Need-Based Sales Pitch: Insights from an Experiment
International Journal of Case Studies in Business, IT, and Education (IJCSBE), 4(1), 78-86. ISSN: 2581-6942, 2020
8 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2020
Ganesha H. R.
Institute of Management & Commerce, Srinivas University
P. S. Aithal
Institute of Management and Commerce, Srinivas University
Affiliation not provided to ssrn.
Date Written: April 26, 2020
In brick-and-mortar retailing, sales personnel play the most important and complex role whereby they are the ones who are connected to consumers directly on a real-time basis. It is observed that the majority of brick-and-mortar retailers in India assume; consumers who walk into their stores have a clear understanding about their needs and based on their needs they enquire sales personnel in the store about a specific product/category/brand. Such a significant assumption has created a predisposition and mindset in sales personnel, and they believe that they are left with very little room for adding any more products into consumers basket by the way of either cross-selling or up-selling. In this research, we have attempted to design a new need-based sales pitch technique and applied the same through an experiment to evaluate the change in (a) sales person’s attitude towards consumer orientation and (b) types of products/categories/brands being sold and (c) overall store profitability.
Keywords: Brick-and-mortar store, Offline store, Physical store, Salespeople, Salesperson, sales Personnel, Customer Orientation, Sales Pitch, Need-Based Selling.
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Institute of Management & Commerce, Srinivas University ( email )
Srinivas Nagar Mukka Mangalore India
HOME PAGE: http://https://srinivasuniversity.edu.in/
P. S. Aithal (Contact Author)
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10 Sales Pitch Examples (Plus Tips on How to Write Your Own)
FREE PITCH TEMPLATES FOR SALES TEAMS
Elevator pitch templates to better sell your product, fund your business, or network.
Your sales pitch can make or break the deal, so it's a good idea to have that nailed down before meeting with your customer. It's your opening line, your verbal business card, and the first thing your customer will hear when you call or meet with them.
I've been in sales for almost 16 years and have heard my fair share of both great and less-than-stellar pitches.
For this post, I'd like to discuss the anatomy of a good sales pitch and share examples of the best sales pitches I've ever heard.
What is a sales pitch?
How to start a pitch, how to make a sales pitch, the sales pitch framework, sales pitch ideas.
Sales Pitch Examples
A sales pitch is a condensed sales presentation where a salesperson explains the nature and benefits of their business, ideally in less than one or two minutes. Sales pitches are often referred to as ‘elevator pitches’ because they should be able to be delivered within the time constraints of a single elevator ride.
Salespeople are past the point of giving prospects hour-long presentations to sell products or services. Nobody has that kind of time and, to be honest, if you need an hour to relay your value proposition, you're doing it wrong.
They're called elevator pitches for a reason. Ideally, if you're giving me one, I should be able to understand what you have to offer in the time it takes to get from the lobby to my floor.
A good salesperson should be able to get their message across compellingly and concisely. If you can nail your sales pitch, odds are you'll have more time to talk down the line.
What is a product pitch?
A product pitch is not much different than a sales pitch, but is specifically focused on a product or service. You'll go in-depth and emphasize how your product works, how it will solve their pain points, and the specific benefits it will bring to your customers.
As an example, a sales pitch can be broadly focused, like if you're a consulting firm that offers a wide range of services. You're selling your business as a whole, rather than a specific product or service, like a CRM platform or accounting tool.
Starting a pitch is arguably the hardest part. You have to grab your prospect’s attention so that they actually want to hear the value of your product and how it can help their business. But before you can share the product’s value, you have to hook the prospect.
When starting your pitch, you’ll want to integrate the following essential elements.
- Start with the problem . Always start with the problem. Unless they know the problem you can solve, they won’t be open to hearing how your product is a solution.
- Tailor the start of the pitch to their vertical. No one wants to hear a general pitch that would apply to any business. Research their vertical and use the information you found to personalize the pitch immediately.
- Offer stakes . If they don’t solve the problem using your solution, what do they have to lose? You don’t need to state it in such clear terms — but alluding to the risks at the start of your pitch can help you secure buy-in straightaway.
Here are a few methods for starting a product pitch, but remember: try to stick to thirty seconds, or one to two sentences if you’re delivering the pitch via email.
Start off with a personal anecdote.
Start off a pitch with what you know best — yourself. While I don’t think you should focus solely on yourself throughout your entire pitch, starting off with a personal anecdote can help you speak with more authenticity and foster empathy.
The key here isn’t to focus on the product’s merits. How many product pitches start off with “This product helped me achieve X results in X amount of time” ? A lot. And I’m already yawning. And no one cares about results unless they know the problem first.
Your personal anecdote should focus on a problem that your product can solve. Make it as excruciating as you’d like — and don’t forget to be genuine and connect your anecdote to their business.
Ask a question that relates to the problem you solve.
Oh, yes, the good old question. While it might verge on overused, it’s not to be dismissed. Asking a question is a highly effective way to start a pitch. The question should, again, focus on the problem.
Stick to yes or no questions and tailor it specifically to the business you’re pitching to. If you’re speaking to a real estate business, create a question that articulates a problem specifically experienced by real estate firms. If you sell a property management software, it could be as simple as, “Do you spend way too much time tracking individual property sales? That’s time better spent actually showing homes to prospective buyers.”
Start with a stat that resonates and offers stakes.
Starting with a stat can be effective — but it has to resonate with the audience and offer stakes . In other words, what does the stat have to do with the problem? How does it reflect a potential and critical downfall that could harm your prospect?
Let’s say that you’re a salesman of yard maintenance services. Starting off with “50% of homes don’t use yard maintenance services” is a lazy and boring way to begin your pitch. Consider instead: “50% of homes don’t use yard maintenance services, resulting in thousands paid to HOA every year.”
Now that you know how to start your pitch, it’s time to deliver the rest of it. Use the following tips to secure buy-in in less than three minutes.
- Make it short.
- Make it clear.
- Explain who your customers are.
- Explain the problem they're facing.
- Explain how your product addresses their needs.
- Describe what success will look like as a result of using your product.
1. Make it short.
A sales pitch isn't a conventional presentation. You're not going to have PowerPoint slides. You're not going to have complimentary pastries on a boardroom table. And, most of all, you're not going to have your audience's time and patience for long — at least not until they're sold on your product.
2. Make it clear.
This ties in with the previous point. You don't have the time to go on tangents or talk about anything but the message you're trying to get across. Your pitch has to be lean and to the point. It has to register with your listener immediately. That means speaking with intention and clarity.
If you’re pitching a product, you want to ensure that you clearly communicate how it will solve your prospects' pain points, giving them a clear picture of how their day-to-day will improve if they decide to make a purchase.
3. Explain who your customers are.
Consider the picture you're going to paint in your pitch. Give your listeners perspective on who's buying your product or service. They want to know that you have a lucrative, engaged market in mind. Be specific in identifying who will be interested in your product, and try to convey why your listeners should be interested in them.
4. Explain the problem they're facing.
Cover why your customer base needs you. Your target market is only as valuable as the problems you can solve for them. Convey a problem they consistently face. If you're pitching a spreadsheet software for accountants with functionality Excel doesn't have, you could discuss how hard it is to bookkeep without your software's unique features.
5. Explain how your product addresses their needs.
Here's where you start to bring it all home. You've established who you're selling to. You've established why you're selling to them. Now, you have to establish why they'd buy from you. What can you do better than your competition?
As mentioned above, you need to clearly explain how your product addresses their needs. Continuing with the accounting example, you could touch on how your unique data visualization features make busywork more efficient.
6. Describe what success what success with your product will look like.
Show the benefits of your product on a broader scale. In the example we've been using, you can talk about how accountants that use your software have more time to spend with important clients or the flexibility to spend time with their families. Show how your product makes your customers' lives better as a whole.
Ideally, your pitch should be a one-liner summarizing what your company does, how they do it, and for whom. And this is not just a requirement for sales reps. Anyone in your company, from the CEO to sales consultants, needs to know your one-line sales pitch by heart.
So, how should you structure your sales pitch?
If you have time to properly expand and work on a conversation, touch on points of interest. Here's a framework you can use for building your elevator pitch:
- Problem : Start with a statement or question about the problem you solve. You can present the problem using a personal anecdote, question, or eye-opening statistic. Answer the why.
- Value Statement : Share a very clear, concise statement of value. Be action-oriented and outcome focused. Avoid using jargon. Share benefits.
- How We Do It : Highlight unique differentiators and explain what you do.
- Proof Points : Provide clear reference examples and list recognizable achievements. Share industry validation and awards.
- Customer Stories : Share customer examples and successes. Tell emotional and personalized customer stories. Make it real and tangible.
- Engaging Question : Close the pitch with an open-ended question, creating a space to have a conversation.
Many companies use success stories in their pitches to ensure the sale. Name-dropping really works, so be sure to use that to your advantage. And if your product is small or light enough to keep in your pocket, you should always have one on-hand to show your prospect.
I always stress the need for a concise sales pitch. So keep it free of professional jargon, don't get into the weeds, and be sure to talk more about your prospect and their problems than yourself.
Nothing's more off-putting than a bragging salesperson talking about themselves, their company, or their services. That's what I call the "me monster." The actor in your story is the customer, not you — period.
Lastly, presentation and distribution are everything. You need to deliver your sales pitch to the right person at the right time with the right tools on hand (like a demo, free trial, or presentation).
The sale starts with your list of contacts. Define your list and personas, know their correct contact information, get an introduction, and make sure you contact them at a time of day when they're likely to respond.
- Tell a story.
- Include a value proposition.
- Personalize the sales pitch.
- Switch up your pitch.
- Practice your pitch.
- Try not to use metaphors.
- Create a WOW moment.
- Appeal to emotions.
- Back it up with facts.
- Tap into their fear of missing out.
- Educate them.
How can you make your sales pitch the best it can be? Here are some sales pitch ideas.
1. Tell a story.
Keep your listeners engaged by telling a brief story . The story could be either about the company or how a customer found success through your product or service. In this latter example, you can start with the issue the customer was facing, lead into the solution, and end with the key results the customer achieved.
If you think storytelling is difficult, don’t fret. Just think of your favorite movies and TV shows — how did they keep you engaged? Try to emulate the same tricks as you try storytelling during a sales pitch. Use images and interactive elements to enrich the experience for your listeners, keeping in mind who your audience is and what their preferences are.
For instance, if you’re selling enterprise-level software to senior-level executives, you might adjust your tone and delivery to be more formal and poised. The scrappy owner of a startup, however, might appreciate more humor and levity. Study your prospects to figure out the best storytelling method for them.
2. Include a value proposition.
What value will you provide for this person or their company? While your pitch should be short and sweet, the value proposition is the core of your sales pitch. To offer the greatest amount of impact, your value prop should come after you identify the problem that your prospect faces in their day-to-day. The value prop is the proposed solution and is the make-or-break moment of your pitch.
3. Personalize the sales pitch.
Who are you talking to? Make sure your sales pitch is relevant to them and piques their interest. You'll be able to customize it so it addresses the items that are most important to the person you're speaking with.
