Great sales pitches consistently capture buyers’ attention by using key selling psychology traits to close the deal.
This article lays out the structure of the perfect sales pitch and the psychology behind it so that you can create a sales pitch for your organization that keeps buyers curious, excited, and engaged.
The Anatomy of a Perfect Sales Pitch
Before we learn about creating the perfect sales pitch, we need to first understand its structure. Zuora’s pitching strategy is a perfect example of this — so perfect that it went viral when it came out a few years ago. It still makes an excellent example today.
The 3 Elements of a Great Sales Pitch
1. The Hook
Don’t start a sale pitch talking about yourself, your company, or the product. That’s not what the buyer wants to hear about (yet). Instead, capture the prospect’s attention by bringing their attention to an emerging trend or shift that’s going to seriously impact the buyer’s industry, if it hasn’t already.
Here’s how Zuora takes this on:
They facilitate subscription payments, and their pitch begins by focusing on the shift from one-time technology purchases to monthly subscriptions.
They begin their pitch with the idea of a great change in the world we live in today. They push forward the idea that to deal with change, you need to learn how to adapt.
The bygone era of product pushing is replaced by the modern era of cultivating a relationship-centric service. And Zuora puts forward the idea that to adapt to change, you need a relationship-centric mindset.
2. The Context
Next, explain the opportunities and threats creates by this shift in marketplace behavior. Some Those who successfully adapt will win; others will lose. Establish the stakes, and the risk of he status quo.
Highlight proof points. In Zuora’s example, the failure to adopt a subscription-based model has led to the downfall of several companies. They also highlight examples of successful companies like Hubspot, Zendesk, and Appfolio that saw greater success and listed IPOs after adopting the subscription model.
Then, acklowledge the roadblocks that will be encountered when adapting to this change. The roadblock is the problem that’s being explored in the pitch. This is what you can help companies solve so they can benefit from the changing market dynamics.
3. The Call to Action
The pitch ends with the solution. After Zuora set the premise and created tension by focusing on the problem, they show how adopting a path forward that Zuora provides to help customers achieve their goals.
6 Sales Pitch Best Practices to Keep in Mind
Now that you know the structure for a good sales pitch and what points to make, how do you know when your sales pitch is perfect? Make sure it checks off the following boxes:
1. Economy and Clarity of Words
A great sales pitch is short, to the point, yet sufficiently descriptive of the value of the product. It doesn’t take too long to set the premise and gets to the point quickly.
In a survey based on 121,828 sales meetings, Gong discovered that the deals that close use a 9.1-minute sales deck presentation on average, while presentations for lost deals average in at 11.4 minutes.
It’s only two minutes’ difference, but the impact it has on keeping the prospect’s interest is enormous. 9.1 minutes is just right to set the premise, explore the problem, offer the solution, and demonstrate past customer success. Go any longer, and the data shows that prospects start zoning out.
2. Understand the Customers’ Needs
It’s easy to get caught up singing the praises of your solution, but the perfect sales pitch is centered on showing the prospect how your solution specifically helps them. To know how your product helps the prospect, you need to understand your customer first.
Conduct thorough research on the prospect — their industry, role, years of experience, etc. This helps you personalize your pitch and shows the prospect that you’re an authority when it comes to their unique needs and solutions.
3. Tell a Compelling Story
If you think about the most popular books or movies, they share some things in common: There’s a hero, their guide, and a villain. The story follows a plot in which the hero is called to take some action, and after overcoming challenges, the hero is ultimately victorious.
Those are common elements because they’re at the heart of good storytelling. A perfect sales pitch allows your buyer to occupy the hero’s role, and builds a narrative in their mind about how they can overcome challenges to achieve a victory. You are providing the magic amulet and instructions for how to use it to overcome the hero’s obstacles.
4. Value Before Cost, Benefits Before Features
55% of respondents in a poll conducted by Sales Insights Lab said that budget was either the first or second most common reason for stronger opportunities falling apart in sales. That’s why an ideal sales pitch emphasizes the value of the product before discussing pricing.
Similarly, the features of the product aren’t going to impress your customer. Your customers need to know how these features benefit them.
5. Demonstrate a Clear Company Vision
Your pitch should cover the short-term vision for the product. This is what your company intends to do with your product in the foreseeable future. Take a look at how Hubspot handles this:
“There’s this notion that to grow a business, you have to be ruthless. But we know there’s a better way to grow. One where what’s good for the bottom line is also good for customers. We believe businesses can grow with a conscience, and succeed with a soul — and that they can do it with inbound. That’s why we’ve created an ecosystem uniting software, education, and community to help businesses grow better every day.”
In addition, no sales pitch is complete without sufficient backup for your claims. Your customers need proof of your ability to solve their problems, and for this, you need proof of how you helped past customers. You can achieve this by including customer testimonials in your deck.
6. End With a Strong Call to Action
64% of salespeople ask prospects for a commitment to a next action at the end of the call. This leads to lost opportunities, because neither the prospect nor the salesperson knows what the next step should be.
Remove the ambiguity and end with strong calls to action (CTAs) that tell your buyer what they need to do next to take it further. Your CTA is best kept short and yet, must be hard to miss to make sure that your customer continues their path through the customer journey.
Summing It Up: A Perfect Sales Pitch Example
A perfect sales pitch can make all the difference between a closed-won deal and a missed opportunity. That’s why you’ll benefit from keeping this sales pitch structure and six best practices in mind to guarantee that your pitch hits the mark every time.