What Makes For A Good Sales Pitch?
The right attitude, self-confidence and a well-designed sales pitch can play a critical role in sales success
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A good sales pitch should make the potential customers aware of the brand's promise and its likely impact on their lives. This may include both rational benefits (making money, saving money, reducing the time and effort or reducing risk) and emotional payoffs (appearing tech savvy / modern, espousing thought leadership, caring employer etc)
Early in my career, while working as area or regional sales manager, I routinely strived to sell products to people who were not interested in the offering. Sometimes it was because they did not know of the category or at times because my brand was so premium — it appeared unaffordable. The toughest assignments were when no one had heard of the brand I was representing.
A career in sales can be a soul-destroying one as the salesperson faces rejection every day. At the same time, with proper training and the right tools, it can become a fulfilling career for life. In my experience — the right attitude, self-confidence, and a well-designed sales pitch can play a critical role in sales success.
Here are certain guidelines to help create a proper B2B sales pitch based on our experience in real world sales.
1. Ensure a Single-minded Focus
It is essential that the sales pitch has a single-minded focus. For new brands, the deck should be more of an introduction to the brand's promise, whereas, for new introductions by established brands, it should be on how this offering can help the buyer achieve his or her own goals.
Eg. A retail software company is able to successfully engage the customer as they promise a 10% reduction in inventory levels which in turn translates into a 3% increase in ROI.
- We recommend one should begin their presentation with benefits and impact. It is also helpful to remember most effective decks need some degree of customization in order to resonate better with the potential buyer.
2. Demonstrate Impact in a Relevant Manner
One of the best ways to move quickly into a sales call is to demonstrate knowledge of the current situation. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using the "Before and After Situation' trope. The role of the brand here is to aid the transformation.
Eg. A media tech firm allows FMCG companies to perform geo-targeted marketing in Rural / Tier II locations. Their sales pitch is focused on how currently media managers were unable to help grow sales due to the limited impact of ad spends. By using this brand offers, media managers could facilitate organic growth and increase market penetration. This approach has high appeal as one of the KRAs of the target customer group is to facilitate brand sales via advertising effectiveness.
- We recommend all our clients to get a detailed pen picture of their clients to facilitate this exercise using our specially designed social media tools.
3. Showcase an Understanding of the Context
In this stage of the pitch, it is best to engage in a conversation and get a better understanding of subtle nuances in the category within which the brand operates.
Eg. A hardware firm with a new tech-enabled offering can dramatically change the category using real-time information. Currently, users are making do with old world techniques and free information sharing tools like Whatsapp. The salesperson needs to understand the current context and how to best position the brand in an appealing light. This is because people are loath to change and generally quite happy with status quo.
- We recommend sales teams map what the customer is currently using and accept this is the best he has been able to do with limited knowledge / available resources / current industry practice.
4. Bring Alive the Brand Differentiators
In order to enter the consideration set, it is helpful to bring alive brand differentiators. A large number of benefits are likely to overwhelm the customer. Hence it is best to focus on three-four elements that are truly differentiated in a competitive context. This can be achieved by focusing category drivers that are relevant to the customer, and build differentiators for success
5. Showcase Case Studies / Brand's Advocates
If there are case studies relevant to the prospect or brand advocates who can influence the discussion, this is the right time to showcase them.
Eg. While pitching to a HealthTech company servicing hospitals, an advertising agency should not use retail packaging examples.Avoid irrelevant case studies which just add to the clutter.
6. Talk About the Money
Speak transparently about the money involved. If you have real data showing impact - this is the best time to bring it alive. Use infographics which are easy to understand as visuals make a better impact.
Eg. Effectiveness: Visual representation of how the brand has been able to impact the effectiveness of client's business is helpful in generating leads
7. Ask for Business
Sometimes sales pitches end without a request for business. This is either because the salesperson is not confident asking for business or feels the call has not gone as per expectation. However, each opportunity for face-to-face interaction with a client is priceless. Hence it is preferable to request for an opportunity to work together and determine areas of interest.
To close B2B pitches, sales people often mention a Trial Offer or provide suitable recommendations or even visits to sites where the product is being produced / used. Similar tools can be used to ensure a reason to call back and check on client interest areas.
A properly written pitch presentation is critical for success. By following some specific steps, sales people can create short but powerful narratives that will help them gain leads and close deals.