Showing Traction in Your Startup Pitch Deck at Every Stage

A Guide to Demonstrating Traction and Success in Your Pitch Deck

A.T. Gimbel
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November 28, 2023

A Guide to Demonstrating Traction and Success in Your Pitch Deck

I’ve recently met with several entrepreneurs who had some strong traction, yet when I looked at their pitch decks it was unclear they had much traction. When investors can’t tell if you have traction in your pitch deck, they will assume you do not. Here are some tips on how to show traction at different stages.

Traction: pre-revenue

I have written more on this topic before, but even if you are pre-revenue you can talk about customer discovery learnings, number of people spoken with, number of beta users/development partners, number of LOIs, number of signups, etc. There are still many ways to quantify progress.

Traction: early revenue

Once you start achieving revenue, you can now focus on some specific success stories. How you found and acquired the customer, where/why they selected you, how they ramped up spend over time, and why they love the product. Do this for several customers that showcase some early signs of a go-to-market process, value proposition, and customer loyalty. You will have some early numbers on revenue, margin, etc. you can also share.

Traction: early growth

As you start growing your customer base, now you can show how that growth has changed over time. Show where the unit economics started, how they have improved, and what you believe they can get to. You may start to have some customer segmentation or cohort analysis. Make sure you can really explain what you have learned about the business model and how it could scale.

Remember that if you don’t show traction in your pitch deck, it will likely be assumed you have none. No matter the stage, you still should be able to show some customer traction that can further support your story.

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