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 maximise 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 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 personalisation. Most sellers 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 salesperson 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 personalise 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 Covent Garden 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 Programme 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 personalised 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.