Most of us will have been on the end of a bad sales pitch at one point in our lives. Whether they're over-familiar, ill-prepared or wrongly implementing a hard sell, it can be very uncomfortable.
A bad sales pitch is bad for business, and as a salesperson, you need to constantly look for ways to nurture the leads in your pipeline. So, developing an effective sales pitch is a crucial skill that all sales reps need.
We'll explore everything you need to know about creating the perfect pitching strategy. Plus we've created four sales pitch examples that you can adapt to suit your business.
A sales pitch is a short presentation where a salesperson explains their product or service along with the benefits it provides. Sometimes called an 'elevator pitch', they're shorter versions of a sales presentation and usually a way of hooking a lead and gathering interest in your product or service.
You should be able to deliver your sales pitch in less than two to three minutes to catch your prospect’s attention. You want to make your pitch targets excited about the opportunity and avoid boring them with unnecessary details. Once you have them invested, then you'll be able to go about arranging follow-up conversations and delivering a more in-depth sales presentation.
A sales pitch helps guide prospects through your buying process. It gives potential leads their first introduction to you, your company, and your product.
If your sales reps don't deliver frequent sales pitches, many of your target audience may be unaware of your product. A successful sales pitch is one of the first steps toward guiding a prospect down the sales funnel.
Sales pitches need to be tailored to their audience and fit the needs of whoever the pitch is targeting.
However, there are a few things that make a winning sales pitch no matter your business, industry, or product.
- Short and snappy: Your target audience are likely very busy people. That's why it's important to get right to the heart of your pitch as soon as possible
- Personable and tailored: Prospects can quickly lose interest if they don't find a pitch relevant. You should tailor your sales pitch to appeal to those listening
- Backed with facts and figures: Delivering a bulletproof sales pitch isn't enough, you need to back up your claims with relevant facts, figures, and customer stories.
Starting a pitch is often the hardest part. You might have plenty of ideas for the perfect sales pitch, but you need to filter these to quickly grab your audience's attention while telling the story of your brand.
It's also an opportunity to identify key decision-makers and hook them in with your sales pitches and ideas. When beginning your well-crafted sales pitch, it must use the following elements:
- Start with the problem: Unless your audience is aware of the problem you solve, they won't be open to hearing how you can provide a solution
- Tailor the start of the pitch: No one wants to listen to a pitch that isn't relevant to them or their industry. So, research their vertical and find ways to quickly personalize your pitch strategy
- Create stakes: What is the risk of not using your solution? You don't need to state them in clear terms, but alluding potential pitfalls to them at the start of the pitch can grab attention.
Remember your intro shouldn't take longer than 30 seconds, or one to two sentences if in an email or social media message.
Below we have included a few ways that you could begin a pitch. Remember to identify your pitch targets first to ensure that it suits who you're pitching to.
Using personal experience when pitching can help break the ice. While you don't want to take too long talking about yourself, some personal information can make you seem more authentic. This approach can foster trust and empathy in the future and help to build long-term business relationships.
Most sales pitches open similarly and predictably. You can stand out by using an anecdote to highlight the problem that your product or service solves. Some sales reps can feel uncomfortable telling personal stories, but any successful sales pitch is about being genuine and building a connection.
Asking a good question is a great way to start a pitch. While some may argue that this tactic is overused, some would argue that it's a classic for a reason.
Think of a question that directly relates to your prospect's industry, and pinpoint any common issues they might experience. For example, if you're pitching to someone in the retail industry and you sell sales management software, you should ask questions about how long they spend doing tedious sales tracking.
- How long do you spend each day totaling daily sales?
- How do you currently segment your sales data and key points?
Using a statistic is an effective way to grab a client's attention. But it needs to resonate and put pressure on the buyer to make a decision. Think about what the statistic has to do with the prospective client's problems and how it could potentially harm their business.
Using the example above you could begin with a stat like, "30% of a sales reps day is spent processing data, with our solution we’ll cut this down to 10%"
Starting with a stat can be effective — but it has to resonate with the audience and up the ante. In other words, what does the statistic have to do with the problem? How does it reflect a potential and critical downfall that could harm your prospect?
Now that you know how to start your pitch, it’s time to deliver the rest of it.
A sales pitch can get your prospect excited about your product or service. But to be effective you need to craft engaging sales pitch content. Crafting your pitch is a skill. Just like with a marketing strategy, there is no set sales pitch strategy that is guaranteed to be successful.
But to help, here’s our step-by-step method that sales teams can follow to help build your successful sales pitch.
