Does your sales pitch cut through the noise, or just create more?
Time. It’s the most valuable asset humans own. The problem is that time is a non-renewable resource that is constantly diminishing. It stands to reason, then, that tempers flare whenever someone wastes your time. Because, well, how dare they?
It’s infuriating. And unproductive. Also, more often than not, it’s just rude.
Yet each and every B2B professional reading this has had their time wasted by a sales pitch, probably as recently as within the last few weeks. (*readers nodding*)
And if you’re in sales, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of:
“Hey, we get it. But sales is a contact sport. And no one wants to win more than me. I say: spray and pray; smile and dial. Fail faster!”
Don’t sell yourself short, though (pun very much intended). There is no mythical rule in B2B sales being both efficient AND effective. These aren’t mutually exclusive characteristics within modern sales processes. And believe it or not, you can be better — without being annoying. So, because time is money, let’s not waste anymore, agree?
Skip below to learn and steal three simple-to-implement data-driven plays our team uses to ensure their sales pitch connects with the right prospect, at the right time, with a well crafted message. For the rest of you, let’s take a step back and dive into the art of the sales pitch.
What is a sales pitch?
Business development professionals often develop simple, concise, and summarized versions of material presented during a sales presentation into a sales pitch.
The primary use case of a sales pitch is often reflected in the term, “elevator pitch,” because the explanation of the business story, benefits and value propositions should be able to be delivered in the amount of time it takes for a single elevator ride.
In other words, your sales pitch is a pre-discovery conversation. You’re not closing a deal; in fact, you’re just scratching the surface of qualification.
Compelling pitches are short, but poignant; clear, but also leave the prospecting wanting to ask more. All told, that is the point; the end game of your sales pitch should aim to spark interest and generate further conversation.
A good salesperson should be able to get their message across compellingly and concisely. If you can nail your sales pitch, odds are you’ll have more time to talk down the line.
Common Messaging Elements within a Sales pitch
A sales pitch needs to be concise. That’s why it’s a pitch. Got it. But what else separates a good pitch from a great pitch? What are common techniques used in a sales pitch?
Like so much else in B2B sales and marketing strategies, there is no universal formula for success here. Every company has unique circumstances, value propositions, differentiators, and yes — weaknesses.
So, first, take a deep breath, and realize that your sales pitch is yours. The below tenants are just a framework to consider. That said, incorporating these messaging tactics won’t hurt:
1. Present the Problem or Possibility
What is your why This can be posed as an engaging ‘what if’ question that either appeals to a prospect’s pain OR presents an opportunity. The challenge here is that this should be universal enough to grasp from the C-level down to an individual contributor at a prospective company.
2. Convey an Easy-to-Understand Value Proposition
After presenting your why, move to the solution: what can you add to the problem or possibility? What is the actionable takeaway here? A level of deeper understanding around your expertise in dealing with your why should be highlighted here.
But at all costs, avoid fluff, buzz words, shop-talk, or industry jargon. Again, universal appeal is obtained whenever your sales pitch is compelling, yet still communicated in a straightforward manner.
3. Reveal the ‘Secret Sauce’
Call out your differentiation, or your how. Your how pulls back the curtain, ever so slightly, to offer the prospect a glimpse of how your solution is positioned to deliver on the value propositions.
4. Elevate the Customer as the Hero of the Narrative
Create fear of missing out (FOMO. Bells and whistles are nice, but won’t do the trick. Instead, prioritize proof of concept to secure further more conversation. Use discretion to decide on the appropriate customer examples that are appropriate in any given pitch.
Sounds like a lot, right? Almost like you’d need to have a profound knowledge of a prospect’s inner workings in order to craft the right narrative? You’re not wrong.
How to Use B2B Intelligence to Craft Personalized Sales Pitches
B2B intelligence, particularly sales intelligence, provides sales professionals with contextualized contact and company information, including basic and advanced data essential to mapping an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), identifying potential prospects, and connecting with the stakeholders and decision makers who matter most.at those companies in an effective and meaningful way.
What’s more, each of the components of sales intelligence can be combined, filtered and applied and inserted as variables you can easily segment when using within common sales email solutions or creating a call list.
So, what type of data points and information, are we referring to exactly:
Types of B2B Intelligence
Contact information, such as direct dial phone numbers and email addresses, job function, management level, work and academic history, professional accolades and certifications, and so much more.
Yes, basic firmographic information, like revenue, industry, and employee counts are essentially crafting a pitch. But what crafting a pitch that resonates on a deeper level that shows your solution can (and will) help your prospect?
Again, sales intelligence offers contextual information, like revenue growth rates, department sizes and budgets, the software and applications used, and org charts that outline relationships and responsibilities. Go even deeper, what about combining select or all of the variables above with whether or not the company just received a round of funding, recently launched a new product, or hired a new executive relevant to your business?
Suddenly, you can begin to frame your pitch in a way that drives value because you truly understand their business beyond surface level data points.