This idea applies to any pitching method or technique you use. No matter what, the sales pitch should speak to your prospect’s highly specific pain points and needs. For instance, if you’re pitching your bookkeeping software to the sole proprietor of a freelance business, you might emphasize the easy and simple invoicing tool.
For personalization to have the most impact, you must have had a productive discovery call where you asked questions that uncovered your prospect’s most urgent needs. Leverage the information you found out during that process to hone your pitch.
4. Switch up your pitch.
There are a variety of sales pitch types to choose from:
- The One-Word Sales Pitch : Reduce the entirety of your value proposition and company mission to one word. For instance, HubSpot’s one-word sales pitch might be “growth.”
- The Question Sales Pitch : Opening your pitch with a question not only piques curiosity but also engages the end recipient. One example would be: How much money does your company waste on manual sales activities that could be automated?
- The Rhyming Sales Pitch : Using rhyme can make your pitch more memorable to buyers and even incite a laugh. For instance, if I were pitching Sales Hub to a potential business, I might say, Sales Hub covers every sales need from bottom to top and makes you an elite member of the sales automation club. I’m absolutely not a poet, though.
- The Subject Line Sales Pitch : If you’re primarily selling your product over email, you can craft a sales subject line that pitches the product to prospects.
- The Twitter Sales Pitch : You don’t need to get on Twitter for this one. Instead, think about how you’d word your pitch if you only had 280 characters to work with. What would you emphasize? What would you omit?
- The Pixar Sales Pitch : Place your ideal buyer persona, their key problem, and their solution in a story that more or less follows the familiar Pixar structure: Once upon a time _____. Every day, _____. One day _____. Because of that, _____. Until finally, _____.
Depending on the potential customer and situation, change up the type of pitch you use. Alternatively, as the sales process progresses, you can use different types of pitches and identify the ones that your prospect most effectively responds to.
5. Practice your pitch.
Practice, practice, practice. Once you've created your pitch, practice it so you feel comfortable presenting it in front of prospective clients. You can do this a few ways: By simply standing in front of a mirror and practicing, by filming yourself using your phone or laptop camera, or by role-playing with a colleague .
We especially recommend the last option because you can get live feedback during or after the exercise. Role playing is a valuable sales training technique that helps you build your pitching muscles while also putting you in situations where you’ll have to think on your feet. Your colleague might switch up the script on you, precisely to emulate what it would be like to speak with a prospect in real time.
6. Try not to use metaphors.
Odds are your sales pitch isn't happening in an English classroom. The idea of incorporating vivid, clever comparisons might seem effective in theory, but there's a good chance you might confuse your prospect. Remember, you want to keep things clear.
If you feel compelled to use metaphors, keep them business-related or extremely familiar (like “it’s important to walk before you run” or “we should compare apples to apples”). Don’t use sports-related metaphors unless you’ve made a connection with your prospect on that basis — maybe they played baseball as a child like you did, or you’re both fans of the same sports team.
7. Create a WOW moment.
One way to ensure your pitch is memorable is by blowing the listener or recipient's mind. You might do this by stating a fact that is counter-intuitive, demonstrating the product/service's best-selling point in a shocking way, telling an outlandish story, or emphasizing your product’s most unique feature.
For instance, let’s say that you’ve established your company’s customer service as one of your key selling points. During an office visit, you might take the prospect on a tour of the customer service floor to show them the service team in action, and even introduce them to the chief customer officer on a first-name basis. Talk about creating a positive impression! With that move, you’ll cement the authenticity of your claims while delighting your prospect.
8. Appeal to emotions.
Understanding your customers is central to consistently nailing sales pitches, and when you do, it's good to convey that. One way to do so is to use empathy, revolve your pitch around their life experience, and find commonalities between you and them. Try to find out small tidbits about their career, their upbringing, or even their childhood so you can use empathetic statements and connect on a more personal level.
If you’ve both worked at startups in the past, for instance, you can appeal to your prospects’ emotions by mentioning how limited budgets can be during those early startup days. You can then either help them feel glad that they have a larger budget now, or lead into the returns of your product.
9. Back it up with facts.
While consumers make decisions more often with emotion, they still need to rationalize the decision to themselves and/or other key stakeholders. By providing statistics or case studies that support the emotional appeal, you're providing credibility that will help them feel as though they're making the right decision.
For case studies specifically, we recommend incorporating a few into your sales pitch presentation . If there’s no time to cover the specifics, include a QR code or shortened link where it’s easy for prospects to access your case study library. Alternatively, bring along a printed copy of a case study from a company that’s highly similar to your prospect’s.
10. Tap into their fear of missing out.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful motivator and can create a great sense of urgency. The last thing you want is for them to be dazzled by your sales pitch but procrastinate long enough for that feeling to fade away. Instead, get them to take action right away.
11. Educate them.
You want to establish yourself as an authority in your space. Some interesting, relevant facts can help grab your customers' attention and add a certain degree of legitimacy and trustworthiness to your pitch. In addition, provide more resources that the prospect can refer to as they continue exploring your company and your offerings. That way, they can find out more at their own pace.
It’s also important to provide supplemental information that doesn’t necessarily educate them about your product but about how they can do things more efficiently at their business. For instance, if you sell design software, you can send them links to resources that teach them how to design assets for social media platforms.
Great Sales Pitch Examples
If you’re in need of inspiration, take a look at the following sales and product pitch examples. They're short, focus on the customer, and effectively convey value.
If you were a hospital or pharmacy considering using Merck’s solutions, you’d be convinced by this pitch. Why?
Merck knows that values and strong scientific foundations drive business decisions in the healthcare industry. They capitalize on that by emphasizing their long history and tying their work into their mission. In that way, it sends a message that resonates with its target audience.
Gap is better known as a clothing brand, but the company behind it, Gap Inc, is a publicly traded firm with multiple successful brands under its belt. In its pitch to its potential investors, Gap Inc emphasizes its dominant position in the marketplace while ensuring that the company will be a secure long-term investment.
This is an interesting way to build your pitch: Make a note of what really annoys your customer and pitch how your service can resolve this grievance. It's another way of reframing the customer's needs, and it works because it's a powerful way to describe the situation.
When they discuss how you're being told by analysts what to do, or people who haven't used a product, they highlight a clear disconnect in the market between what you need and what you get. The company allows verified users of products to write reviews and becomes an essential resource for their users.
4. Van Jones
In this pitch to businesses and organizations looking for a speaker, Van Jones emphasizes his expertise — then highlights the fact that his reach will apply to everyone who listens to him. In a similar way, you can use the authoritativeness of your business to stand out, then turn around and address any concerns an organization might have about doing business with you. Here, Van Jones subtly addresses the current political climate by emphasizing that his speeches will resonate with anyone regardless of their background.
5. Edward Jones
Edward Jones, a financial advising firm, creates a personal, resonant pitch by focusing entirely on the prospect or buyer. You rarely hear about them in this pitch, which is another great model to follow when creating your own pitch. While this is geared toward consumers rather than another business, it’s a great example of how you can write a pitch that resonates with your prospects while offering plenty of information about what you do.
6. Thrivent Financial
Thrivent Financial is another financial firm that focuses on the buyer in its pitch. Like in the previous pitch, it emphasizes helping prospects do what they most want to do after managing their finances. By implementing a similar strategy, you can craft your pitch so that prospects understand what they can achieve if they do business with you.
Product Pitch Examples
First up is HubSpot’s very own product pitch. Short and to the point, this pitch tells businesses what it offers and the results it can drive both for the prospect’s business and their customers.
I can't stress this enough: Help your customer understand what you do, who you do it for, and how in under two minutes. Your customer is busy and doesn't have more than two minutes to spend with you. A short sales pitch helps you as a salesperson as well, because the faster you can disqualify people who aren't interested in your offer, the faster you can reach someone who is.
Vidyard is a company that's been making waves — mainly because salespeople are finding video an effective prospecting tool. They found that great sales pitches are personalized, and what better way to do that than to add a human face to your message?
Their product pitch rocks not only because they identify their prospect clearly (sales reps who find email ineffective and time-consuming), but they also focus on the competitive advantage they have from the get-go. They don't just sell this service, they "make remote selling easy" — and that makes a difference.
Leaving the discussion about competition too late in the conversation can also kill your sale. Vidyard knows this, which is why they make sure to include it in their pitch.
Found on the LISNR website, this product pitch uses their origin story to explain both how their organization came to be and what they aim to accomplish. This gives more context to their product, making purchasing with them more than just a transaction but also a contribution to a greater mission and belief system.
The Xactly pitch focuses on the problem their customer has — an important part of a successful pitch. I discussed the "me monster" above, and you should be wary of it when creating a pitch. Xactly does this well. The trick is to address your customer's problems and concerns and highlight how your product or service solves these problems. In the case of Xactly, it's about getting people off cumbersome legacy systems and Excel spreadsheets.
Why A Short Sales Pitch is A Good Pitch
An important note to make about these sales pitches is that they are all amazingly optimized for a short conversation. I can't stress enough how much brevity matters for a sales pitch. Talking too much, using filler words, and talking about your company for more than two minutes can easily kill a conversation. So, keep your sales pitch short, clean, and simple! Your customers will thank you.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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10 effective sales pitch presentation examples, templates, and tips
With these helpful examples, you can craft an engaging sales pitch to pack your pipeline with high-quality leads..
By Donny Kelwig, Contributing Writer
Last updated January 12, 2023
- Sales Pipeline
- Sales success
Creating a strong sales pitch is crucial for landing a deal, so it’s in your best interest to have all the information you need to grab your audience’s attention. This includes incorporating eye-catching visuals and ensuring you address your prospect’s concerns and pain points.
With this guide, learn how to adapt your sales pitch strategy to entice buyers to try your offering. Read on for the definition of sales pitch, different types, examples, and templates, as well as how to craft a unique sales pitch.
- Sales pitch definition
Types of sales pitches
Sales pitch examples and templates.
- The 6-step sales pitch structure
Sales pitch ideas + best practices
What is a sales pitch.
A sales pitch is a message or sales script designed to lead your prospect to a certain action, such as scheduling an appointment or demo. A sales pitch sets the tone for the entire customer relationship, so getting your pitch right is essential for a successful sale.
The first step in developing a great sales pitch is changing your mindset. You should use a sales pitch to begin a conversation —not to sell a product. Keep this in mind, and your quota will thank you.
Why is it important to have a sales pitch?
Love them or hate them, sales pitches help prevent missed opportunities. When you’re face-to-face with a prospect, the last thing you want is to get tongue-tied. Other reasons why sales pitches are important include being able to:
- Organize your thoughts: They help you create a launch point for any sales conversation.
- Establish brand consistency: This helps build trust and leads to stronger long-term relationships and customer loyalty.
- Save time and money: Every pre-made pitch you send is more time saved in sales productivity . If your reps don’t have to craft individual pitches, they can move through their tasks efficiently.
