series has one, and your sales presentation should be no different.  

A well-thought-out and properly structured presentation is an effective way to organise your message and enable you to deliver it with the greatest impact.  

Before you even start thinking about putting your ideas into PowerPoint, you need to mould them around a winning structure that supports your case. And we’ve got the perfect framework for you.  

Situation, Complication, Resolution 

If you’ve ever watched a film or read a book, you’ll already be familiar with this structure. In fact, many stories follow its path.  

The ‘Situation, Complication, Resolution’ framework takes the listener/viewer on a journey that leads to an organic conclusion. It goes like this: 

Situation: The starting point of the story. This is when the scene is set, and current situation acknowledged. 

Complication: This stage introduces a problem that throws everything out of whack. As the name suggests, it complicates matters.  

Resolution: The final stage addresses and resolves the problems brought about by the complication, relieving the tension that has been built. Basically, everyone lives happily ever after.  

This framework isn’t just ideal for films though. It’s also an effective structure for sales presentations, allowing you to organise your ideas clearly and help you make that sale. Here’s how to make it work in your next sales presentation.  

Part 1: Situation 

As the name suggests, this first section of the deck should be used to acknowledge your prospect’s current situation.  

In a Hollywood blockbusterthis part of the movie might be when you’re introduced to the protagonist, who is engaged to the love of her life and planning what she hopes to be the wedding of the century.  

In a sales presentation, it’s a bit less romantic. This part should be when you demonstrate your understanding of your prospect’s company, industry and specific situation, to position yourself as an expert and build that all-important rapport.  

What, for example, is the issue they are facing that you are proposing to resolve? And how are they currently attempting to address it? 

This part of the presentation sets the scene for what’s to come, introducing your prospect to the concept that the way they are currently dealing with their challenges isn’t necessarily the best way.  

Part 2: Complication 

In the Hollywood movie, this might be when the protagonist’s fiancé decides to call off the wedding because he wants to move to Gibraltar. It’s complicated. 

In a sales presentation, this part is a bit more hypothetical. Here, you should discuss the potential consequences of your prospect not choosing an effective solution to their problem. In particular, you will demonstrate the complications that may arise if they don’t embrace your solution.  

Doing so will increase tension by bringing the prospect’s current situation and desired situation further and further apart. It’s this tension that leads to firm decision-making.  

Part 3: Resolution 

And finally comes what we’ve all been waiting for: the resolution to all that tension you worked so hard to build.  

In our extremely exciting romantic movie, here is when the protagonist flies over and embraces a new life in Gibraltar with her fiancé, gets the wedding of her dreams, and lives happily ever after. 

In our well-structured sales presentation, this stage should be when you break the tension in a slightly different way: by introducing your innovative product or service as a new and better solution to your potential client’s challenge 

This long-awaited resolution will come as a natural conclusion to your sales deck and the journey you’ve guided your prospect through. By this step, your prospect will be waiting (if not longing) for your solution.  

put it into practice

Let’s give this framework some meat, to demonstrate how it can work in a sales presentation. Here’s an example that we might use:  

SituationAn investment company gives frequent PowerPoint presentations to its clients to show them how their investments are doing. In these meetings, the presenters hope to encourage clients to increase their investments 

ComplicationThe presentations contain lots of complicated graphs that clients often struggle to interpret, leading some to lose interest. With no in-house support for their design, the additional investments desired from these meetings begin to decline as clients can’t really tell what’s going on with their money.  

ResolutionSeek the support of presentation experts to simplify the graphs, reimagine the content and make the entire deck more visually engaging and easier to understand. Now, the company is able to deliver their content effectively, maintain the interest of their clients and encourage additional investments in client meetings 

Structure your sales presentation the right way 

In sales pitches, the Situation, Complication, Resolution’ framework helps you to organise your ideas and deliver an effective, persuasive pitch. Rethink your current sales presentation structure to embrace this impactful storytelling technique and enhance your pitches.  

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you structure, design and build that killer sales presentation. 

From expertly designed slides, to clever PowerPoint development, no one does presentations like we do. 

Ultimate Guide To Creating A Winning Sales Presentation Deck