The best way to be relevant? Understand who cares about what — and when the interest is piquing. Intent data is another component of sales intelligence that captures online behavior-based activity across the internet (not just on your website) that links buyers and accounts to a topic.
Intent solutions aggregate consumption patterns and signal users whenever a company’s IP address has passed normal thresholds and spikes in content consumption on a given topic occur. These actions include, but are not limited to relevant whitepapers downloads, website visits, product reviews, time on website pages related to industry topics, online subscriptions to newsletters and more.
Combined with quality contact and company intelligence, intent data can be the secret quiver to personalize your sales pitch.
3 Real Data-Driven Plays: Sales Pitch Templates Your Team Can Use at Scale
ZoomInfo’s sales team uses our sales intelligence to drive pipeline and accelerate revenue. Sounds nice, right? You want details. We got details. And it all starts using demographic, firmographic, and intent data to deliver the right sales pitch.
1. Flip the Script Pitch: Turn Objections into Opportunities
Sales intelligence can be used to flip the script on a prospect during your sales pitch, turning would be naysayers into interested buyers — both ready and willing to tell you more about their business challenges.
“In a sales pitch, we’re often taught not to call out the elephant in the room before a prospect does,” says Carolyn Murray, who is an Account Executive at ZoomInfo. “For example, pricing or competitors are not usually brought up at the outset of a conversation, unless a prospect raises a concern. But, more often than not, I find that the opposite rings true when it comes to sales objection handling.
“As you do your research, you can actually reframe a roadblock in your initial pitch and turn objection into a talking point. For instance, I might find out that a decision maker I plan to pitch only has 10 employees, and a low annual revenue. Ultimately, I know that the prospect is going to give me the objection around their size. we are too small. So instantly, my pitch is centered around that, and I position it as a benefit.
OK, sems kind of ideal, but how exactly does this work in practice?
“I explain to the prospect, who only has 10 employees, ‘I know you have a bandwidth issue. But that’s exactly why ZoomInfo is here, and is in place for small teams. We help free up bandwidth and make sure you don’t spend all of your day gathering data on accounts, looking for phone numbers and emails.’
“If you call that objection out early on, you’ll find that by the end of the call, they bring up their real challenges, rather than the surface-level objection, and you can have a more honest conversation.”
2. The Bowie Pitch: Capitalize on Company Change
As David Bowie prophetically sang, “Turn and face the rain, ch-ch-ch-changes.”
Change is scary, especially internally for B2B organizations. But for business development professionals, it’s a chance to pitch when the wheels are in motion. What are big changes that can help spark big results?
“I always like to keep an eye out for new leadership changes at key accounts I’m working on,” said Luke Denby, Customer Success Manager at ZoomInfo. “This new leader wasn’t brought aboard to keep business as usual, they’re looking to make changes happen and in doing so, spend money.
In most cases from our target market, they’re spending 70% of their annual budget within the first three months of their time in that new role. Staying connected to the change when it happens helps me with three key elements for delivering the perfect sales pitch.
- Enables me to identify the new leaders skillset and history prior to entering the new role. Figure out who this professional is, their expertise, and what they care about most.
- With other sales intelligence at my fingertips, I can examine what else is going on at the account. In other words, I can decipher why that change happened in the first place. New funding? Investments? Basically, What does the company care about now.
- Finally, because timing is everything, it gets me a chance to reserve a seat of the table during budget discussions. “
3. Portfolio Pitch: Interact with Investors
Using referrals and benefiting from your existing customer network are the pillars of the best deals. Why? You delivered for them, so they’re delivering for you, in a proactive, unsolicited way. Paying customers into partners, or brand advocates, beyond agreeing to do a case study or write a testimonial is a huge value add.
But what if you’re delivering the value and your customer-base, for whatever reason, doesn’t offer a well of potential prospects they can refer you to? Access to firmographic data can help expand your network from the vantage point you may never have previously considered.
“I always like to build relationships with customers,” explained Jessica Rogers, Account Executive at ZoomInfo. “And a lot of times that means also building a relationship with their board members. We all know that behind the scenes, board members oversee a lot of the decisions happening at companies they’re serving.
“So, if I know one of my customers is doing really really well,I always reach out to their board members to see if I can bring the same value, the same revenue to all of their portfolio companies rather than just the one client.
“It’s incredibly simple to already have that value understood and the price point already standardized where you can then become a preferred vendor. A super simple way to increase pipeline without putting in too much effort prospecting.”
Final Thoughts on Crafting Sales Pitches with Demographic Data
Using demographic, firmographic, intent and data points associated with sales intelligence help bridge the knowledge gap to help modern business development strategies connect and close, without wasting precious time on research.
Done correctly, data-driven insights can help a sales pitch take a prospect on a mini-emotional rollercoaster ride; conjuring up a feeling of empathy, understanding, and re-assurance that you’ve seen both sides of the equation and would love to discover more about a prospect’s business.