Product pitch vs. sales pitch
Product and sales pitches overlap a great deal, but they’re not exactly the same thing. A product pitch highlights a specific product and how that product can benefit the prospect. A sales pitch focuses on the prospect and tries to persuade them to buy products based on solutions to pain points.
Product pitches are usually used further down the sales pipeline once representatives have gained a prospect’s trust. With a relationship established, reps can focus on product details and features they didn’t have time to mention earlier.
Sales pitches are not one-size-fits-all. There are many different sales pitches depending on your product, your company, and how far along you are in the sales pipeline. Types of sales pitches include:
- Social media pitch
- Presentation sales pitch
- Follow-up sales pitch
- One-line sales pitch
- Elevator pitch
- Phone sales pitch
- Email sales pitch
- Investor pitch
- Pain-point pitch
- One-minute sales pitch
You can always use a combination of pitches for the same prospect. For example, you might give an elevator pitch at a conference and then follow up with an email pitch before finally delivering a comprehensive presentation pitch.
Below are 10 notable sales pitch examples to inspire you when crafting a winner. These examples cover various types of sales pitches and offer tips you can apply to any prospect:
- Two-sentence pitch
- Phone pitch
- Email pitch
- Personalized social media pitch
- Sales presentation
- Unconventional investor pitch
- Personal pain-point pitch
- One-minute pitch
You can also use the templates and sales pitch scripts included for each type to help you create your own.
1. Adam Goldstein’s two-sentence pitch
Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of travel deal site Hipmunk, struggled to get funding for his startup. He reached out to the CEO of United Airlines with the following two-sentence pitch :
The CEO responded directly to Goldstein within 15 minutes. Hipmunk went on to secure over $55 million from investors.
Takeaway: Have a one-liner ready to go for those brief moments of opportunity. Consider it your log line. Your own log line should answer the following questions:
- What is your presentation about?
- What does your startup or product/service do?
- What’s your idea?
Tip: Try creating a log line under 140 characters to help your audience immediately digest the information and decide if they want to hear more.
Two-sentence pitch template
My company [insert Company Name] is creating [offering/service/product]. We aim to help [target audience] with [pain point].
2. G2Crowd’s elevator pitch
An elevator pitch is a classic business pitch example. G2Crowd is a platform that allows software users to share their opinions on a product. Here’s the company’s elevator pitch:
Although less than 20 seconds long, the pitch clearly conveys the platform’s purpose while explaining the problem it solves for software users.
Takeaway: Shorter is often better. A concise sales pitch forces you to explain your product or service in layperson’s terms—and in a way that quickly generates interest. Aim to create a 20- to 30-second elevator pitch that answers the following questions:
- What does your product or service do?
- What distinguishes your product or service from others?
- What are your product or service goals?
Tip: Write down what you want to say. Cut out jargon and be specific. For example, if your company says it “eliminates the need for insurance agents to use a lot of paper,” you could instead say: “Our e-signature platform cuts down on the overwhelming amount of paper that insurance agents have to use.”
Elevator pitch template
Our company, [insert Company Name], is in charge of developing and designing [product/service]. With this [product/service], customers can enjoy [list brief benefits]. We’ve also helped customers achieve [benefit] by [insert stat]. By [date], we hope to increase [XYZ] by [XYZ]. Is this something you’d be interested in being a part of?
3. Mark Cuban’s phone pitch
Mark Cuban, entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, led the charge with his sales team by getting on the phone with former season ticket holders to help boost low ticket sales.
At the beginning of these conversations, Cuban heard sales objections such as how bad the team was. In response, he would remind former ticket holders of their own experiences going to games as a kid—when it didn’t matter if a team was winning or losing. The point was the game itself. The arena. The popcorn, cheering, and time with parents, friends, neighbors, etc. It was a unique experience that cost only $8 a ticket and provided more value than going to the movies or McDonald’s.
His approach worked and ticket sales began to climb. Cuban bought the Mavericks for $280 million. The team is now valued at $3.3 billion .
Takeaway: During a phone pitch, be sure to sell prospects on the benefits, not the features.
Tip: Be upfront about what your product or service lacks, but explain how you’re different from competitors and how you can help solve the prospect’s problems.
Phone pitch template
Hi [Prospect’s First Name], this is [Your Name] from [Company Name]. I work with [target audience] in [industry] to help assist with [benefit 1, benefit 2, benefit 3]. I wanted to give you a call to ask you a few questions about [common pain points] and any challenges you may be facing. I believe our [product/service] would be a great fit for your team—would you like to try out our free trial? [If the prospect is interested, provide more information on how to set them up with the trial here.]
4. Ryan Robinson’s email pitch
Content marketing consultant Ryan Robinson often contacts businesses to offer his services. Before ever making his pitch, he finds something of value to give to the prospect, such as a share on Twitter. He then includes what he did for the recipient in his pitch.
The following email netted Robinson a $10,000 per month retainer:
Takeaway: Email pitches should always provide value upfront, and they need to stand out from the white noise in your prospect’s inbox. Send a guide or resource that helps your potential customer overcome a challenge.
Tip: Maybe you see on your prospect’s website that they’re busy hiring a virtual sales team . Try sending the prospect an e-book about onboarding virtual employees before making your pitch.
Email pitch template
Hi [Prospect’s First Name],
I just came across your [blog/website]—love how you [custom].
Our company [Company Name] recently shared an article on [custom] that I thought you may be interested in. I’ve linked it here [insert link], but also wanted to share additional resources that you and your time may find helpful:
- [Article/Resource 1]
- [Article/Resource 2]
Would you be interested in setting up a call to learn more about the services we can offer you? Let me know, [Your Name]
5. Personalized social media pitch
When cold-pitching products or services to experts and influencers in your field, weave personal details from their public social media bios and profiles into your outreach message. Take a few minutes to check out their LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media accounts and use the information you find to your advantage:
Takeaway: Personalize your pitch by looking at the prospect’s LinkedIn or Twitter accounts. Take 10 to 20 minutes to find valuable insights about the potential customer and their buyer persona before contacting them.
Tip: Begin with a social talking point, such as a mutual connection or experience you’ve shared, to establish rapport and show you’ve done your research. Then, demonstrate how your offering can help solve the prospect’s pain point.
Social media pitch template
I just came across your [social media platform] profile through a mutual connection [Mutual Connection’s Name] and saw your [media] about [custom]. I really appreciate your thoughts about [custom]! Since you shared about [custom], I wanted to see if you would be interested in our new [product/service]. With [product/service], customers see an average of [insert stat or data] and experience several helpful benefits, such as [list benefits]. Do you have time this week for a quick chat? Looking forward to hearing from you, [Your Name]
6. Scrub Daddy’s sales presentation
A sales presentation pitch is typically more in depth than the other pitches we’ve mentioned. Scrub Daddy CEO and inventor Aaron Krause’s sales presentation on season four of Shark Tank is worth revisiting:
The smiling sponge product received $200,000 from Shark investor Lori Greiner and is projected to make over $100 million in sales by the end of 2022.
Takeaway: Include eye-catching visuals and demonstrations in your sales presentation.
Tip: Show, don’t tell—consider adding charts, graphs, and photos to make your pitch even more interesting for the prospect.
Sales presentation template
[Introduction], we are [Company Name] looking to solve [list problems].
With this new product, [Product Name], you can [list benefits].
[Show a demo of your product.] [Provide more benefits of your product.] [Close by letting customers know where to purchase your product.]
Explore more sales presentation tips here.
7. MailboxValidator’s follow-up sales pitch
A follow-up sales pitch can be a phone call, email, or social media message. In this example, a MailboxValidator team member sends a follow-up pitch after meeting a prospect at an event:
The email highlights where the two met and references their conversation. Only in the third paragraph does the sender, Janet, mention Jim’s problem and how she can help. She then asks directly for an appointment.
Takeaway: Remember, the point of a sales pitch is to get the prospect to the next step (e.g., another conversation or an appointment). Janet includes a clear call to action (CTA)—a sales phone call —at the end of her pitch. She suggests a time for them to talk and puts the ball in Jim’s court.
Tip: In your sales follow-up emails , always propose specific days and times for a conversation, especially if trust is already established with the recipient. Don’t simply say, “Would you like to meet?” Give clear instructions to prompt the recipient to take action.
Follow-up sales pitch template
It was really nice meeting you on [date]! I loved chatting with you about [custom].
I wanted to follow up and send over some resources from our team that I think you may find helpful:
- [Resource 1]
- [Resource 2]
- [Resource 3]
We also have a new [product/service] that I would like to share with you—do you have time this week to set up a quick call? If so, would you be able to chat on [date and time, or range of dates/times]? Looking forward to hearing from you, [Your Name]
8. Party on Demand’s unconventional investor pitch
Sometimes the best sales pitch is an unconventional one. While delivering his Startupfest pitch, Willie G from Party on Demand certainly didn’t lack excitement. In a room full of people pitching tech solutions, Willie presented a unique party experience.
He brought his larger-than-life personality to the stage and used it—and every moment—to his advantage.
This pitch worked because he was energetic, fun, and joyful—everything a party should be—he did something different and made an impression.
Takeaway: A bold, unconventional approach may be appropriate if it fits your and your brand’s personality. If you decide to go with this approach, get to know your audience fully first as well as your product or service inside and out.
Tip: This tactic may not work for every product or service. Make sure that you’ve developed at least a few general branding guidelines and that the tone of your pitch matches your brand voice.
Investor pitch template
My [Company Name] is developing [offering] to help [target audience] with [pain point].
[Add a unique reason why your target audience should do business with you here.] Visit our website at [website URL] and sign up to receive a free [product].
9. Brightwheel’s personal pain-point pitch
At the start of his pitch, Brightwheel founder and CEO Dave Vasen shows he did his research by stating he knows all the Shark investors are parents. Watch as he touches on a personal pain point for parents of toddlers and pre-K children:
Vasen’s pitch highlights a pain point that every parent or guardian experiences: Not knowing what their kid is doing in daycare or preschool every day. He relates to his audience through a shared experience—one that is especially close to the heart.
Takeaway: A great way to find success in sales is recognizing pain points that many people face and developing a solution.
Tip: Instead of going deep into the technical aspects of a product, focus on the emotional, real-life benefits of using it.
Pain-point pitch template
For many [target audience], [insert problem/pain point here].
[Relate to the audience with a personal story.]
With [offering], we can help solve [problem] by:
If interested, feel free to check out [website URL] and try out our free demo.
10. Matt Macnamara’s one-minute sales pitch
Matt Macnamara, an enterprise account executive, demonstrates that sometimes it doesn’t take more than 60 seconds to catch a prospect’s attention. In this one-minute pitch, he explains what his company can do for Philadelphia business tenants and even allows time for the listener to daydream about their ideal office space.
Although this video explains how he goes about pitching to potential clients, it also serves as a pitch. Macnamara doesn’t ever bring up material or labor costs, blueprints, or details about his business. He lets the audience visualize what a better workspace could look like. He focuses on the benefits that Formcraft provides rather than focusing on the company itself.
