Customer acquisition is hard work. Generating sales can often require multiple touch points—some online, some offline. Some in-person, some via marketing and advertising.
Sales is not an easy business problem to conquer these days, but there are some ways to optimize your B2B sales pitch—and do it in a way that saves time and cuts out waste.
Ditch the Salesy Pitch, Focus on Conversations
Traditional sales pitches are unappealing, often cheesy. Why are we still trying to kick around the same old behavior patterns in an ecosystem that has changed so much in the last 20 years?
Traditional pitches typically drive two basic outcomes:
- Potential customers will love what you have to offer, and you get a sale.
- They hate it, and you’ll get a polite decline.
Selling successfully must be about building relationships with potential customers, and then proving that your organization is the direct solution to the problems they’re having. Which means that successful sales pitches aren’t monologues; they’re dialogues.
The buyer’s needs are your priority. Each potential customer you speak with is unique in B2B sales, but when you pitch your product or service you need to be able to clearly communicate how it benefits each individual buyer.
This isn’t just basic info that’s thrown into your CRM. You need to understand who your buyer is: what their habits are, what they’re struggling with, what is available on the market. Understanding the buyer is vital: Only 22% of B2B executive buyers feel that salespeople truly understand their business issues.
You can fill a much-needed hole in the market if you work to understand your buyer’s needs. The extra effort goes a long way toward developing trust between you and your potential clients, helping you fully demonstrate how your product is the solution for their problems.
Create Authentic Connections Through Stories
How often do salespeople take the time to tell the story of their brand in a sales pitch?
It’s often overlooked, but powerful. Successful sales pitches come from creating connection between you and your potential client. If you can effectively articulate the story of your brand and product, you will create a stronger connection between you and potential clients.
Developing connections means that prospects are able to relate to your brand on a personal level, which gives them even more reason to buy.
When you pair the story of your company and the products it has to offer with hard data that backs up your claims, you’re able to effectively connect with and engage active prospects and drive them to want to know more.
Write Your Pitch
To write the perfect sales pitch in a short amount of time, you need an ideal basic structure that you can then tailor to each unique prospect’s needs. Here are six steps you should take.
1. Identify the perfect hook
If you’re pitching via email, you’re hunting for the elusive perfect subject line. Either the subject line or the opening sentence (preferably both) will be the hook to capture the potential client’s attention. It’s what will make the difference between their actually reading your pitch or dismissing it altogether.
Ultimately, the hook has to connect intimately with the decision-maker’s needs and communicate the story of your business. By finding the right combination of those two things, you’ll have a solid way to successfully engage customers and persuade them to move forward with you.
2. Solve their problem
Once you’ve persuaded your prospect to continue reading the pitch, the next step is to show them how you’re going to be able to help them. Are you aware of common issues that your prospect is facing? Can your product line or services help solve those issues?
In the written pitch, be sure to directly address the issues that your prospect faces. Acknowledge that you’re aware of them, and then focus on how your products or services can help fix those problems.
Addressing their issues head on allows your prospects to see that you’ve thought about their needs and found a solution.
3. Back it up with data
You’re making bold claims (or at least you should be), but now it’s time to back them up with data. Reading positive reviews, testimonials, and case studies heavily influences buying decisions in B2B sales. It’s important to include facts, statistics, and testimonials that back up the claims you’re making.
If you claim you can solve your potential customer’s problems, use facts to demonstrate you can.
4. Ask for the sale
At this point, you have a pitch that addresses your prospect’s problems, demonstrates the value of your product and services, and backs up your assertions with data to support your claims. The next step is to give prospective customers clear instructions on next steps.
This step seems obvious, but 85% of all sales interactions end without the salesperson ever asking for the sale.
5. Keep it concise
Watch the length of your pitch. Too long, and you’ll lose the potential customers’ interest and they’ll just stop reading. Work to get the written pitch the perfect length for your recipients, and you’ll increase the likelihood they make it through the entire pitch.
Choose words mindfully, and be strict with your word count so you can avoid information overload, which causes tune-out. Edit with a heavy hand, because what could be worse than losing a potential sale because your pitch was too long?
6. You must follow up
It’s a reality that most sales (especially in B2B) require multiple touchpoints before a conversion to a sale. But high percentages of salespeople give up after the first contact is unsuccessful.
That’s a mistake. The conversation should never stop at the first attempt of a sales pitch. Don’t get in your own way of closing a sale. Keep trying. You’ll see your conversions improve if you’re respectfully persistent.
Improving sales entails shifting from a self-promoting position to being a solid advocate for your prospect’s company. Shift their perspective and build meaningful connections by demonstrating how you can address their needs.
You can write a successful pitch in a short amount of time. By following the framework in this article, you can begin to become more of an advocate and a problem-solver, and less a salesperson. By doing so, you will develop the relationships you need to close sales.