It's called an elevator pitch for a reason, a sales pitch isn't the same as a sales presentation. You only have a few minutes to make your point and encourage them to take the next steps in the sales process.
A great introduction and opening line is essential. Sales teams usually utilize sales decks to help them lead the conversation, so without one you need to try and establish an emotional connection and visualize data and key points.
You don't have a lot of time to influence your prospective clients, that's why it's crucial to use simple and concise language throughout the entire pitch. Your pitch needs to get straight to the point and demonstrate the pain points that matter to your audience.
If you’re pitching a product, you may want to jump straight into the specifics of your product and its key features. However, highlighting pain points is one of the best ways to connect to people's emotions.
Explaining your product or service to your target audience is a crucial step in your sales pitch. Most companies will have a buying committee or key decision maker who will determine whether your product is implemented within the business.
Tailoring your pitch to these key stakeholders is crucial. Your audience wants to know that you understand their pain points and understand how your product has helped your current audience.
You need to specify why your customer needs you and your product. The best sales pitches highlight a problem that clients consistently face to create a sense of urgency. A sales pitch structure needs to cut to the root of an issue and make the prospect feel that by missing out, their business could suffer.
By now you should've established who you're selling to and why they need your product. So, now you have to explain why they'd buy from you. More specifically, what is your company's unique selling point (USP) and how do you compare to your competitors?
For example, if you sold a CRM service for small businesses (like Capsule) then your USP could be:
- a user-friendly interface
- software integration
- or unique data visualization features
The best way to do this is by showcasing the benefits of your product or service on a broader scale. To use this example from the previous point, this could be quick onboarding due to the simple interface or better reporting because of the data segmentation.
This part of your sales pitch should ideally be a one-liner that everyone in your company can recite.
Below are a list of ideas that you can use to build your own effective sales pitch. The type you choose will depend on your business, industry, and the audience you're pitching to. For example, your prospect may only have time for a quick elevator pitch, at other times you may have a few more minutes to discuss your options in depth.
The key to keeping listeners engaged is to introduce the story of your brand. This could be about how your business first started or how customers found success through your product or service.
You do this by beginning with the issue the customer was facing, leading into the solution, and finishing with the key results your customer achieved. Storytelling should be simple, just consider what keeps you engaged when listening to stories and try to emulate this in your pitch. Images and other interactive elements can help improve the listener's experience, but keep in mind who your audience is and what their preferences may be.
For example, if you're selling to a larger, enterprise-level business, then you might adjust your tone to be more formal. But if you're pitching to the owner of a start-up they might appreciate a more direct and informal approach. Research your prospective clients to find what suits them best.
When taking a storytelling approach there are a few dos and don'ts to consider:
- Use visuals to present ideas
- Research your audience
- Outline your plot and core message
- Be honest about the facts
- Make your story useful to your audience
Now you know what to do, remember to avoid:
- Jargon or complex language
- Focusing too much on yourself or the brand
- Oversell the characters and create unrealistic expectations
- Skim over details or overcomplicate the story
- Selling your CTA too hard.
What value will you provide for your potential clients? The value proposition (or value prop) is the core of any sales pitch. It comes after you identify the problem facing your prospect and is the proposed solution to this.
You should create a value proposition canvas to help guide the working of your value prop. Leveraging both the gain creator and pain relievers can help you create a pitch that directly answers your prospect's needs.
A sales pitch has to be relevant to its audience. You need to be able to customize it to address the needs of the key decision-maker.
Your sales pitch should always speak to your prospect's specific pain points and needs. You can do this by beginning with a productive discovery call. Here, you should ask about your prospect's most urgent needs and leverage this information to hone your pitch.
There are a numerous sales pitch types to choose from. If you're struggling to get an in with your clients it can help to vary your tactics and see if one is more effective than others.
Some examples include:
- The one-word sales pitch: It can sometimes be useful to reduce your sales pitch and company mission to one word. For example, if your company's product or service promises to help you find more customers, your one-word sales pitch might be 'growth'.
- The question sales pitch: Opening your pitch with a question can pique curiosity and engage listeners. For example: "How much time does your sales team spend chasing leads?"
- The subject line sales pitch: This is great for a sales team that primarily sells via email. Using your email subject line to pitch your product helps grab your prospect's attention immediately.
- The Twitter sales pitch:* This isn't a social selling strategy, instead it's a way of rethinking your sales pitch approach. Imagine that you only had 280 characters to make your point - what would you emphasize and what would you omit?