Takeaway: Practice distilling your company’s product or service down to its essence, and stick your pitch to 60 seconds to stay accountable. Remember to focus on your target audience’s end goals.
Tip: Highlight the benefits they’ll experience, not the details of “how” they’ll get there. You don’t want to waste time explaining the processes behind what you offer.
Speedy sales pitch template
When I first began in [industry], I came across a common issue. Customers needed [solution].
For [time period], our [Company Name] has been developing [offering] to help solve:
- [Problem 1]
- [Problem 2]
- [Problem 3]
Our [offering] also offers other benefits such as [benefits]. Try it out for yourself and sign up for a free demo at [insert website URL].
Sales pitch templates
A good sales process is the foundation of any successful sales organization. Level up your sales pitch presentation with this template guide.
How to make a sales pitch: The 6-step sales pitch structure
With so many pitch options, it can be hard to know where to start. We recommend the six-step sales pitch structure. No matter your situation, the following framework won’t lead you astray. Here’s how to create a sales pitch in six steps:
1. Identify the problem
First, identify your prospect’s pain point. When you craft your sales pitch presentation, lead with the challenge your audience currently faces and back up your claims with data. (This is also the challenge that you plan to solve with your offering.)
2. State your value proposition
Next, state your value proposition. A value proposition, also known as a unique selling proposition , is a statement that highlights the value your business, product, or service can provide to its customers.
In your value proposition, mention how your offering can help solve the problem you’ve identified in step one. Be sure to share the features of the offering and its benefits.
For example, your value proposition could look like this:
Our [Company Name] assists [audience] with [pain point] in order to help achieve [benefits].
3. Share a story
To capture your audience’s attention and connect with them on a deeper level, consider sharing a story of how your company got started and who you are—this can be similar to an About Us page.
Include points surrounding what motivates your team, past success stories, and incorporate something personal. You can also introduce your team members here if you have them.
4. Offer solutions
After highlighting the problem(s), address how your product or service can offer your audience a solution. To do this, break down your value proposition into solutions that are related to the benefits, such as:
- X helps Y save time and money
- X helps Y grow business by Z amount
Tip: Make sure your solutions are easy to understand and don’t offer too many choices.
5. Show social proof
Tap into social proof by providing testimonials, references, and customer stories that show how your product or service has helped similar businesses succeed. Showcase the data behind why your offering is beneficial to your audience and support your solutions listed in step four.
6. End with a CTA and be open to questions
Continue the conversation by asking open-ended questions . Then, move the prospect to the next step with a clear CTA, such as: “Sounds like we’re on the same page. Are you free for another follow-up call next Tuesday after you’ve had time to look at the numbers?”
Tip: Open the floor to questions and feedback from your audience to begin a conversation and prompt further engagement. Being open to questions during the presentation is essential.
There’s a lot that goes into a sales pitch. The ingredients for a well-crafted sales pitch are:
- Creative focus
No matter where you’re pitching or what media you’re using, every sales pitch needs to get the prospect interested and excited about the opportunity you’re offering. There are several ways to do this, but first, let’s look at some universal best practices.
Contact the right person at the right time
A successful sales pitch is all about timing, according to Courtney Gupta, a community engagement specialist and former SMB account executive at Zendesk.
“You can have this amazing sales pitch, but the success of it really depends on timing,” Gupta says. “Sometimes, prospects would love to talk but aren’t looking to change vendors or are in the middle of another deal. Make a note if they provide a better time to reach out.”
It’s also important to do thorough background research on the audience or person you plan on pitching to (this can also help you find the right person to speak with if you’re unsure).
Make the prospect the hero of the story
Another tip is to frame your pitch with a compelling narrative. In this story, the prospect is the hero and they have a challenge they need to overcome. Your product is the sidekick that will help them do it. Your job as a salesperson is to connect your product with your prospect to achieve their happy ending.
Use a sparkling sales personality and your sales experience to weave an engaging story that makes your prospect want to know what happens next.
Understand the customer’s needs
You can’t tell the right story if you don’t know your audience. Buyers want sales reps to take the time to gain a firm understanding of their business and the roadblocks they’re facing—but the reality doesn’t always match the expectation. Many customers don’t believe that sales reps truly understand their problems (or have a way to solve them).
Your initial sales pitch should demonstrate your knowledge of the prospect’s:
- Unique challenges
Most types of sales pitches allow for some time to research the prospective buyer in advance, and it’s critical to do so. Even just 15 minutes of research on Google News and LinkedIn will go a long way toward inspiring confidence.
Start with a strong opener
In a sales pitch, the subject line or opening line is the “once upon a time” that leads prospects into your sales story. In many ways, it’s a microcosm of your entire pitch.
An intriguing opener personally speaks to prospects and persuades them to take the time to read the message. Some important points to remember include:
- Keeping it personal: Do this by using the contact’s name and the word “you.” Generic openers are easier to overlook.
- Writing something meaningful: Doing so can help you hook the prospect into your story. Include an eye-catching statistic, offer an informational (or controversial) statement, or ask a question demonstrating your knowledge of their industry. Do your research and target a personal pain point.
Crafting openers that are relevant to your prospects comes with practice. Consistently A/B test your emails to learn what does and doesn’t work in your messages.
How to write a sales email: 6 sales email examples that work
Get creative throughout
Go beyond the standard sales pitch email or cold call —there are creative ways to take a pitch to the next level.
“If your emails didn’t work, gifts are another avenue,” says Gupta. “Gifts show your brand character. They often make prospects want to take a meeting because they remember you and relate that positive memory to your brand. Even if the timing wasn’t right the first time, they’ll keep those warm, fuzzy feelings in mind in the future.”
Remember, there isn’t only one way to increase sales . Try different tactics until you find what works.
Keep pitch length in mind
Buyers don’t care about your product or service—they care about their problems. If you spend all your time with a prospect talking about yourself and your company, it’ll be hard to convince them that you actually want to help them resolve their issues. Keep your sales pitch concise, and leave room for listening and engagement.
The ideal sales pitch length depends on the format, but here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Aim for 300 words in your sales emails: A study of cold sales emails found that emails with 1,400 to 1,500 characters (approximately 300 words) showed a substantially higher response rate than emails of 100 words or fewer.
- Keep your cold calls under eight minutes: Chorus, a conversation intelligence platform, discovered that 7.5 minutes is the average length of a cold call that converts into the next step.
- Limit your sales presentation to 18 minutes: Apply the TED Talk principle to your sales presentations. TED Talk speakers are limited to 18-minute presentations for a simple, data-backed reason: After the 18-minute mark, you lose your audience to information overload.
How Zendesk can help improve your sales process
Now that you have the knowledge and insight, begin creating your own pitches. Start from scratch or use sales enablement tools to get a head start.
If you wish you had more time to research your leads and write the perfect pitch, invest in a solution like Zendesk Sell . Our sales engagement platform helps you cut down on busy work so you can get back to building relationships. Sell also allows you to track sales pitch success metrics so you can keep refining your communication methods.
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The Perfect Sales Pitch: Examples, Templates, and Best Practices
Overfamiliar, aggressive, awkward — we’ve all been on the receiving end of a terrible sales pitch from a pushy seller.
But sales pitches are so much more than an uncomfortable phone call or an unwarranted email. In fact, a great pitch should make a buyer’s life better by connecting them with products and solutions that solve their most urgent problems.
How can you maximize the potential of your sales pitch? In this guide, we’ll reveal the secrets to ensuring your outreach is pitch-perfect by answering common questions like:
- What is a sales pitch?
- How do you make a sales pitch?
- What needs to be included in a sales pitch?
- What makes a sales pitch bad?
- How to deliver a sales pitch
- Templates for sales pitches that capture attention
Let’s dive in.
WHAT IS A SALES PITCH ?
A sales pitch is a well-crafted sales presentation that connects salespeople with potential buyers. The goal of a sales pitch is to catch a potential customer’s attention and convince them to learn more. Pitches can happen anywhere — via email, social media, or in person. A great sales pitch should pique the buyer’s curiosity and convey clear value.
For more on how to craft the best sales pitch, see what our team of sales experts has to say in the video below
HOW DO YOU MAKE A SUCCESSFUL SALES PITCH?
Creating an effective sales pitch is simple — just follow these five steps.
1. Research, research, and research some more
Great research will help build a foundation of value for your pitch, increasing the likelihood that your buyer will respond. Try to understand to whom you are pitching. What does their company do? What goals might that company have? What buyer persona are they most likely to fit in? Additionally, don’t forget to explore the customer’s story and profile — find out who they are, what their role is, and if you have any shared interests that might help you set the tone for the rest of the customer relationship.
2. Frame it around the customer’s needs , not yours
Talking about your product is the fastest way to get buyers to tune out. A winning sales pitch is about the customer, not you. Think about the functionality of your product and the value it provides for your potential clients. Are you reducing costs? Improving efficiency? Eliminating manual tasks? Buyers will respond more to the benefits of your product pitch than anything else.
3. Choose the right channel
There are many venues through which a sales pitch can be delivered — email, social media, or a phone call. Think about both the customer’s needs and their industry. Think about both the buyer and their industry. Mature, more established industries may respond better to more traditional forms of outreach, like a sales call. On the other hand, a highly innovative or startup company may prefer modern approaches, like a direct message through social media. That said, don’t stress over this stage too much; if you don’t get a response from one channel, it’s totally acceptable to try again via another one.
4. Make it personal
Next, think about personalization. Most reps use automation tools or work off a base pitch template, but that template should change based on how you are delivering your pitch and who it’s going to. For instance, you’d use different language based on whether you’re pitching a prospect via social media than you would through a sales email. You’ll also want to tailor your pitch so that the value and benefits you’re describing map to actual buyer pain points — after all, someone in healthcare will have very different needs than someone in manufacturing.
5. Tell the buyer what you want them to do
Finally, always end with a call to action. What do you want the buyer to do? Call you back or respond with times to meet? It’s critical that you close with a clear next step, so stay away from vague phrases like “What do you think?” Go for strong, timely, actionable phrases instead — check out the examples in the next section for more inspiration.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE INCLUDED IN A SALES PITCH ?
Now that you know how to make a sales pitch, let’s take a closer look at what the pitch itself should say. Regardless of channel, there are three main components to every successful pitch.
Whether it’s the opening line of your cold call or the subject line of your cold email, your hook should capture your buyer’s attention. Great ideas for openings include:
- Asking a question (“How would you like to increase revenue…”)
- Share a data point (“Did you know that 60% of CEOs…”)
- Reference a shared connection (“Saw that you were also a fan of…”)
- Cut to the chase (“I won’t waste your time — just wanted to share…”)
- Mention a recent interaction (“It was great connecting with you at…”)
After your hook, you should quickly explain why you are contacting your buyer and what your product can do for them. Keep this value prop short but enticing. Some key points to hit on include:
- What your product is in plain English — now is not the time for marketing jargon.
- Why the buyer should continue to engage with you using data, case studies, testimonials, or market research.
- How will the buyer personally benefit should they respond? Do this by typing the benefits from the previous bullet to the buyer’s goals or objectives.
