Your lead acquisition strategy is starting to pay off. Your marketing team has built up a nice database of hot leads. Now it’s your sales team’s turn to deliver. Even if your solution perfectly matches your prospect’s needs, what matters is your performance in the prospect meeting. So how do you fine-tune your sales pitch to win the sale?
What is a Sales Pitch?
A sales pitch is a persuasive speech that highlights the company’s value proposition to convince the prospects that you have something distinctive to offer and stimulate them to purchase it. While each salesperson has a certain degree of latitude when it comes to writing his or her sales pitch, there is always a core theme and common terminology to ensure that the pitch is cohesive.
In an Indirect Marketing setting, the Sales Pitch is structured as a scripted and illustrated document that the company provides to distributors and/or resellers to give them the right arguments to use in business meetings.
The importance of the Sales Pitch in the face of the Great Consumer Shift
While the Sales Pitch has always been a staple of the salesperson’s toolkit, it is now emerging as a crucial element of the buying journey for several reasons:
- B2B buyers are increasingly moving toward digital self-service, leaving the salesperson out of a large part of the buying journey. According to HubSpot, 55% of buyers feel that salespeople are not trustworthy partners because of overly pushy pitches that focus on the product rather than the solution. Each secured meeting must be handled with a convincing sales pitch. This means you must make the most of every client meeting you land with a sharp sales pitch.
- According to Accenture, the average buyer completes 57% of the buying process before initiating any contact with a service provider. This means that buyers educate themselves and gather information about their problem and the various solutions available before meeting the sales representative. As a result, the salesperson must develop a solid sales pitch (technical elements, product comparisons, a deep understanding of the prospect’s industry or vertical, etc.).
- Gartner also notes that half of all buyers are overwhelmed by the amount of online content that addresses their business issues. Therefore, the salesperson has to play the role of ” sense-maker “. His or her sales pitch must feature pedagogy, even popularization, to help the prospect better understand his or her needs and the company’s solution.
8 golden rules for a successful sales pitch
#1 The importance of the opening slide
According to a PPTPOP study, buyers take about 30 seconds to determine whether your sales pitch is worth listening to. Start with your strongest arguments to capture the attention of your audience right from the beginning, using the “inverted pyramid” approach.
#2 Visual content is a must!
You have a few minutes to convince your prospect. To make good use of this short time frame, focus on visual content. In fact, a study conducted by 3M Corporation shows that our brain understands visual information 60,000 times faster than text.
#3 A crystal clear value proposition
Your value proposition should be stated in a single sentence, no matter how complex your offering is. Here are some examples:
- Airbnb – “Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world.“
- Uber – “Uber is the smartest way to get around. One tap and a car comes directly to you. Your driver knows exactly where to go. And payment is completely cashless.”
- FedEx – “Sending and receiving packages is convenient and safe for individuals who want to ship ideas and innovations across the globe.”
#4 Make room for emotions
The Marketing Practice and B2B Decision Labs conducted a groundbreaking experiment to understand what makes the most effective sales pitch. This behavioral study carried out by Dr. Nick Lee (Warwick Business School) involved 500 B2B professionals. The purpose of the study was to identify the best sales pitch to drive sales. The researchers tested three different variables and various combinations:
- Whether or not to include case studies and figures in the presentation;
- Ultra-rational and factual speech Vs. rational and emotional speech;
- How “honest” the salesperson is (whether or not he or she mentions the limitations and risks of failure of the proposed solution).
Findings: the most effective sales pitch is emotional, backed by data and use cases, and mentions the risks of failure of the product. Click here to view the full research paper.
#5 Using storytelling to stand out
According to PPTPOP, the sales presentations that convert the most are mostly composed of storytelling elements (up to 65%). The study identifies 4 key ingredients to make good use of storytelling in business meetings:
- Show your prospects the struggles the company faced, the reasons why the products came to be;
- Show proofs of authority: you have been featured on major websites, newspapers, etc.;
- Secret ingredient: what makes you different from your competitors?
- Likeability. Say something personal and make your prospect smile.
#6 Focus on your prospect’s problem
Avoid sales pitches that focus exclusively on the product. Focus on the prospect’s problem and the solution you provide. Here’s an extract from Airbnb’s first pitch deck: “Price is an important concern for customers booking travel online. Hotels leave you disconnected from the city and its culture. No easy way exists to book a room with a local or become a host”. Notice how this Pitch describes the problem in a prospect-friendly way.
#7 Actual benefits rather than technical features
Think in terms of “benefits” rather than reciting the technical features of your solution using jargon that your prospect won’t understand. In other words, rephrase the technical features of your product to fit your customer’s needs.
- Don’t say: “Our solution offers a 50 mbps internet connection”;
- Say, “Our solution allows you to deliver your webinars without interruption”.
#8 A clear Call to Action
Make sure you always suggest a “next step” to your prospect and ask for his or her validation or “buy-in” (schedule a new meeting, sign an agreement in principle, sign a contract, etc.).
Make your Sales Pitch shine with Touch & Sell!
Touch & Sell has introduced the concept of Sales Enablement in France and is now the French leader in Growth Enablement. Our platform provides you with the tools you need for a successful sales pitch:
- All your sales enablement materials are centralized and accessible through a single interface;
- Touch & Sell is compatible with all your multimedia content (videos, images, 3D, Html, etc.);
- You can send the highest-performing materials to the prospect from the application;
- Create a personalized Sales Pitch for each prospect in a few clicks;
- Bring the “wow-factor” to you prospects with a smooth and perfectly mastered Sales Presentation.