The type of pitch you use will depend on your customer and what stage of the relationship you are in. Try different methods to find the one that works best for you.
It's true that practice does make perfect. Once you've built your pitch it's time to practice until you feel comfortable presenting in front of prospective clients.
It's not just the words you need to consider, practice confident body language and tone of voice to see which works best. Consider presenting to colleagues to see what feedback they can offer or try recording yourself and watching it back.
While metaphors and vivid imagery might seem good in theory, you could confuse your prospect. Clear and concise language can help you avoid any potential confusion.
If you do feel the need to use metaphors then try to keep them business-related. Avoid sports-related metaphors, unless you've already made a connection with your prospect. Otherwise, you might find yourself alienating your potential clients.
Every great sales pitch has a memorable moment, a point that blows the recipient's mind. There are a few ways that this can be done, like stating a fact or telling an outlandish story. Conducting demos focuses on the ins and outs of the product, so if you have a great and unique feature this could be your wow moment.
Alternatively, if your key selling point is your customer service you could take your prospect on a tour of your customer service floor. This can cement your claims and provide authenticity.
Understanding your customers is essential to nailing your pitch. Revolving your pitch around your life experience can help you find common ground and connect on a more personal level.
For example, if you have both previously worked in the same industry, you could connect over common issues like budgeting or specific trends.
Consumers often decide with emotions but they still need to rationalize their choices to themselves and other key stakeholders. Using statistics or case studies that support your pitch can help provide credibility to their decision.
If there's no time to cover case studies in the presentation, then consider directing them to the ones on your website.
No one likes missing out, which is what makes FOMO (the fear of missing out) such a powerful motivator. It can create a sense of urgency and push a buyer towards a sale.
The last thing you want is for them to procrastinate long enough that they change their mind and go with a different alternative. Instead, tget them to take action right away.
There's no right way to write a winning sales pitch. But there are some tried and tested sales pitch ideas that have proven successful time and time again.
Below are four examples of sales pitches that your sales reps can adapt and personalize to better suit their goals. Let's examine them in more detail so you can find a sales pitch example to suit you and your team.
*"Hi [insert name],
I found your recent post about the best local golf courses very interesting. I'm a huge fan of golf myself and your suggestion to try new techniques to improve your skills was a great reminder to step out of your comfort zone.
So in the spirit of trying new things, I wanted to share our latest research with you. I would love to walk you through the report and get a sense of your near-term goals.
Would you be open to this?"*
Why does this work?
This approach works well when a sales rep and prospect have some sort of shared connection. This could be a mutual friend, ex-colleague, a shared hobby outside of work, or the same alma mater. It can help break the ice and create an opportunity to start a conversation.
*"Hi [insert name],
We all know that marketing burn is all too real these days. Luckily we have a solution. New research shows that our platform can deliver:
- 84% increase in buyer engagement
- 45% in open-rates
- 30% decrease in attrition
Let's pencil in 15 minutes next week to walk through how our customers achieved these numbers with our solution"*
Why does this work?
Data is a great way to catch the attention of prospective clients. It makes your case clear and shows the tangible value of your product or service.
*"Hi [insert name],
Congratulations on the recent promotion! As you settle into your new role, what do you think your approach to project management will be?
Studies have shown that a simple reduction of two manual tasks can give you back five hours a week.
Our solution makes it easy for you to focus on the work that matters. If you like the sound of this, then I’d love to discuss how we can make your day more efficient.
Shall we talk on x date at x time?"*
Why does this work?
Coinciding a pitch with a big moment in a buyer's life is a great way to begin building a relationship. Just make sure your response is appropriate and not purely an opportunity to leverage a sales opportunity.
*"Hi [insert name],
Its been a while since we spoke so I wanted to see if you’d be interested in going for a coffee?
I'd love to connect on our solution and fill you in on the use cases your peers are currently using our platform to solve. If still not of interest, enjoy a coffee on me!"*
Why does this work?
This approach is slightly different from the others but it's a great way to reignite a conversation with a prospect that has lost interest. The key is to avoid the hard sell and instead keep the conversation light and friendly.
Creating a sales pitch is an art form, not a fixed recipe. It can take a lot of trial and error to get it right, but with our tips and tricks, we can help get you started. Finding a sales pitch example that works for you and your business is a great first step, but remember to do your research and tailor your approach to your audience.
Sales pitches are all about directing the conversation and building a relationship with your potential clients. Capsule CRM makes it easy to manage these conversations so your team can continue to hone their sales skills.
Discover how we can help you and your team and try Capsule free for 14 days.