Call to Action
Finally, close your call, social, or email pitch out with a call to action, or CTA. Push to include a clear next step your buyer can take, like calling you back or responding with availability. Take a look at these examples:
- When is a good time to chat about this more?
- Would you be open to a call to hear more?
- What is the best way to connect on this?
- Do you have any availability next Tuesday for a quick call?
- How would 15 minutes next week sound?
- Does it make sense to connect for 10 minutes this week?
WHAT MAKES A SALES PITCH BAD?
There are some sales pitch techniques you should avoid at all costs. Before you send your pitch or dial your customer, skim your pitch for any of these red flags:
- “I” statements: Your sales pitch has limited real estate. Don’t waste it on talking about yourself.
- Long pitches: The term “elevator pitch” should be taken literally. You shouldn’t take an hour to deliver your value proposition. A good sales pitch should be delivered in the time it takes a person to go from the lobby to the second floor.
- Product pricing: Getting a buyer to speak about their wallets, or money in general, on the first interaction is a fast way to have them ignore you because you don’t sound interested in them or their journey.
- Complicated explanations of product features or capabilities: During the prospecting stage, buyers aren’t ready to discuss solution details or look through an entire pitch deck.
- Overfamiliar greetings like “How was your weekend?”: Unless you’ve met the prospect before, this will come off as creepy.
- Generic pitches: If this pitch could work for any prospect, then it’s probably not tailored enough to capture a prospect’s attention.
- Promises you can’t keep: It may be tempting to promise buyers the moon, but this approach will ultimately set them up for disappointment; be realistic and let the strength of your product speak for itself.
HOW TO DELIVER A SALES PITCH
Any inside sales rep will tell you that pitching is hard. No matter which channel you work through, engaging with customers is a nerve-wracking experience. But it’s not impossible.
The key to delivering a flawless pitch is to stay confident. And the way to build confidence is through preparation. Here’s how:
- Practice your pitch live before you deliver it . While it may seem silly to recite a pitch to your roommate (or your pet), live practice is one of the most effective ways to work out the kinks in your delivery so you’re fully comfortable speaking in front of prospective clients, even if you’re pitching through a digital channel. — so it’s best to start honing your live pitch delivery skills sooner rather than later.
- Keep buyer profiles on hand. In general, most pitches will be done remotely via phone calls, social media outreach, or email. Take advantage of the fact that your buyer isn’t in the room by keeping your account reach on hand during interactions. Think of these notes as a security blanket. Sure, you could deliver the pitch without them, but in the event that your nerves get the best of you, you can recover quickly and discreetly.
- Know what your next step is. Don’t get caught flat-footed when a customer says “yes” to your pitch. Especially for live interactions, it’s important to know what your next step looks like. In some cases, this may be as simple as asking a buyer for time to set up a demo. But buyers may want to talk shop while they have you — so be prepared to dive deeper. It can help to keep a sales play or discovery call deck on hand to guide you through a more in-depth conversation, should the need arise.
TEMPLATES FOR SALES PITCHES THAT CAPTURE CUSTOMER ATTENTION
There’s no one right away to craft a sales pitch. That said, these sales pitch examples can help your sales team get started — just don’t forget to personalize using the strategies we discussed earlier for the best conversion rates.
1. The Shared Connection
This approach is useful when you and your buyer have something in common outside of work, like a shared hobby or alma mater.
Reaching out as we’re connected on LinkedIn, I found your recent post about the best restaurants in Seattle super handy. Your suggestion to “eat outside our comfort zones” was a great reminder to be more adventurous in my dinner choices.
And in the spirit of trying new things, I wanted to share our latest research with you. I would love to connect to walk you through the report and get a sense of your near-term goals.
Would you be open to this?
2. The Data Dump
Data is a great way to catch buyer attention, especially if it can help them make the case to their team for your product.
The bad news: marketing burn is all too real these days. The good news? Help is on the way. New research shows that our platform can deliver:
- 72% increase in buyer engagement
- 50% in open-rates
- 20% decrease in attrition
How does 15 minutes next week sound to walk through how our customers achieved these numbers with our platform?
3. The Celebratory Moment
Eventually, one of your pitches will coincide with a big moment in a buyer’s life. As long as it’s appropriate, leverage that moment to build a connection.
Congrats on the recent promotion to Senior Program Manager! As you settle into your new role, curious to see how you’re approaching project management?
Did you know that a simple reduction of two manual tasks can win you back five hours a week?
Our platform makes it easier than ever for you to focus on the work that matters. If it makes sense, I would love to connect more on what we could do for you to make your day more efficient.
Do you have time next week?
4. The Incentive Follow-Up
Finally, this is a great template to use when leads are tepid or unresponsive — especially when paired with a personalized message.
With the weather cooling down, wanted to see if you’d be interested in a virtual coffee? Again, I would love to connect on our solution and fill you in on the use cases your peers are currently using our platform to solve. If not, enjoy a coffee on me!
PITCH-PERFECT CUSTOMER OUTREACH
Sales pitches don’t have to be an awkward experience. With these sales pitch ideas and techniques, you should be able to craft a sales pitch that strikes all the right chords with your target audience, ensuring your outreach is pitch-perfect and gets your buyers to the next step of the sales process every time.
Ready to put your pitching skills into action? Explore how Highspot makes engaging customers easier and more effective than ever .
The Highspot Team works to create and promote the Highspot sales enablement platform, which gives businesses a powerful sales advantage to engage in more relevant buyer conversations and achieve their revenue goals. Through AI-powered search, analytics, in-context training, guided selling, and 50+ integrations, the Highspot platform delivers enterprise-ready sales enablement in a modern design that sales reps and marketers love.
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How to Write a Winning Sales Pitch (in Less than 10 Minutes)
- The biggest myth in sales is that the best reps are natural born sellers. This is not true. The best reps have a formula that is repeatable and scalable. That’s how they win new business.
- Part of the formula comes down to truly understanding who their buyer is. Instead of thinking about how to sell a solution, think about how your product can solve a problem. That’s how you get them onboard.
- Once you have their buy-in, you start with your sales pitch. Here, we share our proven 7 step formula to writing a winning sales pitch (it takes less than 10 minutes!).
Generating new leads is hard work.
Turning those hard earned leads into a closed sale is equally difficult. Just look at some of the obstacles sales people are up against:
- 55% of salespeople said that ‘budget restraints’ was the number 1 or number 2 reason that stronger sales opportunities failed.
- The average win rate – closing a sale after getting the opportunity to offer a proposal or give a quote – is 47%
- Across industries, sales conversion rates only have an average of 2.46%–3.26%
Imagine if you were given the exact process the best sales reps in the world use to reach their targets .
Or even better:
What if you were given a proven formula that helps you close more deals.
You would want it, right?
Shockingly, 20% of top sales reps close 80% of all sales deals .
Why are they closing so many deals ?
Well, they're using proven sales techniques that take them from being a sales rep that just meets their targets versus a sales rep that consistently reaches their targets and outperforms everyone else on the team.
Their little secret?
It's a 7 step formula to creating a winning sales pitch.
Best of all, these 7 steps can be applied so you can create a brand-new, deal-closing sales pitch in just 10 minutes!
Less pitching. More conversations.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing appealing about the idea of the "traditional" sales pitch.
The term “pitch” often conjures up images of plaid suits, talking at prospects rather than inviting conversation and discussion. It’s not exactly the most attractive image to have in mind - that’s why we recommend you retire the term “pitch”.
The traditional pitch offers two outcomes:
- Your prospects will love what you have to offer, which will lead to a successful sale
- They’ll hate it, and all you’ll get is a polite decline (and that’s if you’re lucky!).
Successful selling is about building a relationship with your prospective clients and demonstrating how your product or service offers a direct solution to their problem.
As Jacqueline Smith says:
A successful sales pitch isn’t a monologue. It’s a dialogue.
And I’m sure that the idea of a dialogue between you and your customers is much more appealing than a monologue, right?
Buyer’s needs come first
Once you’ve moved away from the idea of a “pitch”, you can start to form a conversation based around your buyer’s needs. Everyone is different in B2B sales , and when you pitch your product, you need to communicate clearly how it can benefit each individual buyer.
And I don’t mean knowing the company they work for and the amount of budget they have available. I mean really understanding who the buyer is, such as whether your buyer is a left-brain thinker or a right-brain thinker .
If you think this doesn’t apply, think again.
For example, left-brain thinkers are more analytical, logical and practical whereas right-brain thinkers are more innovative, intuitive and emotional , as the graphic from Visual.ly illustrates below:
Now you know the difference, you can approach your conversation in the right way.
Only 13% of executive buyers believe that salespeople truly understand their business issues, while demonstrating a way to solve them. The importance of showing that you understand your buyer’s needs cannot be stressed enough as it helps to build trust between you and your prospects, and to clearly display a need for them to purchase the product or service you offer.
Tell a story to create a connection
When is the last time you told the story of your brand during a sales pitch?
Any successful sales pitch can benefit from telling the story of your brand and product. And when you do this effectively, you will create a stronger connection between you and your buyers. This connection is often based on the fact that they can relate to your brand on a personal level, giving them even more reason to buy.
Storytelling has been scientifically proven to boost sales .
According to author Erik Luhrs , “In sales situations, stories allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly ‘get’ and see the valuable application of the solution.” This is because neuro-linguistic programming shows that “ all humans run 99% subconsciously and 1% consciously. ”
I’m not losing you with the science and research, am I?
Because by pairing the story of your brand and product with facts and figures that back up your claims, you can quickly engage modern buyers to want to know more. Then, use this opportunity to tell the story of your brand, which is much more likely to closing the deal and generate revenue .
OK, so now that we’ve covered the components of successful selling , how can you transfer these into writing an effective sales pitch in under 10 minutes?
Let’s find out.
7 steps to writing an effective sales pitch
To help with your sales pitch structure, we've put together seven simple steps for you to use in order to create your best sales pitch that’s guaranteed to sell.
If you can’t pitch correctly or aren’t willing to pitch consistently, your business will struggle to maintain a healthy revenue flow.
But when you know how to pitch the right way and are willing to put in the work, pitching opens up new opportunities to build relationships and generate more income for your business.
To help with your sales pitch structure, here are five simple steps for you to use to write your best sales pitch that’s guaranteed to sell.
1. Identify your pitch targets
Successful pitching starts with knowing WHO you are going to pitch.
To identify your pitch targets, here are a few steps to take:
- Describe your offer and the problem it solves. Think of this as your elevator pitch and focus on creating two or three short sentences.
- List every feature of your offer. Then, brainstorm the benefits that each feature could provide. Explain how each benefit could solve a problem in people’s lives.
- Ask yourself which people experience those problems. Identifying these people provides you with the first peek into your pitch targets.
For deeper insights, tap into your CRM database and customer profiles to gain a better picture of the types of people you will pitch.
If you can segment your pitch toward groups of people, you can tailor to address specific needs or pain points for the people you want to interact with.
2. Capture people’s attention
You can end up writing the perfect pitch but no one is going to read it unless you can grab people’s attention.
According to Copyblogger , 80% of people will read your headline and only 20% will read the rest.
The headline of your pitch, whether it’s the subject of an email or the first line in a LinkedIn message, is the most influential part of your entire pitch.
Remember, your headline isn’t about selling. Your goal is to introduce people to your brand or product in a way that offers useful information for a prospect to learn more about your business.
Here are some examples of headlines that proved effective:
- CityCliq used a straightforward approach “create a website for your business” versus a solution focused approach “get found faster.” The result was an 89% increase in signups for the straightforward approach.
- Highrise changed their headline from “Start a free account” to “30-day free trial” and achieved 30% more conversions
- Quicksprout created headlines for Kissmetrics that compared their product with Google Analytics (a product many people are familiar with) which boosted conversions by 40%
When it comes to writing a compelling headline, here are a few tips based on real world data:
- Connect to people’s emotions . Top performing headlines use emotionally driven information to connect with people. It’s also a great way to show your personality and appeal to people on a human level.
- Give your headline some length . Research from CoSchedule found that headlines between 16 and 18 words produce the most engagement.
- Keep it short and sweet . In contrast to the previous point, 41% of people are checking their phone from a mobile device. If you’re sending a pitch via email, using five to six words in a subject line may be the most that’s read to drive engagement.
These are just a few ways to grab people’s attention with your headline. Remember to continually test headlines to improve the chances of people opening and reading your entire pitch. Once you have people reading your pitch, let’s look at a few ways to get them hooked.
3. Back it up with facts
A survey conducted by Dimension Research found that 90% of respondents claimed that reading positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions . With this statistic in mind, your pitch needs to be full of facts and statistics that back up your claims.
When it comes to writing your sales pitch, be sure to include testimonials and case studies , which also contain statistics and figures to prove the success of your product or service. If you claim you can solve your buyer’s main problems, show them how with facts.
4. Ask for the sale
You should now have a pitch that addresses your buyer’s problems, shows how your product or service offers a solution, and backs this up with facts and statistics to support your claim. The next step is to give your buyer some clear instruction on what they need to do next.
So what would that be?
Ask for the sale of course!
Incredibly, 85% of the interactions between salespeople and prospects end without the sales person ever asking for the sale .
Yes, you read that correctly, 85%!
By now, you’ve convinced your prospective customer of the brilliance of what you’re offering and next up is how they can take advantage of your product or service. Do they need to click a link to your website? Or pick up the phone and call you directly?
Don’t be shy to ask for the sale. You’ve come this far, so why stop now?
Whatever action is required; make it clear with a well-written call to action
5. Grammar and spell check
Finally, once you’ve written your sales pitch, don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar.
There’s nothing worse than being let down by a few mistakes that could be corrected before clicking send.
Once you’ve checked through your written pitch, it’s time to send it out to your buyer. Remember to tailor your pitch to each individual and make it as personal to him or her as possible.
6. Don’t forget to follow up
A study by Yesware found that 70% of email conversations end if a prospect doesn't reply to the first email.
However, there is a 21% chance you will get a response to your second email if the first goes unanswered.
These statistics further prove the importance of a follow-up email after the initial sales pitch.
The conversation doesn’t stop at the first attempt of your sales pitch. Don’t be shy to try and try again. After all, there is a 30% chance of you hearing back from your prospect after several follow-up attempts.
Not sure how to follow-up? Use the example found in our sales email templates guide.
7. Be systematic about pitching
Creating a consistent pitch strategy is going to be foundational for generating leads and sales.
You may be caught up with meetings and other daily obligations, however, sticking to a systematic pitching process can help provide steady growth .
- Determine the number of prospects you want to pitch at any given time
- Schedule the maximum number of appointments you intend to provide with prospective clients every week
- Use additional time to continue improving your pitch and testing your headlines to improve engagement, conversions, and performance
Every company needs a minimum number of prospects at any given time to ensure ongoing sales down the road. By pitching systematically, you can determine just how many prospects you need to reach in order to meet sales quotes and goals.
- Your business needs to sell four products per month
- On average, it takes three months from first contact with a prospect to close a sale
- If 1 out of 5 prospects respond to your pitch and eventually buys, you have a close ratio of 20% .
In this example, you need to have 60 leads at any point in time to consistently sell 4 products over a 3 month period. If you can increase your ability to pitch, you will only increase the number of leads and sales for your business.
That’s it! And it’s all manageable within 10 minutes!
The next time you are about to contact a prospective customer , you use the tips outlined above, and then judge the results for yourself.
Remember; ditch the traditional idea of a pitch and keep your individual buyer’s needs at the forefront of your mind. Tell the story of your brand and the success of your products and services and back up with facts and statistics. Work hard to engage your audience and you’re sure to find a winning formula to close all future sales pitches
What do you think? Will you try to write an effective sales pitch in 10 minutes?
Let us know your thoughts.
If you'd like to read more tips on how to improve your sales skills and build better relationships with prospects, sign up to Thrive below.
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Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. You can connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter .
View all articles by Steven MacDonald
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The sales pitch: 17 ideas for creating the ultimate sales presentation.
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August 23, 2019
Use the following tips when designing and delivering your sales presentation to ensure that you're driving the highest conversion rates possible.
The original version of this article, authored by Scott Albro, was published by TOPO, now Gartner.
What makes a good sales pitch? If you’re like most salespeople, you’d give a two-part answer to this question: a well-designed set of slides and effective delivery of those slides.
While that answer is technically correct, it understates the impact a great sales presentation can have on moving buyers through the top of the sales funnel. It also fails to capture the dozens of elements that make for an effective sales pitch, from preparation to delivery to closing for next steps. Use the following tips when designing and delivering your sales presentation to ensure that you’re driving the highest conversion rates possible.
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No. 1: Make sure your sales pitch has an objective
It’s remarkable how few salespeople actually understand the objective of their sales presentation, especially given how easy it is to develop an objective. You may be trying to convey an overview of your company, your product and the value you provide to customers. You may also be trying to learn as much as you can about the buyer, what they need and why they need it.
But the most important objective is to use your sales pitch to move the buyer to the next step in your sales process. Your presentation should focus on providing information such as the value you create and what the buyer should do next so they agree to additional steps with you.
No. 2: Focus on what the customer cares about
Good sales presentations provide information on something your prospective customer really cares about. As you create and ultimately deliver your sales pitch, ask yourself: What’s in it for them?
There are a number of different business reasons that would cause a customer to care about your presentation, such as increasing revenue or decreasing costs. There are also personal reasons they might care about your sales presentation. For example, will what you’re presenting to the buyer help them get a promotion or gain recognition at their company or in their industry?
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No. 3: Build your sales pitch around a good story
Every good sales presentation is built on top of a good story. Buyers also like “ story arcs” that demonstrate how you will effect change in their organization's status quo. Your sales pitch should show the buyer how they get from point A to point B.
No. 4: Organize your sales pitch around a central idea
In most sales presentations, the central idea or theme should focus on the benefit you will deliver to your customer. As you’re creating your pitch, ask yourself: What’s the real benefit you’re going to deliver to your customer? Make sure the story you tell in your sales presentation revolves around that benefit.
No. 5: Give your presentation structure
A good sales pitch has a structure that is easy for the buyer to follow. One of the more common structures is articulating what the buyer’s problem is, presenting a potential solution to that problem and finally agreeing to a next step with the buyer.
Just remember to keep it simple. Many buyers experience cognitive dissonance when you pitch a new idea to them. Making it easy for them to follow along will help you overcome that challenge.
No. 6: Strike a balance with your sales pitch slides
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on slide design and how much information your slides should contain. Most presentation experts advocate for the “more is less” approach, but in a sales pitch, your slides need to convey enough specific information to move the prospect further along the buying process.
To help with this, here are some important guidelines for each slide:
- Focus on writing slide titles that convey the key point.
- Include a visual element such as a screenshot.
No. 7: Remember the power of 3
The vast majority of people can’t remember more than three things at a time. Good sales presentations should convey information around no more than three central ideas and each individual slide should contain no more than three pieces of information that you want the buyer to understand.
No. 8: Create short and long versions of your sales pitch
The long version should run approximately 30 to 45 minutes and fill the majority of a 60-minute meeting you might have with a buyer. We recommend about three minutes per slide, so your long sales presentation should have between 10 to 15 slides in it.
The short version can run about five to 15 minutes long, and it’s invaluable for those times when a buyer schedules you for an hour but then has to cut back their time to 30 minutes. Short versions of your presentation may have as few as 5 slides, and you need to be prepared to give the short presentation with no slides.
No. 9: Prepare for the no slide pitch
The best sales reps are able to deliver their sales pitch with no slides. To do this, you need to practice your pitch without the aid of slides. Focus on the overall structure of your pitch and the story you’re trying to tell. You should also practice answering the 10 most common questions you get from buyers. Sales pitches that don’t use slides tend to turn into conversations much faster, which is a good thing.
No. 10: Personalize your sales pitch
The most effective sales presentations contain content that is personalized for your target audience. There are some simple guidelines to minimize the amount of work that’s required to customize a presentation for a specific meeting.
- Make sure you only personalize a handful of slides, usually the first few in your deck.
- Focus on a few common ways to include buyer-specific information in your sales presentation. You can include industry-specific information or content specific to the buyer’s role. You can include information collected during the needs assessment or discovery phase of your sales cycle.
- Make sure you have a process for personalizing the presentation prior to the meeting. Too many salespeople jump right into their sales pitch without having put any thought into personalization.
No. 11: Set a clear agenda
At the start of your meeting, set a clear agenda that outlines the structure of the meeting for the customer. Focus on three to five key topics you want to cover in the sales pitch and put them in a logical order. As you present the agenda, ask the buyer if they agree with it or would like to change it.
No. 12: Remember that specificity wins
Your pitch needs to include specific information that:
- Helps the buyer make a better decision
- Establishes your credibility
- Moves the buyer further along in the buying process
Try to show a deep understanding of the target buyer, the specific ways you help similar companies, and exactly how people use your product or service.
No. 13: Use relevant examples and data
You should incorporate specific examples and data into your sales pitch. For instance, instead of generically describing what your product does, provide the customer with a specific example of how a company from the same industry uses the product. Whenever possible, use contextually relevant examples and specific metrics to support the key points you’re making.
No. 14: Conversation over presentation
Many sales presentations focus exclusively on helping the seller communicate information to the buyer. The most effective sales pitches, however, facilitate a two-way exchange of information between seller and buyer. Make sure your presentation prompts the buyer to share information about why they are talking to you, their requirements and where they are in the buying process.
A few simple rules go a long way here:
- Let the buyer interrupt you whenever they want.
- Ask the buyer if they have questions every five minutes.
- Present information that would cause the buyer to either agree or disagree with you.
No. 15: Leave time at the end of your sales pitch
Make sure that you leave at least five minutes to get feedback from the customer and discuss next steps.
No. 16: Agreeing to next steps
At the end of the presentation, explicitly ask the buyer to take the next step with you, whether it’s signing up for a free trial, scheduling a demonstration or putting together a proposal for them.
In fact, your entire pitch is really all about building to the point where you actually ask the buyer to take the next step with you. To do this, focus on two things during your presentation.
- Make sure you and the buyer agree that there is a problem or opportunity the buyer needs help with.
- Establish credibility so the buyer believes you may actually be able to help with that problem or opportunity.
If you do those two things well, it’s relatively easy to ask the buyer to take next steps with you. It’s as simple as saying: “We believe we can help and would appreciate the opportunity to create a proposal for you, sign you up for a free trial or walk you through a demonstration.”
No. 17: The scalable sales presentation
Finally, make sure your sales presentation scales. Many sales presentations are created under the mistaken assumption that only the creator of the presentation will be responsible for delivering it, when potentially hundreds to thousands of salespeople will need to deliver the pitch.
A few tips will make your sales presentation scalable.
- Each slide title should be readable by the person giving the presentation and convey the key point for that particular slide. In fact, if you were to string your slide titles together, they should form a compelling, cohesive story when read aloud.
- Be certain the presenter understands the key points for each slide. You can put these in the notes field of your presentation slides.
- Provide the sales team with a recording of a master presenter (someone like the VP of sales or CEO) delivering the sales pitch.
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Examples of sales pitches and ideas for the perfect pitching strategy
A well-crafted sales pitch can get your prospect excited about the opportunity you’re offering and encourage them to take the next steps with you.
Sales pitches are about crafting a compelling narrative for your client. However, many it can be easy to fall into the trap of treating your sales pitch as a presentation of facts, figures and results, expecting to make a compelling argument based on data alone.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to use the power of stories to drive decision-making and close more deals after the sales pitch. We’ll also cover the fundamental elements to include in your sales decks, and practical ideas on how to deliver them (combined. Read on for plenty of great sales pitch ideas and suggestions.
First, though, exactly what is a sales pitch?
What is a sales pitch?
When most people hear the term ‘sales pitch’ they imagine a room full of potential clients and a salesperson or sales team going through a slideshow in front of them – like “Shark Tank” or “Dragons’ Den”.
But a sales pitch is more versatile than that. It can be a script you go through on a call, a two-minute speech you perfect for networking opportunities or the classic presentation in front of decision-makers.
In fact, every time you pick up the phone and tell a lead about your product, or meet someone at a business mixer and give them the lowdown about your product or company, that’s a sales pitch.
Most salespeople will go through their sales pitch at least once a week, or even on a daily basis. For sales teams, this is a regularly occurring part of the sales process, so you should have your sales pitch perfected and optimized for every occasion.
Storytelling: The foundation of your sales pitch
As the old sales saying goes: facts tell, but stories sell. This is especially true when putting together your perfect sales pitch.
Here, we’ll dive into how to frame your sales pitch around a narrative that engages your prospect and gets them invested in what your solution has to offer.
The problem you solve
It may seem counterintuitive, but a product pitch shouldn’t start with the product, it should start with your client’s biggest pain points (something that will surely resonate with decision-makers on their side).
The focus of your solution isn’t product features or service capabilities. It’s about the critical challenges you solve for your customers.
This is why your pitch must begin with a story that highlights a big enough pain you help customers to alleviate – specifically customers in the same industry and market as your prospect.
“I still see so many reps lead a pitch with the features that they love,” observes Sophie Cameron, business development representative at CAKE . “While it’s great to see they have such passion and believe in what they’re selling, this doesn’t match the customer’s needs.
“So, start by figuring out their problems and pain points, and then tailor the pitch to those. Why did they decide to talk with you in the first place? Which features will help them achieve their goals? Getting the answers to these correct is what will really resonate with your prospect.”
A strong opener should focus on a critical change in the prospect’s industry, career or life that they must pay attention to. They should consider what you’re offering as a new, superior way of doing things. This is how you get your prospect’s attention, and it shows that you truly understand them, focusing on their needs rather than yours (making them a lead) is what compels them to keep listening. The role of presenting this change is twofold:
- It must show that the opportunity is too great for the prospect to ignore
- It should create a sense of urgency by outlining what will happen if they do not take action
By focusing on a change, rather than just the problem alone, you‘ll create a sense of urgency and encourage prospects to share their thoughts on how this change will affect them. Immediately, you go from persuasion to collaboration. It’s a consultative selling approach that works to build a meaningful relationship with your prospects.
“For me, pitching is all about relationships! Building trust and being honest. Rather than focus on the product, focus on how the product can help the end user,” says Lewis Bruford, Sales Manager at haart .
Let’s say we wanted to do this when pitching Pipedrive :
- The problem : Salespeople are starved for time and are struggling to meet sales quotas.
- The change : As more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on their own research, salespeople are having to work harder and engage more leads to make a sale. That means more time spent on admin to track all the leads and engagements in their pipeline, which takes time away from selling. However, there is technology that can streamline this process.
By leading with the second option, we’re more likely to shift perspectives, or attract leads who believe in what we believe.
Highlight the pain
It’s easy to look at change with rose-tinted glasses. But without clearly framing the consequences for not taking action, you’ll struggle to close deals.
Explaining what is likely to happen if your prospect continues down the same road will get their attention and inspire them to take action.
This is where having third-party statistics can go a long way. It allows you to present a data-driven argument behind the pain point your solution alleviates.
Another way to highlight the pain is to create a “villain” and position yourself as the hero who will battle against it.
This "villain" shouldn’t be a real person or a competitor, as that will come across as underhanded. Instead, it should represent old ways of doing things, legacy systems and forces that push against getting the desired result. Your product or service should be positioned as a more optimized, effective solution to whatever “villain” you’re choosing to point out.
Share the upside and a new way of doing things
Once you highlight the pain, it can be tempting to start pitching your product. But there’s an important step to handle before you start talking about your solution and its features.
While highlighting the pain will get your prospect’s attention, it’s not the most effective way to elicit action. They are likely still going to be hesitant to change, especially when it is costing them upfront. You must show them the upside of the challenge, and what they stand to gain if they enter the arena.
The “new way” you presented earlier has to yield results or an outcome that the prospect actually wants. But you must also position it as something that can only be achieved with help from the right people or organization: AKA you.
Remember, you’re pitching your vision here, not your product. The new way of doing things isn’t what your product or service is, but rather what life will look like once potential customers invest in it.
Position features as superpowers
You’ve painted a picture of the core problem you solve, the change in the prospect’s world, why your prospect should pay attention and how they’ll benefit from this change if they take action.
Now, it’s finally time to present your product as the solution to these problems, and the path your prospect must take to reach the desired outcome.
There are two ways to do this, and it can be more effective to do both:
- Positioning your features against the “old way” of doing things
- Present them as superpowers for your prospect
Use a features checklist, or even a data quadrant comparing your product with the old way of doing things, or your competition. You also might be able to use examples of how you’ve helped other clients as proof that your product or service is worth the investment.
Your product is the key to succeeding in the new world or defeating the villain. With the groundwork set, your product isn’t just a set of features; they act as superpowers for your prospect to succeed.
Champion your customers
While we will be covering how to implement traditional sales principles into your pitch later, there’s a critical final piece to your story arc to explain first.
That piece is, of course, evidence. How can you back up your claims? How have you generated results in the past?
You could use the power of testimonials and case studies to demonstrate social proof as well as the results you’ve helped clients achieve.
This is your chance to present the other heroes of your story: your existing customers and prospective clients. Showcase how they’ve gained results by using your product or service, and how you helped them navigate the new world.
Four sales pitch examples (and which you should use)
Having a framework to shape your narrative will allow you to connect with your prospects on a deeper level.
Now it’s time to shape that story into the different scenarios you’ll find yourself in the day-to-day.
You wouldn’t go into a full-scale sales presentation during a cold call, you need a concise, compelling opener that only lasts a minute or two. This is why it’s important to shape your story and value proposition for the different sales activities and environments you’ll find yourself in.
Here, we will explore five of the most common formats, with sales pitch examples, and how to use each opportunity to capitalize on attention.
1. Cold calling
Once you have the attention of a prospect, it’s the perfect opportunity to share your story with them.
But this doesn’t mean you should start your pitch as soon as you get connected! Keep in line with cold calling best practices by introducing yourself first.
Here’s a simple phone call script you can use to gauge your prospect’s interest (courtesy of Jessica Magoch, CEO of JPM Partners ):
"Hi, this is Jess from JPM. How are you? We’re working on some solutions to help you recruit and train a new generation of salespeople. Is that something you’d like to hear more about?"
If they say yes, then it’s the perfect time to lead with your narrative. Here’s how to frame your story using a proven cold calling framework :
- Introduction and opening line : In the sales pitch example above, Jessica introduced herself and then opened by gauging interest in the specific pain point that her firm solves.
- Reason for calling : Show the prospect why they should pay attention, touching upon the old way of doing things vs. the new way of doing things, as well as the pain point (and be sure to personalize!)
- Value proposition : Share some of the results you’ve helped clients achieve. Make sure to frame them as customer stories rather than simply presenting cold hard facts.
- Question : Ask if they’re interested and address any immediate objections.
- Close : Get some time in their calendar and secure the appointment.
Here’s an example of how you might put these steps together in your own pitch:
Hi [NAME], this is James calling from Pipedrive. I’m calling because I noticed you recently secured a new round of funding and, as expanding the growth of [COMPANY] might be a priority now, you might be interested in how we’re helping salespeople achieve better results through a new way of selling. Would you like to hear more?
If they say yes, continue:
Great! We’ve noticed that when salespeople focus more on the right activities, instead of worrying about hitting quotas, they end up reaching those numbers faster while working in a more efficient manner. This is why, at Pipedrive, we’ve created a CRM that focuses on activity-based sales, a new way of selling that empowers reps to do their best work and become better salespeople. In fact, we’ve recently helped [BRAND] generate [RESULT] through our solution. If this is of interest, I’d love to share more about this new way of selling, and how it would benefit your revenue goals at [COMPANY]. Shall we schedule a call in the calendar sometime over the next week or so?
Here, we’ve touched upon the old way of doing things (measuring salespeople on quota) and presented a new way of doing things (activity-based selling). We also touched upon the superpower we provide and the results we’ve generated.
While it doesn’t give all the details, it’s enough for the prospect to decide whether or not to take the next step, because they have a general idea of what you have to offer their business.
2. Email outreach
Just like cold calling, your email outreach needs to be succinct and get to the point quickly.
According to Boomerang , the sweet spot for email length is between 50-125 words. Furthermore, they discovered that a 25-word email is as effective as one with 2,000 words.
Here’s a simple framework you can use to write your cold email pitches:
- The opener : As with cold calling, be sure to personalize your opener, and tie the reason for reaching out to something relevant to them.
- The pitch : Condense everything we talked about earlier into a single paragraph, using no more than one to three sentences.
- Call-to-action : Ask them if they’d be interested in learning more and suggest a quick call as the next step.
Again, using Pipedrive as an example, here are these elements in play:
First of all, congratulations on your new round of funding with [INVESTOR]! I expect growth is going to be a high priority for you now, so thought you might find this of interest. We help SaaS companies like yours move away from the old quota-driven way of selling and empower salespeople to get better results with activity-based selling. Using our CRM system, we’ve seen [CLIENT] generate [RESULT] using this activity-based selling approach. I’d love to share more about this during a quick call sometime over the next week or so. Is this of interest? Thanks, James
Excluding the greeting and sign-off, this email runs in at 95 words. It lightly touches on the most important aspects and, most importantly, talks about results that greatly benefit the customer.
3. Social selling
From LinkedIn to Twitter, your buyers are now active on and can be reached through social media. They’re the perfect platforms to connect and share your narrative with them.
The two fundamental approaches to social selling are:
- Outreach : Connecting, following and messaging your prospects
- Content : Creating content that aligns with your narrative
For the sake of this guide, we’ll focus on the former. Let’s dig deeper into some of the most common social selling outreach methods:
- LinkedIn invite : A short message when requesting to connect with your prospect
- LinkedIn message : Using the same principles as cold emailing to pitch your solution to connections
- Tweets : If a prospect talks about a problem you solve on Twitter, it’s the perfect opportunity to start a conversation
For LinkedIn invites and Tweets, you have a limited number of characters to play with. You’ll need to get creative here when presenting your pitch. In some cases, it’s best to focus on one element of your narrative.
Here’s an example of a LinkedIn connection invite that focuses on results:
Hi NAME, congrats on the latest round of funding! We’ve just helped [COMPANY IN PROSPECT’S INDUSTRY/MARKET] generate [RESULT] and thought you might be interested in learning how we did it. - [YOUR NAME]
Whichever aspect of your sales narrative you choose, use it to pique interest and get the initial response. You can then lead the conversation and nurture the lead from there.
4. Elevator pitch
The elevator pitch is typically what you use at networking events, or when meeting someone in your industry for the first time. Think about it as something you could easily convey to someone you’re sharing a short elevator ride with.
It’s a simple way of sharing your solution in 30 seconds or less. Use it to differentiate yourself from other people in the room using your narrative-driven sales pitch.
Be sure to practice your elevator pitch before going out into the field. Test it on a colleague and ask them for their feedback, or work as a team to refine one that you all use.
How to create engaging sales pitch content
You may be looking at the list of sales pitch formats above and wondering, “what about the trusty sales presentation?”
This is the most common and, arguably, the most complex type of sales pitch. It’s the sort that requires 30 to 60 minutes’ worth of time, careful consideration, preparation and testing – which is why we’ve dedicated two entire sections of this guide to it.
Here, you’ll learn how to structure your sales pitch into a deck that keeps your prospects engaged. Using the storytelling principles we covered earlier, you’ll be closing more deals in no time.
Customize the content
Just as personalization is key during your prospecting and verbal communications, it’s also well worth applying to your pitch decks.
Even a simple touch, such as applying prospect brand colors, can go a long way. But your sales presentation should never be fully recycled for multiple clients because each client has different pain points and different needs. You can invest the time to customize sales presentations because they’re likely presented deeper into the relationship with a client; they already have heard the elevator pitch at this point, or they came to you and expressed that they want to learn more.
Customization should also be applied to the challenges of your prospect. This is especially effective if you serve different industries, as each will have its own set of problems and goals.
Visualize data and key points
Many salespeople make the mistake of being too “text-heavy” with their sales decks. By applying too much copy to your slides, you risk making information difficult to assimilate and losing your prospect’s attention.
Therefore, use minimal text and visualize as many elements as possible – especially stats and data. If you need to go into more detail, write yourself a script so you can talk around the stats.
You should be able to talk about your product as much as your customer is interested, but everything doesn’t need to be shown physically in your deck, or else it will be too hard to follow.
Share your history
If the story of your brand is relevant to the problem you solve, don’t be afraid to share its history with your prospects.
This is the short version of our story: Pipedrive’s founder, Timo Rein, started out as a salesperson who wanted a better CRM to become more efficient in his job. Instead of waiting for it to come along, he decided to bring his vision to life.
Just make sure that you relate aspects of your story to the challenge your prospect faces and how you can help them tackle it.
While your backstory isn’t hugely persuasive, it can be an important step to adding context and building a connection with your prospect. Here’s our sales training video on how to tell your company story in a sales call.
Inject some humor
While humor can be a tricky thing to execute, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. If it aligns with your brand and is well received by your buyer personas, humor can be an effective way to connect with your prospects. It makes customer relationships feel more natural and friendly, which in turn makes you more trustworthy to your customer.
For example, injecting memes, puns or cultural references can go a long way. To advertise their new shop on Broadway, Casper created theatre-style posters, full of puns and joke reviews, to emphasize how comfortable their mattresses are, which also adds a level of customization to a pitch or marketing strategy:
You will generally have a limited amount of time to make your pitch, so you have to be succinct. After all, there’s a lot to include. You have to:
- Introduce yourself and quickly build rapport
- Ask questions about the prospect and their organization
- Save some time for Q&A and objection handling
Being concise allows you to uncover your prospect’s needs before you share your deck. It also means you’ll have plenty of time to handle any objections that get in the way.
Once you’ve put your deck together, look through the slides and remove anything that isn’t critical at this stage of the relationship (doesn’t mean it won’t be later, but you don’t want to overload your lead with information). At the very least, find slides that can be merged together to make a single point.
If you’ve nailed your 30-minute pitch, but a prospect only gives you 15 minutes, try to book another time – your pitch can only be effective if you give it the time that it deserves.
Add more content for internal sharing
If there are other stakeholders involved in the buying process, it’s likely the prospect who attends your presentation will want a copy of the slides.
This is where having two versions of your deck can help with internal communications. The first version should only include text that guides the conversation. This includes sub-headings, data and short bullet points.
The second version is for your prospect’s internal use. Here, you can expand upon the points raised in each slide and add more information that wouldn’t have otherwise fit into the allotted time, or would have distracted from the key message.
Tips for delivering a bulletproof sales pitch
Putting together the content for your sales pitch is one challenge. But having the ability to deliver it in a clear, confident manner requires practice – especially for new salespeople.
This section provides advice for managers to consider including in their training material.
For the SDRs and sales reps out there, you can use this as a checklist to improve your verbal selling skills and deliver your pitches with confidence.
Get a deeper understanding of your prospect
Before jumping on the call, make sure you conduct as much research on your prospect as possible. This includes:
- Looking at their company website to learn more about their customers and value proposition
- Looking at the company LinkedIn profile to get a feel for organizational structure
- Looking at the prospect’s LinkedIn profile to learn more about their career
Conducting this preparation beforehand will help you build rapport once you jump on a call or meet the prospect in person. It will also help you ask the right questions before jumping into your sales pitch.
“It’s important to understand who it is that you are trying to sell to from a personal level—not just their title and the company they work for,” explains Jack Scarr, Sales Manager at Netmums .
“If you can do some light research and find out that they listen to a certain music artist, support a football team or favor a certain type of cuisine, inclusion of this in your pitch can reduce the time it takes to get their unrivaled attention exponentially.
“They’ll see that you have taken an interest in them as a person, not just their title and access to budgets.”
Use simple, concise language
In other words; get to the point. Avoid using overly technical language unless you know your prospect will understand it – there’s no point if your sales pitch ideas aren’t clear. If you must use technical language, define the meaning and explain why it’s important. Keep in mind, in some cases using technical language is a good thing, because it shows that you understand the industry or field.
Try to avoid stumbling over your words or saying “um” between your words. This is where practicing with a colleague can help, as they’ll point out when you’re meandering away from the purpose of the pitch.
You should also practice talking slowly and talking less. Talk slowly because it shows that you’re more calm and confident, and gives your prospect more of a chance to take in what you say; talk less because reps are proven to have a higher closing rate if their prospect does more of the talking and they do the listening.
When conducting demos, focus on the critical features
If you’re giving a demo for your SaaS product, the first five to ten minutes of the conversation are critical. This will allow you to ask questions around the prospect’s primary goals and challenges.
Once you uncover these challenges, you can tailor the demo to focus on the features that the prospect would benefit the most from. It can be tempting to run through your entire suite of features. But while you may see the value in everything your solution has to offer, your prospect might not agree.
By doing this, you tie the features and solutions of your product directly to what they’re trying to achieve. As you wrap up each feature, use phrases like “by using [FEATURE], you’ll be able to achieve [OUTCOME] and solve [PAIN POINT].”
Practice confident body language
Pitching your solution in person? Be sure to practice strong body language while you rehearse your pitch. This will help you both appear and feel more confident.
Here are some basic ways you can improve your body language:
- Eye contact : They say the eyes are the portal to the soul. Making and maintaining eye contact shows people you’re interested in them and invested in what they have to say.
- Stand straight : Fixing your posture is an easy way to convey confidence. Simply pull your shoulders back and straighten your spine.
- Chin up : Avoid looking down at the floor. Make an effort to stand straight and face straight ahead.
- Firm handshake : A limp handshake signals a lack of confidence. Make sure you offer a firm handshake to make a strong first impression.
Prepare for objections
Chances are, you’re going to receive several questions and objections during your sales pitch. If you’re not ready for them, you may appear unsure of yourself, and your prospect could lose confidence in your expertise.
This is why collecting a library of common sales objections is invaluable to the process of strategizing your sales pitch. When you know how to handle objections quickly, you’ll appear more credible to the prospect, and they’ll feel like they’re in the hands of a professional.
“Ask yourself the toughest questions,” recommends Jack . “The biggest part of a sales pitch is after you’ve finished talking about yourself as a person or the brand you represent; it’s when the questions start.
“Preparing for those questions can be the difference between a successful pitch and losing business. So, before you get to that stage, read your pitch and prepare answers to questions you might be asked.”
Make objection handling a core part of your sales training. Whenever you hear a new objection, make a note of it (as well as your response) to share with the rest of the team.
For more sales pitch ideas, check out our tool featuring the experts’ responses to common sales objections, and our videos on how to tackle the following objections:
Lead the conversation to the next stage of the relationship
Finally, take the age-old advice of “always be closing” (ABC) to heart (while remembering that the journey to close is where the important work is done). By the end of your sales pitch, your prospect should be ready to take the next step in doing business with you.
This might be for them to trial your software, or for you to send a proposal and schedule a follow-up meeting. Whatever it is, lead your prospect to it. Make them feel like they’re in good hands by taking charge at every step of the conversation.
Sales pitch strategy in review
A good sales narrative not only keeps your ideal prospects engaged, but it persuades them to follow along with the journey. If they believe in what you believe, and you can present a better way of doing things, it’s more likely you’ll secure them as a customer for life.
But this can only work if the entire organization is aligned with this story. Indeed, this story and “reason why” should be present in your marketing, customer service processes and the solution itself.
Communicate a better way of doing things, and show your prospects how they can drive results with the superpowers that you can give them. This is the key to crafting a sales pitch that inspires awe.
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